Monthly Mentor

Matthew Neylon (July)
Each month, a different member is the guest writer for the NAEA Monthly Mentor Blog. Matthew is a graduate of the 2017 NAEA School for Art Leaders and cofounder of CONNECT, an organization that connects art teachers from independent schools around Atlanta with resources and relationships to excel and thrive. He has presented to hundreds of educators and artists annually, on various topics including wellness through the arts, trauma-informed arts education, storytelling, leadership, STEAM/art integration, and curriculum design. Click "GO" to read his full bio.



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January 10, 2020

Experimenting with Goal Setting Strategies

By Le Ann Hinkle

I have been fortunate to have worked with administrators who allowed me to experiment and try new strategies.  Recently, I have worked to learn more about implementing Studio Habits of Mind (SHoM), born out of Harvard’s Project Zero- The Studio Thinking Project  and Dr. Julia Marshall’s Creative Strategies.  As I discussed this with other art educators, it seemed that goal-setting might be a good way to start the conversation with students. 

Deciding to focus on my fourth graders, my goal was to have them identify the SHoMs and Creative Strategies within the context of their own art work and artistic behaviors.  I included the “Studio Structure and Definitions” and the Creative Strategies definitions in my students’ resource materials.  As part of the planning of their artwork, they had to identify one SHoM and one Creative Strategy they would focus on during the lesson.  I anticipated a learning curve.  I introduced both sets of definitions and explained the process of making choices during their planning and then having to reflect on how they used these strategies at the end of the lesson. 

In the beginning, there were a lot of reminders to identify a goal and select a strategy.  I always check in with students at the planning stage, so this gave me ample opportunity for mini goal setting conferences.   As students moved to the reflection, at the end of the lesson, there were more 1:1 conferences about describing how the goal was met and the strategy was used.. 

We are several lessons and four months into this process.  Overall, this methodology seems promising.  First, I can see that the students are becoming comfortable with the concept of goal setting through the implementation across all curriculum areas.  Additionally, using the SHoMs and the Creative Strategies as goals, is giving my students language for discussing the process of creating their artwork that goes beyond just describing the idea and the media.  They have words to identify the strategies they use and how they have progressed from an idea to a finished piece of art. 

Resources from Project Zero-The Studio Thinking Project:

Marshall, J., Ledo-Lane, A., McAvoy, E., Steward, C. (2019) Integrating visual arts across the curriculum: an elementary and middle school guide. New York, NY. Teachers College Press. 

- LH


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