Mother’s or Father’s Day Activity

treehouse-w-signature-72Grades 3-5. Click for lesson Inspired by the Design Thinking process, children will prototype a tree house hide-away filled with things Mom or Dad might like!


Elements + Principles of Art + Design

In the undergraduate art history course I teach, students must identify the Elements and Principals of artworks.  Even when I was a student, starting in middle school, I recall this being an important ability; as my high school art teacher Mr. Mayor would say, you have to “talk the talk” if you want to be an artist.  They are vital to understand both when employing in your own artwork, and observing the work of others.  The best online resource I’ve found so far that visually and textually explain these wonderful tools is by John Lovett.

Engaging Students + Families At a University Art Museum

Isabella_Stewart_Gardner_Museum-Boston_MA-USA.normalRecently, I asked “How do you engage students and families at a university museum?” of some of my favorite professional groups, and the responses were so illuminating.  Soon, I’ll summarize the most relevant and interesting studies and articles for a detailed post, but here are a few of the best: The University of Chicago’s Cultural Policy Center report Campus Art Museums in the 21st Century; A Conversation, suggested by Linda Berghoff, When Being Third Place Is a Good Thing, suggested by Seth Frankel, and The Wallace Foundation’s More Than Just a Party, about the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, suggested by Blake Miller.

For Your Educational Toolbox

yes-and2Improv(e) Your Teaching by Jen Oleniczak [January 20, 2013] connects good teaching with the principles of improv, which she describes as “like going to the gym for your brain.”  A few benefits: communication, collaboration, how to listen, being present, letting go of fear to gain flexibility and spontanteity.  When I worked at the Children’s Creativity Museum, we consistently practiced “Yes…And,” “freedom to fail,” and collaboration exercises, and these open-response activities also helped my ESL students gain language skills in a fun way when I worked with Cambridge Public Schools.  I could feel my thoughts becoming more fluid, open, and creative; there’s a lot that comes from acceptance and running with it.

My Favorite Art Education Resources

In the art history class that I teach for Academy of Art University’s School of Art Education, we recently discussed how essential an instructor’s passion and clear motivations are for students to get the most out of course material. I felt compelled to share my own learnings in art education, in the form of some my favorite related links; enjoy!
Art21 from PBS
Art Museum Teaching forum/blog
ArtsEdge @ The Kennedy Center
Davis Publications
Education and Community Programs @ The Walker Art Center
Education Department @ The Whitney Museum of American Art
Educational Communications Board @ the Wisconsin Media Lab
Incredible Art Department
Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop
Lifelong Kindergarten @ the MIT Media Lab
National Endowment for the Arts
National Art Education Association
SchoolArts Magazine
The Big Draw; The Campaign for Drawing
The Montessori Foundation

Find niche schools with specific language / culture demographics: