"Art is everywhere, except it has to pass through a creative mind." Louise Nevelson
Art education helps students to acquire strong insights for better understanding their surroundings. Close interaction of the young generation with people from different cultural backgrounds, contemporary art and multimedia is the main motivator for art educators to think beyond classical principles of art by considering post-modern contemporary principles in their curriculums.
The new principles are more conceptual and more related to humanity. They embrace the big ideas like identity, cultural believes, empathy, saving the ecosystem and ... .Art educators should think about designing the lesson plans related to these ideas. Lesson plans should be age appropriate and considered from the students’ fields of interests and knowledge. These lesson plans are more likely to students’ engagement and this is where the learning happens. Students internalize the main concept as well as the technical skills.
Interdisciplinary lesson plans are good examples of strong motivators. These lesson plans are designed based on students’ knowledge from other subjects like science, social studies, mathematics, English language art and etc.
Art education with new principles helps students not only to gain more knowledge about the world around them but also to evaluate others’ products, in turn helping them to create their own unique products and express their ideas. Providing them more vision in their personal lives, it also helps to form their personalities and empower their team-working and problem-solving abilities.
Art educators should do research in different aspects of everyday-life, in fields like science and technology, politics, and sociology as well as the arts. They should design interdisciplinary curriculums encompassing the big ideas to foster the students’ creativity and capabilities, as well as support the formation of their personalities.
Art educators should consider students’ socio-cultural, physical, and emotional differences and adapt their curriculums accordingly. If this inter-disciplinary approach is considered in all subject matters in education, there will be positive results in students’ educational achievements.
By encouraging students to share knowledge about their own cultural backgrounds in a safe collaborative environment, art education celebrates cultural differences in the classroom.
Art teachers should create a safe and peaceful environment by respecting the students’ identities and differences.This will help the students in expressing their personal, emotional and social issues, interactions, and ideas through artistic messages.
Art educators should be aware of the importance of their responsibilities, which extend beyond assigning aesthetic projects or applying rigid formulaic directions. Educators should follow the child-centered approach and transfer power from its traditional position (teachers) to students.
The art teacher not only has to prepare art lessons for general students but also for students with special education needs. Although art teachers are not art therapists, engagement in art making is therapeutic, and thus it is an important for them to engage the students with different levels of ability in this process. Art educators should communicate with classroom teachers, special need educators, parents and students.Art educators are facilitators, so how should they support their students in a supportive and persuasive way?
They should know their students’ capabilities and weak points and try to build the lesson plans foundation based on students’ capabilities and knowledge and considering to improve students’ weak points through technical skills and big ideas in each lesson plan. Below are some examples art educators should consider in their curriculum:
-Designing colorful instructional boards for autistic kids to help them in learning through visual memory.
More check-ins, helpful hints and simplifying instructions for atudents with learning disabilities
Considering some physical activities if possible for hyperactive kids (i.e. planning outside observational art activities).
-Making connection and paying more attention to silent students.