Teaching for Big Ideas Art Education for the 21st Century Dr. Kathy Unrath
Has any art teacher ever reviewed the national or state standards for art education or the prevailing list of elements and principles of design and then declared, “I feel so motivated to make some art!” - Olivia Gude, “Principles of Possibility”
Gude’s Postmodern Principles • Appropriation • Juxtaposition • Recontexualization • Layering • Interaction of text and image • Hybridity • Gazing • Representin’
“… art examples and projects in school art curricula should not be reductive representations of theoretical principles, but should reflect the complexity of actual art.” - Olivia Gude, “Postmodern Principles”
We are preparing our students to become visually literate citizens who are connoisseurs of art • We are providing opportunities for students to think like an artist • We are teaching students to be creatively productive • We are teaching students to see, interpret, and respond to art • We are empowering our students to decode their visual culture • We are connecting our students to the history of human civilization
Artistic Thinking Big ideas can be defined using this preamble: Throughout time and across cultures artists have wrestled with ideas about…
Teaching for Big Ideaswith Do-Ho Suh The Individual and the Collective Memory/Memorial Home
What are Do Ho-Suh’s big ideas?What kinds of questions could you ask your students to investigate that would help them respond visually to his work and ideas?
Suh’s work contains Big Ideas about: memory homesickness public and private space military conflict cultural identity conformity and difference art's relationship to architecture
Essential questions Memorials • What makes an event important? •What makes a person important? • What is a hero? • Who decides who or what deserves to be commemorated? • What is the function of a public memorial? • Who does it serve? • How do artists contribute to the interpretation of historical events and people? • Is history the truth, or an interpretation? • Can there be multiple versions of a single historical event?
Comparing Artists Rasmussen says: “In addition to utilizing handmade paper, I often incorporate non-archival media into my work. I derive great joy from transforming everyday materials into something personal, meaningful and beautiful. When I see tomato paste, dog hair, sausage casings, spent tea bags or dried fish skins, I envision a work that may be transitory in nature, but rich in surfaces.” How would you compare Rasmussen and Arnovitz to Do Ho Suh and Saar as to their use of materials and the big idea of their work? How does one support the other?
Essential questions: “Some/One” The Individual and the collective • What is the appropriate balance between the needs of an individual and the needs of a society? • When is it important or necessary that an individual subsume their personal interests? • When is it important for an individual to assert their individuality? How have the some impacted the one? How has the one impacted the some?
• Big Ideas are broad important human issues characterized by complexity, ambiguity, contradiction and multiplicity. (Walker, 2001) • Big Ideas provide art work with significance • Big Ideas are found in the work of professional artists • If student art making is to be a meaning making endeavor it needs to be situated in “Juicy” content
• Big Ideas expand student art making beyond technical skills, formal choices, and media manipulation to human issues and conceptual concerns • Big Ideas can engage students in deeper levels of thinking