Art History/Reflections/Ms. Davis
Ms. Davis's Reflections 27 August I am pretty excited about the way this project-based course is evolving. I especially liked the way we made a decision about citations. Project 1 was a brainchild I had when reading some literature from the High Museum. I hope the kids will think seriously about why their museum should collect the work they choose. I am also excited about the transparency of our thinking. By posting reflections on the wiki we can see the thinking going on behind the research. Metacognition! Hurrah! Mr. Bishop and I have brainstormed the next Project 2. We are going to have a session on how art historians look at art. By Friday we will be off on another assignment to consider art reviews, what they are, who writes them and what they include.
6 September We had our first discussion using the criteria we developed for evalusting projects. The kids did their self-evals the day before and so that left time to talk about the strong points they felt they made in their project and where they felt they needed to improve their work. I think the rubric was helpful and the kids seemed to find it a useful way to analyze their work. The discussion was slow to start but each student was able to make good observations that also reflected our (Davis, Braker, Bishop) discussion about their work on the previous day. I was most happy when Emma was able to see where her work needed to be stronger in research and not just depend on what she knew about Andy Warhol, an artist she clearly loves. Yeswanthe was a bit hard on himself, a problem some of the kids expressed about their own self evals. Yeswanthe got a lot of support from his peers about the success of his presentation. Generally the kids liked the rubric and want to know in advance what the criteria will be for the next project. I suggested that this criteria would probably work for most of the projects but I am willing to reconsider changes if they think it could be better.
The DBB team continues to stress the importance of their active particpation in the learning process and the importance of making their thinking transparent through posting reflections.
Yeah! We are on to the next project, looking at Richard Serra's retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art and writing a review of the show. I can't wait to see how the kids thinking evolves as they do the research over the next two days.
7 September Everyone is working on the computers and there have been some good questions like can I read the NYT review? NO! I want students to gather information, research from the MOMA website or other sites that also have interviews or other primary source material about Serra. If you read reviews of his work you will be influenced to write what the reviewer says about the work. I am more interested in you establishing an opinion based on your research about his work. Another questions was: Can I read a biography about Serra? My question back was where are you getting the bio and the response was Google. Use the MOMA website. There is a ton of information that you can learn about Serra. Then go look for places to fill in holes. This course is as much about the quailty of where you find information as it is about the final product. BE THE RESEARCHER! Don't look for easy solutions and use your NOODLE to think about the way Serra's work looks and feels to you. And don't forget to CITE YOUR SOURCES. If you read it and use it then make a citation. The quality of yur sources is VERY IMPORTANT in the evaluation process.
Sorry to be so directive but I want you all on the right track bc this will serve you endlessly in the future.
10 September Wowie, zowie, that was a great discussion today in class about what is art and how is Serrs's sculpture art. The students had lots of reactive responses to Serra's work. We captured the questions and will post them to the Wiki so we can keep thinking about them. Weirdly they all reacted to the work but only Anna actually looked at the website and read his biography so she knew more than the rest. NO ONE TOLD US that they couldn't get onto the website bc the computers lacked Flash. DUH! Why didn't anyone tell me or someone so we could address the problem? Most kids are posting and I had hoped they would have posted since our discussion but alas no respones to today's class meeting.
13 September What a super group of kids! The last two days have really helped them get past their assumptions about contemporary art, specifically their resistence to Richard Serra's work. The reflections in the last day indicate that the kids can change their minds about something they feel very strongly about. They are ready now to write a review that will reflect a deeper understanding of Serra's work. This leap from unknowing to knowing is a major step in learning to look at art. They generated great questions that attacked Serra's work. We will revisit those questions tomorrow and let them talk about what caused them to see the work differently. I keep reminding them to post a reflection each day. We still have some laggards that need to be reminded that the rubric requires transparent thinking and that is one of the significant ways we will know what's going on in their heads. I LOVE THIS CLASS!
23 September Just finished reading the kid's reflections on listening to podcasts. The ones who listened got the idea for what we willbe doing with William Anderson. Everyone seems pretty excited about meeting him tomorrow and listening to his stories. I think it was Connor who noticed that some of the questions he and Rawson formed may need to be revised after hearing from William. That was a cool insight! This process of brainstorming questions, gathering information then revising questions for the formal interveiw is the most interesting part of what they are doing. It will reveal their thinking and how it changes from before meeting the artist to after meeting the artist. Sometime I think this course should be a year long course bc the skills the students are acquiring could be put to some excitng real world situations. Now they will leave at the end of December and I may not see them again. My hope is they will remember this experience and consider taking the AP art history course in their junior or senior year. I just reread the questions and there is some repitition from one image to the next. Questions like: Who is this? don't really get at the deeper meaning that the photos imply. I wonder if the kids tried to construct a narrative and then develop the questions as I suggested. It's not clear in some of their questions that they have any ideas about the work. I feel pretty certan that after they meet and listen to William their questions will change and they will strat asking bigger questions, like why do you photograph poverty?
7 October, 2007 Mr. Bishop recorded the scripts last week. On Friday I met with everyone afterward and we had a discussion about the experience thus far in the curse. General consensus was that the project with Mr. Anderson was a favorite, specifically getting to meet himn and talk to him about his work was the high light. Anna really liked the serra project, she said she grew from that expeeicne much more. All agreed the two main projects were quite different. Anna said she thought the class would be more about art history but is happy with the way it has been going. We talked a bit about the enxt project, building a msuem from scratch based ona theme. There was a small shake up in the teams but all agreed to work in pairs again with a different arrangement. The major burden for making the podcast a reality now lands in Mr. Bichops court. He e-maiied me this afternoon asking for images so I know her's working on it for class tomorrow. I am getting nervous about leaving the kids at this juncture. It's the most exciting project they willbe doing and not being able to be aprt of it from the start is making me sad. I know the barker/Bishop/ Rich team wilol be great but I will miss the daily conatct with the kids. I can always cehck in on the web site to read their reflections. That willbe acool way to stay in touch.