Dist. 25 art classes incorporate technology to bring art to life
Walk into an art classroom in a District 25 Elementary School and it might look the same as you remember it.
There is still student artwork hung on the wall and displayed on shelving. There are newly finished projects drying on the drying rack, and you might see a teacher demonstrating a new technique/skill the students are eager to try out. But, if you take a closer look, and stay for a bit, you'll start to notice some big differences that use student choice and technology to bring a more personal feel and inspirational final project that inspires students to become excited about their art class.
"One of the things that we are broadly trying to do in District 25 is to emphasize problem solving and design thinking," District 25 Administrator, Nick Filipowski said. "Giving students control over the process to understand how an artist creates lends itself to that educational philosophy."
The thought is that when students have more control of and input into their learning, it becomes more personal to them and their engagement increases. When engagement goes up, so does the genuine interest and the hope is that there is a higher retention of knowledge. That philosophy applies to math, science, language arts, and all the creative arts subjects, like art, physical education, music, etc.
"We're past an age of just knowing as being enough," Filipowski, who is the district's coordinator for fine arts as well as physical education and social-emotional learning, said. "How a student is able to synthesize what he/she knows is more important."
According to Filipowski, District 25 wants to teach their students how to be able to take information and process what they know, uniquely. And, teaching artistic behavior teaches students to be more creative in that process.
In classrooms across the district, like at Patton Elementary, Ivy Hill Elementary students are given choice on how they want to learn and fine-tune their various art skills. For example, if a unit of study is on depth and how it can be utilized in art, students are allowed to decide how they prefer to explore depth. Maybe they choose to paint, or sketch, or draw, or sculpt, or even make a movie.
Kids decide what medium they really want to work with while showcasing an artistic skill, creating buy-in and inspiration in a classroom without limitations.
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