CI 5472

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Tomorrow is my last day of student teaching. I have been in both an elementary school and secondary school teaching visual arts. My mentor teacher in the secondary placement is a .6 visual art teacher and a .4 tech ed teacher. The course he teaches is entitled Multimedia Expressions. It has been an interesting experience. I myself have some familiarity with Flash Animation, Photoshop, and Dreamweaver - but I have no idea how to teach these things. The course is designed to teach the technical aspects of these programs. There is very little artistic expression involved in the curriculum. As far as an introduction to the media literacy of this classroom curriculum goes, the students are familiar with what the programs are capable of. Though, I feel without specific written instructions, the students would not be able to apply what they have learned in these courses to any other setting.
As a student teacher, I have had some freedom to work with the curriculum. As a final assignment, I decided to ask the students to create a thematic animation in Flash. The students struggled with this more open concept. I am hoping this course will give me some insight into instructional strategies in this media arts realm. As a visual arts teacher, critical thinking and creative expression are central to what I teach. The study of media arts should not simply be a technical "how to," but a investigation into new media and expressive thinking.
The first thing that struck me as interesting in the assigned reading was the idea that children and teenagers are exposed to six plus hours of media exposure daily, while spending less than one hour on homework. Because technology is such a part of their lives, computers, television, and film are a fantastic way to engage students in coursework. The visual and media arts offer a fantastic avenue to begin addressing ideas across the curriculum. Interdisciplinary studies are more engaging, more thought provoking and more rewarding for any student. I have been a student teacher for twelve weeks and I cannot count the number of times I have heard the mantra "when am I ever going to use this in my life?" The ability to connect learning to the students lives is critical for growth.
The study of the visual arts centers around the idea of learning how to view critically. Art history, aesthetics, art making, and criticism provide a lens for dissecting visual images. For me, the connection between media arts and visual arts is natural and necessary. Art history allows for the exploration of human nature in the past. Deep questions can be answered here. Where do we come from? What makes us different? What unites us? How have we evolved? Aesthetics is the investigation of the senses. The most asked aesthetic question "what is art" involves critical thinking without the pressure of a right or wrong answer. There is so little of that included in our education system, it is important for students to understand that the world is not black and white. Criticism gives power in judging and analyzing art. As a critic, a students opinion is most important - an empowering lesson in a system where they are presented daily with new information they may not understand. The process of making art gives students a voice to express and develop their own ideas - growing as individuals.
Here is where media arts, film, television, the internet, and other new media factors in. it is a natural and contemporary expression of art education. I have the training, I am ready to apply my knowledge to this new media. I understand the importance. I feel I could convince any skeptic. At this point I need the instructional tools to incorporate these artistic expressions in meaningful and engaging ways to students. I may be a popular teacher if I show youtube videos everyday, but will I be an effective teacher?

1 Comment

Blog Review:

One of the things that stood out to me in your blog was the difference between high school students and middle school students. I currently teach social studies to 11th and 12th graders. In your letter to include media studies in your district curriculum you stated “middle school age children who are beginning to form their own ideas of identity.” I think this is the most important perspective for a middle school teacher; students at this age need the social and life skills we can offer more than some stuffy parts of our current curriculum. These students need help differentiating between the realities they face and the fiction they watch. I also agree with your point that we can teach media skills in a hands-on way and imbed the more mundane, but extremely important skills such as reading or writing.

I enjoyed your news analysis assignment, you are right about the news, tell us bad stuff, but leave us feeling good. The one thing I was suppressed by when I watched my News broadcast was the number of stories covered in the 1st 10 mins of the broadcast. You spoke about the BP oil spill; I have spent a lot of time in my class talking about theses types of “disasters” and who is responsible to help. The students think that the U.S. government should help but when I asked if the MN government should help or our local government, they had a harder time coming up with an answer. When the Haiti earthquake struck we spent time deciding if other countries had an obligation to help the Haitian people. Students generally start off saying yeah everyone should help, but when it comes right down to it they are full of excuses as to why they can not help. Bringing news to student’s lives and making a connection with their personal thoughts is what we need to encourage in order to help them connect with the reality of the world.

Nice Blog…Good luck finding a position next year!!

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This page contains a single entry by gatz0015 published on May 27, 2010 11:29 PM.

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