Saturday, July 28, 2012

A is for Art 2012 - Making the Chair (Part 3) + Interview

A is for Art 2012 - 
Making the Chair (Part 3) + The Interview

It was the day of the filming and school visit by the organising committee.... 
the photographer taking pics of the kids' work 

We started the day with making ribbons for the legs of the chair using pipe cleaners. 

Celena and Farhana making the ribbons 

Bao Ping attaching the colourful ribbons to the twine 

the challengers doing a good job at multi-tasking... answering Ira's questions and still continuing with their tasks... 

the completed twine of ribbons  

Bao Ping and Li Qi attaching the completed twine of ribbons around the legs of the chair 

We finally started on the back of the chair
Maleha trying to get the perfect shade

The photographer taking a snapshot of Maleha and Susan working hard at blending the colours

The completed work going through a touch-up by Susan and Wen Yin which resulted in our very first and only mediation process in this whole A is for Art journey .. =S

Maleha and Susan volunteered to paint the back of the chair which was in the shape of a 'leaf'. The team had previously agreed to paint it in green, yellow and orange to depict an autumn leaf but somehow the version which Maleha created was not to some of the challengers' expectation. They were also unhappy that Maleha was in-charge of the 'main' part of the chair. 

And the case of 'too many cooks spoil the broth' snowballed. Up to 4 other challengers decided to pick up the paintbrush to 'touch-up' on Maleha's work which resulted in the 'leaf' looking like 4 pieces of separate artwork. I kept questioning their intentions and the reasons for their choice but none knew what they were doing. They started pushing the blame to one another till the teacher in me had to ask them to stop. 

I spent a good 10 minutes talking to them about respecting each others' contribution and having the few of them to come to a consensus on the remaining task to be completed. And when I asked how were they going to rectify the 'unique' artwork they had created, I was glad Maleha volunteered to fix it. 

Susan and Wen Yin making a second padding and cushion with bubble wrap. The sealed edges of those made in teh previous lesson opened up and the cotton wool stuffing got stuck to the uhu glue... thinking on the bright side, they made bigger cushions... =) 

Farhana being intereviewed

Susan's turn at the interviewing corner

and finally my turn..... =S

Anyway, these were what i really wanted to say but only said 20% during the interview... ='(  

1. Why did you decide to participate in A is for Art?

I went for the A is for Art Preview thinking that it was a workshop on the teaching of art through museum artefacts. I have always welcome interesting art projects where art teachers and pupils can challenge themselves. I shared information of the project with my my art teachers and we decided to just give it a try and see where it could lead us to.

2. What were some challenges you faced when you started on the project?

The first challenge was that we do not know how big or small scale the project should be carried out so every now and then, we will have doubt if we were on the right track. That’s why we are very thankful for the mid-point sharing. It sort of assured us that yes, we are sort of doing it right.

The second was finding a suitable time to conduct the lesson so that all those who signed up for the program could attend the lessons. Both the teachers involved and the pupils have very tight schedule. Due to supplementary classes, math Olympiad training, ICT baseline lessons, CCA and modular CCA before curriculum time, we have to ‘beg’ some teachers to excuse some of the pupils from the other programs.

3. How did the programme help you as an art teacher?

It opens my eyes to how student-centred art lesson can be taught and reinforces the fact that art is everywhere. Instead of telling the pupils what to do and how to do art in our usual art lessons, activities are planned and conducted to guide pupils to create their own learning. 

4. What do you think is the impact of this project on students and the school?

The pupils are definitely more confident and more positive about their talent. Art is no longer about creating something beautiful. The colours or patterns created now has meanings and values in them.

The opportunities given to pupils to talk about their artwork and listen to others talk about their artwork allow the pupils to see things in different perspectives and to understand that art can be very subjective and personal.

Museum artefacts are now no longer just items from the past. The pupils are more observant and are learning how to interpret artefacts and artwork with vocabulary picked up from the challenges.

After completing the ultimate challenge, the core team will be sharing their learning and experience with the afternoon cohort and we will invite the pupils to participate in some of the sketching and designing activities.

There is very positive result from this program and the art department is looking at how we can use some the challenges and the artcards for the teaching and learning of art next year. We are also in the talk have art learning journey to the various museums next year.

In fact, some of the aesthetic department teachers and P1 art teachers have already tried the blow wind blow a colour game with their art pupils.

5. What sort of support did you get?

We were given total freedom to experiment everything without constraint. And I feel that is the greatest support any art project can get. Ain and I were free to determine the scale at which the project is to be, the type of pupils we want and how do we go about getting the pupils, how to conduct the challenges etc.

We were even given platform to create awareness for the project. We were asked to share about the project and some of the activities during one of the aesthetic meetings which our principal sat in. Both our principal and teachers gave very positive feedback and contributed some suggestions which we included in our lessons.

We also managed to put this project up as a Professional Learning Team and 2 other teachers came on board to help in the facilitation of the trip to ACM and also the art wall. This allows Ain and me to focus solely on the conduct of the lesson which makes the project so much more manageable.  

6. Will you collaborate with ACM again and why?

A definite yes. The art department is always looking out for new areas of art to expose our pupils to and cultural art is definitely an area that we can explore. I really enjoy working on this program and also working with ACM and STAR who gives us so much guidance and support in how we can engage the pupils through the challenges.

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