The purpose of education is to build knowledge and understanding and to promote critical thinking. As an art educator, my goal is for my students to be educated, inspired, and empowered through their experiences in the art room. Through learning about art, students learn about the world. Through creating art, students express themselves to the world. My job is to facilitate a process by which students become confident in their ability to learn, to communicate, and to question the status quo.
Schools are a place of diversity, where multicultural education, awareness, and acceptance are essential. My commitment to multicultural art education is reflected in lessons that incorporate work by artists that mirror the diversity in our communities, our nation, and our world. It is also reflected in the environment that I seek to create in my art room, a place of mutual respect where students can practice participating in a democratic community.
How do I strive to create this kind of environment? One way is by involving students in the development of classroom norms and expectations, especially for critiquing and talking about the artwork of others. Other ways include emphasizing student choice, collaboration, and problem solving by incorporating the Studio Habits of Mind: Develop Craft, Engage and Persist, Envision, Express, Observe, Reflect, Stretch and Explore, Understand Art Worlds.
Schools must provide a safe space for students to develop into productive, free-thinking individuals who will make positive contributions to society. My part in creating this safe place is to help students develop the ability to value themselves and others, through the vehicle of artistic expression. Valued across disciplines, creativity is important to all learning and understanding. As an art educator, my primary aim is to foster students’ creativity.