As an art teacher, you are in an excellent position to develop collaborative projects for your students. On a practical level, you can have students work in pairs or small groups, correlate lessons with classroom or other specialist teachers, or work with an artist. You can also collaborate with local or national museums or art centers or with a teacher and art class in another state or country. How will you and your students collaborate through art?
Participants from Acoma Pueblo and Indian Arts Research Center staff look at Acoma jars during an Acoma collective review.
According to the National Education Association (NEA), “Collaborative learning has been shown to not only develop higher-level thinking skills in students but boost their confidence and self-esteem as well. Group projects can maximize educational experience by demonstrating the material, while improving social and interpersonal skills.” NEA offers an online guidebook, Collaborating for Student Success, and an online learning course and toolkit (bit.ly/NEACollaboration).
On a practical level, you can have students work in pairs or small groups, correlate lessons with classroom or other specialist teachers, or work with an artist. You can also collaborate with local or national museums or art centers or with a teacher and art class in another state or country.
Guidelines for Collaboration
A helpful resource for working collaboratively with museums or similar institutions is the “Guidelines for Collaboration” created through the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe (SAR) and the Indian Arts Research Center (IARC) at SAR. It was developed through a collaboration among Native and non-Native museum professionals and cultural leaders and is intended as a resource for museums and communities planning and carrying out collaborative work, offering principles and considerations for building successful collaborations. It is available online in English and Spanish and offers guidance for art teachers as well, especially concerning issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion (bit.ly/SARCollaboration).
In This Issue
Our studio lessons this month include “A Cozy Collaboration” (page 15), from Sue Liedke, in which early childhood students create a class quilt while learning to use a sewing machine.
At the elementary level, “Connecting with Chromesthesia” (page 34), by Janice Corsino and Nani Naish, details a music and art collaboration based on the perceptual phenomena of synesthesia and chromesthesia, in which the stimulation of one sense triggers another.
In “Sustainable City Games” (page 32), by Melody Weintraub, middle-school students connect to real-world scenarios and interdisciplinary problem-solving to collaboratively design cities.
At the high-school level, Heidi Posh’s “Mother Nature as Inspiration” (page 27) details a school mural collaboration with a former art student.
How will you and your students collaborate through art?
Art teachers foster a collaborative environment through group projects. Young students learn to use a sewing machine and join their individual fabric squares into a class quilt, elementary students participate in a school-wide effort to learn about biodiversity protection efforts in Bioko, middle-school students connect to real-world scenarios and interdisciplinary problem-solving to collaboratively design games, and high-school students team up with a former art student to create a mural that celebrates all subjects and disciplines.