My educational philosophy has been shaped through my experiences as an art educator and practicing artist. My teaching philosophy is based on the following core values; creating a safe learning environment that fosters self motivated learners, every student has the potential to create artwork, making personal and real world connections through the arts, and ensuring continual professional growth.
I believe there are three factors that creates self motivated learners; a safe learning environment, the educator as a guide and fostering relationships. A safe learning environment is one that is positive, encouraging, and supportive. Students must feel safe to explore their own interest, take risk and make mistakes, and explore the possibilities of art materials. The educator acts as a guide providing support and encouragement in the classroom that allows students to explore their own curiosities, develop high expectations, collaboration with others, and use of critical thinking. It is important to develop and foster relationships with student both on a personal level and as a whole class. Creating a safe environment to explore the arts allows students to become self motivated learners and guides the teaching in the classroom.
Every student has the potential to create artwork regardless of the skill level coming into the classroom, art is a skill that can be learned and developed over time. Developing craft gives students the chance to learn to use tools and materials in a variety of ways to build confidence in the art making process. Teaching students to engage and persist encourages students to embrace problems, find solutions to the problems and learn to work within the limitations of their current skill level, while allowing for the possibility of growth. Student must be to envision the end results of their artwork by tapping into prior knowledge to mentally picture the next steps in their art making process. Students learn to express themselves using their current technical skills to create artwork that conveys an idea, feeling or meaning. Observational skills allow for students to look beyond what is in front of them in order to see new possibilities. It is important for students to be able to reflect on their art by giving and receiving honest feedback in order to improve their artmaking skills. Lastly students must embrace stretching and exploring beyond their current capabilities.
Real world connections allow students to explore and create art that meets their personal needs and interest. Art can be used to create proactive problem solvers in the 21st century by making connections outside of the classroom. Students begin to learn that the skills learned in the art classroom can be applied to any career choice.
Constant reflection of instructional practices is important to improving my teaching. Participating in professional development on and off site keeps my teaching current and relevant. Working with colleagues is important to improving my teaching practice as an educator allows me to meet new challenges. This is then reflected in the classroom for the benefit of student learning.