Cindy Foley, Executive Assistant Director and Director of Learning and Experience at Columbus Museum of Art, talks on Teaching Art, or Teaching to Think like an Artist? at TEDxColumbus. Below is the full transcript and summary.
Listen to the MP3 Audio here:
Okay. We’re going to get started with some kindergarten image-word match. I would like each of you to determine what is the word that matches the image in number 7. Okay? So starting to come up with some ideas. Good. Get them in your head because I want to share with you what my daughter Adeline chose.
Adeline chose art and as her parent I thought that was awesome. But this is an incorrect answer according to the testing guide. The correct answer is mud and I’m sure that’s what you all chose. Right, right.
How can something so nebulous be so concrete? Actually I think this quiz is a fitting analogy for the problem in art education today. Art education has been impacted by the standards and testing culture like all other disciples and in a lot of ways we’ve been focusing on teaching things that are concrete. Things like elements of art, art history and foundational skills.
In essence, we’re teaching things that we can test and assess. But I believe art education needs to focus on developing learners that think like artists. Learners that are creative, curious, seek questions, develop ideas and play, which means we need to be much more intentional about how we communicate art’s critical value and how we teach for creativity.