Ellen Jaye Benson Philosophy of Virtual Art Teaching

Philosophy of Virtual Art Teaching

Macquarie Pass Bends
Macquarie Pass Bends

We live in an increasingly iconographic, virtual and interactive environment. 

Semiotics,creative problem solving and colloborative exchange skills, developed in the Visual Arts KLA,are critical to navigate and communicate in our digital world. Visual Art explores themes of our shared human condition (largely untouched in other curriculum areas), whilst developing individual autonomy and inventiveness. It is imperitive we recognise the value of Visual Arts asits own discipline, possessing a unique vision, metalanguage and methodology.I define visual art as a form and concept based language that stimulates our senses and givesclues to both our inner world (our individual identity) and our outer world (broader socio-cultural identity and external environment). Students develop personal points of inquiry via thepractices of art-making, historical and critical studies. Visual Arts actively encourages studentsto develop their creative potential and critical thinking skills. I summarise the visual artsthinking process into 'The Creative 'P's':

Playing, Planning, Producing, Proofing and Presenting

Sketchbooks provide an insightful formative assessment tool into a student's personal visualthinking process. In my class, students bind their own sketch books using a wide array of artpapers and media, to develop a sense of ownership in mapping their visual thinking, mediaexplorations and sourcing information. Stage 6 students are encouraged to think big byworking on a larger scale, in addition to a sketchbook, they create a mood-board to houseideas relating to their developing body of work on free standing foam core display boards. A deep understanding of the elements of art and principles of design is nurtured though myinstructional design. I teach students how to abstract visual information from their observedworlds; the process sees them make intimate aesthetic connections with the micro and themacro as a catalyst for exploring art fundementals. Students learn through observation,personal research and materials-based exploration. Drawing underpins all art practices, I focusheavily on developing mark-making and observational skills. My personal art pedogogy hasformulated over time and is influenced by a diverse array of artist comrades, research andteachers. I am heavily indebted, both practically and philisophically to former artist mentor,Godwin Bradbeer, reknowned for his drawing marathons in Melbourne.My visual arts ethos focuses on empowering student voice and embracing chance discoverythrough experiential, student-centred learning. Art projects are designed to be open-ended,differentiated and inclusive; taking into account the skill-levels, prior learning, tastes andbackgrounds of my students. I make use of multiple-intelligences choice boards and allowstudent's choice in methods of presenting information. My classroom management is based onbehaviour models by William Glasser and Bill Rogers. A former art technician, I have extensiveexperience in materials organisation. In my class, we embrace both traditional artmethodologies and emerging internet and computing technologies to express ideas,perceptions and understandings.My agenda is to expand student's visual vocabularies, modes of expression and social capital.Furthering their access to resources, fostering an appreciation of the arts and supportingindividual and collaboritive creative opportunities to develop understandings of aesthetics,time, culture, identity and communication. I challenge students to construct meaning for themselves through their personal artmaking and by critiquing, respecting and valuing artworksmade by self, peers and broader art-world.

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