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Arts & Activities - Page 14

Choice-Based Art choice-Based art classrooms are working studios where students learn through authentic art making. control shifts from teacher to learner as students explore ideas and interests in art media of their choice. This concept supports multiple modes of learning to meet the diverse needs of our students. ThE SCribblE STagE by katherine douglas C hildren create with whatever knowledge they happen to have at the time. The very act of creating is creating itself. Waiting until a good factual preparation can be obtained before taking action, or stopping children from creating until they know enough about the subject to act intelligently, may inhibit action rather than promote action. The opportunity for the child to create constantly with his present knowledge is the best preparation for future creative action.”–Victor Lowenfeld, Creative and Mental Growth, 1964. Viktor Lowenfeld’s term “Scribble Stage” is not being used here in a literal sense, but to highlight how first efforts appear in student independent work. The “Scribble Stage” can describe the entry level of anything! ADULT ExPECTATIONS FOR CHILD ART often conflict with natural developmental stages of growth. Teacher desire for attractive artwork can result in adult-pleasing pieces that do not always reflect students’ real abilities or interests. “Teachers frequently . encourage scribbling children to draw something ‘real’ to satisfy their own adult imagination. Such imposition of ideas that are far beyond the abilities of the developmental stage of the child can be disastrous to his further development.” (Lowenfeld) Choice teachers learn to value the beginning work of newcomers in each of the media centers offered in studio classrooms. While many of us are familiar with children’s developmental stages in their early drawings, it is also important to recognize and support students’ first attempts in all parts of their learning. A playful exploration of materials and techniques with the purpose of becoming familiar with these, supports deep learning and offers wonderful surprises. When the primary goal in art class is the production of a preconceived product, much of this important learning is bypassed. Age does not correlate with “scribble” work as does experience; upper grade students and even adults will often 14 september 2012 • 80 YEARS x

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