Thursday, September 16, 2010

"Studio Days" and How Lessons Learned in ART can teach us about LIFE

I just read a great post at the "Inspired Classroom" by Elizabeth Peterson about her Studio Days. She basically gives students a long amount of TIME to start and complete a project. (Time, or lack of it, is a significant condition that often frustrates me as I make decisions on the design and development of my own teaching.)  Fourth grade students in Peterson's "Studio Day" are given time to really work their way through the creative process and allowed to become quite involved and include some real artistic creation in the visual arts, music, theater, and/or poetry making, etc. (This condition reminds me of the wonderful state of being, which requires more time, known as FLOW (the mental state of operation in which a person in an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity.)
I also really like her idea of “pushing time" for the students who rush to complete and miss out on the advantages which occur as a result of becoming engaged and immersed. She describes it as when the first student says he/she is done and she follows up with, “No you’re not. What else can you do with this?”

Peterson's "Lessons Learned" are a great list of outcomes of being involved in  GOOD ART projects...and as I read them I also thought about how they mirror LIFE:
Peterson's Lessons Learned in her Studio Days -
■“Trust the Process” Sometimes things don’t go as you planned, but if you keep working (persevering) an end result will come.
■“You are Never Truly Done” When you think you are done (after 20 minutes), you are forced to sit with your product and realize there is always more you can do to make your work better.
■“Mistakes Will Happen, Work with Them” Something may go wrong, but it doesn’t mean you need to stop or throw your work away. Instead, work with it. The stray mark can be turned into a flower.
■“The Process Takes Time and Focus” When you work on something, you need to give it your attention. Multitasking often does not work. You owe it to yourself and your work to take time and focus.
Sooo....I'm thinking about having a College Student "Studio Day" (or night) maybe once a month...How should I structure it? When would the best time be? I wonder if anyone would show up? Let me know what you think former & current students!


Samantha Sunderman said...

Honestly, college students are always so focused on school work, that it leaves them no time to create something that they may be passionate about. Dr. B, this is a wonderful idea! I would
definitely come!

Laura Scott said...

I really like this idea! I agree with Samantha, it would be nice to have access to materials that would allow us to escape to our creative side, and give us a break from all the school work on our plates! I would come too!

Elizabeth Peterson said...

First of all, Paige, thank you for the wonderful compliments and restatements from my original post. I am honored that you would write this in response!

I have come to realize as I get older that our society just doesn't allow ourselves time to work through our own creative processes. So, your idea to bring this into play with your college students is wonderful!

I do this with my colleagues. Just today we had our first monthly PLaiC meeting (PLC centered around arts integration) and one teacher called it her "retreat". She has looked forward to starting these times again.

It's exciting to see that you already have interest. I wish I was closer... would love to collaborate somehow. Please let me know how things go!

Jessica Purvis said...

I like this idea, I just wonder if college students have a whole lot of time to participate in non required creativity.

Brandi said...

Hi there! I was assigned to comment on your blog for Dr. Strange's EDM310 class. I personally love the idea of "Studio Days"! Every now and then I do something similar at home, but it never lasts quite that long only because I have other things to do. It would be nice to go somewhere else where I wouldn't have the normal distractions so I could truly focus on a project. I would try to do my best to attend a Studio Day if you had one!

A.Peralez said...

Dr.B, I think this is an awesome idea, I would absolutely love to get away from my everyday life, to get in touch with my creative side. Not only that, but I never have a chance to collaborate with people that have interest in art like I do. If you pursue this, count me in.

Regina Simmons said...

Dr B, The process of creating art can be the most profound and enriching experience in a person’s life. I love the idea of getting people to explore the creative process and intern learning invaluable life lessons and self awareness. I think a ton of people would show up given the proper introduction (like this blog) and exposure. I know you can get the art dept at south on board. It would be most beneficial however for someone who has very little artistic experience. With facebook and twitter event invites thousands could be made aware of it. Saturday or Sunday would be of course the best for most people’s schedules. I am on board for any help in getting this going!!!

Lynn Ellis said...

Oh gosh, I love this idea. My school is in huge need of a Studio Day. We do a lot of fun things on campus, but nothing like this. Maybe I will see what I can do about getting one started. I really see what you mean about the principles mentioned and how they relate to life. We could really ALL use the time to back off a minute and see what else we can do with any project we are working with, and see what we can do with our work.

My name is Lynn and I too am assigned to comment on your blog this week and next week for Dr. Strange's Microcomputing in Education course! I look forward to reading more of your thoughts!

Paige V. Baggett said...

I'm encouraged by the positive feedback! I will try to organize a Studio Day in the near future and see what happens. Stay tuned.

cnobles said...

Dr. Baggett, I think the Studio Day is a great idea. I would probably not come because I have so many family commitments, but if I were young and single, I'd do it in a heartbeat. It sounds like a lot of fun.

Anna Dumas said...

I think it is a great idea! It would be interesting too, if those that had children could bring them along. A good time would be maybe around 6pm so that people could have a chance to get off work and get to the studio location. I would totally attend to an open studio session where I could just express myself!

Christina Sobolewski said...

Dr. Baggett,

I am also a student from Dr. Strange's class. "Studio Days" sounds like a fantastic idea. That should be a lot of fun to do. After all, being future educators, we all need a little more time.

Elizabeth Peterson said...

So... Did you implement any Studio Days?