A learner-directed art classroom facilitates independent learning in studio centers designed to support student choices in subject matter and media.from Engaging Learners Through Artmaking, Douglas and Jaquith
The visual arts program at Woodlawn engages students in making, interpreting, and learning about art in a meaningful way. Students learn skills, concepts, and ways of interacting with art that fosters an understanding of their own lives and the lives of others.
The students experiment with a variety of media and techniques, and learn to create artworks that not only demonstrate skills, but also thought and heart. In the art studio, students learn about new materials or techniques, then make choices about what materials and techniques they want to pursue in greater depth. They learn to think and work like real artists. As artists, they identify ideas and problems of interest, select appropriate media, and explore and work through mistakes and challenges until they are ready to perfect and create. When they have completed a project, they reflect on the success of their work and determine what they want to pursue next. The goal is not to produce “frame ready” artwork, but to engage students in authentic learning and creative-problem solving. The art curriculum is designed to enrich core classes through integrated themes.
Throughout our K-12 art program, we strive to cultivate an environmentally sustainable curriculum that utilizes reclaimed and recycled materials whenever possible, and to make meaningful connections with artists and artwork that address environmental issues.
LOWER SCHOOL ART
Creation is at the heart of the Lower School Art curriculum. We balance direct instruction and independent learning. Confidence is continually fostered by giving the students independence with choice of mediums and options in projects. Each class begins and ends on the carpet so we spend time coming together as an art community. Carpet time is when lessons are introduced, it's a time to reflect and share as a class. At the beginning of art class, we demonstrate a new art technique and medium or introduce a new station such as drawing, weaving, printing or sculpture. Students then make a choice about which station they want to visit and what materials and techniques they want to pursue in greater depth. Students learn to think and work like real artists. They identify ideas and problems of interest, select appropriate media, explore, and work through mistakes and challenges until they are ready to create. The goal is not to produce “frame ready” artwork, but to engage students in authentic learning and creative-problem solving. The art curriculum is also integrated with Social Studies, Language Arts, and Science throughout the school year. Students begin to make connections between themselves and their community, the country, and the world through art. When the paint is cleaned up and the art is stored away, the students come back together to discuss what they discovered, to ask for advice on overcoming a challenge they faced, or to share what they created and why. Students learn to coordinate their hands, minds, and hearts in explorations of the visual world.
Activities that inform and sustain creative process are artistic behaviors... Choice-based art education provides for the development of artistic behaviors by enabling students to discover what it means to be an artist through the authentic creation of artwork.from Engaging Learners Through Artmaking, Douglas and Jaquith
MIDDLE SCHOOL ARTThe middle school art curriculum is interdisciplinary. The various areas of art and design the students may choose to engage in are related to what they are learning about in other subjects, or influenced by local artists and community exhibitions. While learning about art, and developing skills and techniques, the students are guided by the Studio Habits of Mind: Develop Craft, Engage and Persist, Stretch and Explore, Observe, Express, Envision, Reflect, and Understand Arts Community. The students practice the studio habits and document their creative process while working through design problems they have chosen to pursue. Through self-reflection and constructive feedback, the students determine when their work is ready to be displayed, and together they decide how and where to present their original art pieces in multiple exhibitions throughout the year.
UPPER SCHOOL ARTIn Upper School, the students have an opportunity to take part in a learner-directed art studio class, which builds upon the skills and art interests they have acquired in middle school. Students select the art studio class as one of their elective choices. The humanities program also provides students exposure to art history through written reflection and class discussions of different artworks throughout history, sculptures, architecture, and modern art.