“The Studio Habits of Mind is a protocol to help students take themselves more seriously.”–Diane Wang, 4th grade teacher, Jefferson School, San Leandro
What does it mean for students to take ‘themselves’—their artistic and academic practices—‘more seriously’? How can we as artists and cultural workers help students become agents in their own growth and learning? These are questions educators face every day.
I hope you all had a productive week meeting your students and preparing them for a rigorous semester of critical thinking and service learning through the arts. Please introduce your students to your project by sharing your understanding goals with them. Making your goals transparent helps students make the connections between the why (purposes), the what (knowledge and forms), and the how (methods). Use your inquiry questions as discussion or reflection prompts to quickly assess students’ experience and knowledge and any cultural or academic misconceptions. This formative assessment can act as a compass for texts, discussions, and hands-on experiences you might need to build in to support students’ prior knowledge. Also, share your own learning as you tackle your own research. By making your learning visible, you model how to create a culture of critical thinking in the classroom—we are ALL learners.
Our Studio Thinking in Practice blog is the hub of our academic learning community while your project blogs are action spaces to present and discuss “the work.” In the hub, our focus is on three areas of study: understanding and applying the Studio Habits of Mind; implementing culturally responsive pedagogies; and reading and responding to critical service-learning texts to increase awareness of social justice in education. Here’s the protocol: I or a guest blogger will post an article and a reflection prompt every other week. Please read the article and write a comment within 7 days. We want to create an online discussion among both CCA Faculty and Partner Instructors to share and exchange ideas and resources. If you would like to make a post or submit an article, just email me and we’ll work it in.
Our first reading is: Studio Thinking: How Visual Arts Teaching Can Promote Disciplined Habits of Mind by Ellen Winner, Dr. Lois Hetland, Shirley Veenema, Kim Sheridan, and Patricia Palmer. Found in your binder, the article provides a background on the research that led to the creation of the Studio Thinking Framework. Please think about and comment: In your project, which Studio Habits (SHoM) will you develop with your students? How do you plan to introduce the SHoM to your students and in what ways will you use the Studio Thinking Framework to build critical thinking skills and collaborative practice?
On your own blog, please post who/what your partnership will accomplish and anything relevant to your collaboration thus far. Do you have an expert yet? If so, who is it?
Lastly, I want to introduce a new collaborator at Mission High who will be working with Lauren Elder’s Home Grown: Art in the Environment class to create a garden and mural. MaryAnn Brooks is co-teaching the social studies class and works with Pie Ranch, a farm in Pescadero that supports youth development and sustainability. MaryAnn, please feel free to introduce yourself in your post.
Look forward to a discussion about where you are with implementing the 8 Studio Habits.