Students are expected to do the work of artists, directing their own learning. They practice coming up with their own art problems to solve, asking questions and seeing possibilities in the world around them. Students learn to persevere through difficulties as well as to trust themselves and their own judgment while simultaneously learning to be self-directed, organized, and to manage their time.
In a TAB-Choice studio students choose what to work on
Students learn best and work harder when they are excited by what they are working on. And when they design their own work, they understand why they are doing what they are doing and engage much more deeply with their learning.
Class begins with a short demonstration or a discussion to inspire new ideas.
Students politely watch the demonstration. Some follow the teacher’s lead and try the new idea. Others observe the demonstration, filing the information away for when they need it, and then work on an idea that they came to class with or continue to work on a piece from another class period. Still others experiment with materials to see what ideas they will lead to.
Teaching with choice creates a nurturing community of artists.
When everyone is working on different things, there is less of a tendency to compare oneself to others. Students not only feel safe to find their own ways of expressing ideas and investigating art problems but also celebrate each other’s achievements. Students coach each other, discuss artwork, share materials, and often choose to work with friends and classmates on particular projects.
Developmentally appropriate work and differentiation occur regularly.
TAB-Choice classrooms are highly structured environments. Students scaffold their own learning, sometimes going deeply into specific subjects or media. They work at their own pace, following their own lines of inquiry, and develop skills as they need them.
Because everyone is involved in their own self-directed work the teacher is available to work individually or in small groups to differentiate for the diverse needs of students.
In a TAB-Choice studio there are practice pieces and WOW pieces.
Not every piece can or should be a masterpiece. In the same way that musicians and athletes practice, artists experiment, learning from their work. When there are art shows or due dates students, like real artists, gather what they have learned to create WOW pieces for display.
In a TAB-Choice studio students learn to reflect on their work.
Students learn to evaluate their work to decide if it is finished. They learn how to speak about their work in share times and to write about their work for artist statements that accompany their display pieces.