Visual Arts

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I have very little training in art education.  As for now, the art included in my homeroom is limited to crayons, paints, cutting, and pasting.  I want to take my teaching to the next level, and have undertaken a bit of research to improve my art program. 

Goldsmith-Conley and Bales write in their paper, Development of a Sophisticated Early Childhood Art Program: Collaboration and Discovery (1994), “six months after our program ended, the sessions that children most remember are those in which their making of art was most thoroughly integrated into a multifaceted approach involving art history and discussions about art.”

How can I integrate more art history and discussions about art in my classroom?  I studied Discipline Based Art Education in my undergraduate classes.  The gist of DBAE is to study celebrated works of art by great masters.  Then, attempt to recreate their piece using similar media and technique.  

Criticism of DBAE includes questions if it might inhibit students creativity to simply copy a piece of art.  Of course we are interested in learning the process, that we might master the techniques of the masters so as to use them to suit our own purposes.  Through studying great works, we learn the techniques which we might utilise in our own creative endeavours.

Have you tried DBAE with very young children?  How did it work?  Do you have any tips for improving my art program?  Please leave a comment!

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