Monthly Mentor

Natalie C. Jones (February)
Each month, a different member is the guest writer for the NAEA Monthly Mentor Blog. Natalie C. Jones is an artist, small business owner, and the director of education at the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture. She has 10 years of experience working as an art teacher and teaching artist throughout the east coast and the Midwest. Click "GO" to read her full bio.



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September 20, 2012

CREATE: The Highest Level of Thinking

CREATE: The highest level of thinking from Tricia Fuglestad on Vimeo.

Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy puts CREATING at the highest level of thinking skills. Creating is defined with words such as: designing, constructing, planning, producing, inventing, devising, making.

Isn’t this what happens in our art rooms everyday?

The art room is a place where students are challenged to use their highest level of thinking skills to creatively problem-solve and effectively communicate ideas.

Art is the last thing that should ever be cut from a child’s learning experience when it can very likely be the most intellectually beneficial part of their day. However we are in an era of cut backs in school budgets with an ever increasing emphasis on core subjects which are both harmful to a healthy art program.

I’ve learned from my art team leader many years ago that an art program is never safe from the cutting block and a dedicated art teacher must always promote its benefits to the school community, administration, school board, and beyond. Whenever I’m given a chance, I try to speak up for art education as in this interview with Anthony Salcito’s 365-day look at global heroes in education.

There are plenty of ways to advocate for your art program including; movie-making with your students, blogging about your program, maintaining an online digital art gallery, publishing lessons in art magazines, presenting at conferences, finding community venues for art exhibits, hosting community art nights at school, offering parent-child art making experiences, writing newsletters, recruiting volunteers, inviting artists to Skype or visit, help students make a mural in your community, podcast about student learning, submit student projects/art into contests, festivals, exhibits, etc. See some of these ideas on my blog.

Take whatever steps you can to promote art education. Your students need a strong art program and YOU might be their only art advocate.

Art-iculation from Tricia Fuglestad on Vimeo.

A while back, a group of my 5th grade students made this video as an advocacy tool for art to post on my website. We later entered it into the Illinois Computer Educator’s Student Video Contest and it took first place. The real prize was winning a larger audience for our pro-art education message.

-Tricia Fuglestad


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