STAR-POST (Art) January 2020 FINAL_STAR Post Art Jan 2020 - Page 16

My first lesson served to diagnose my students’ learning needs. Thereafter, I decided to continue with this approach -- to diagnose as the lessons unfolded. I proactively adopted students’ feedback to modify and craft subsequent lessons so that I knew what they had learnt and which areas they needed more guidance. Adopting the Differentiated Instruction (DI) approach enabled me to focus mainly on: • How my students might learn (process) and, • How they might demonstrate their learning (product) Process - Supportive and Safe Learning Environment It is paramount to create a supportive and safe learning space where students feel assured and have no fear of being ridiculed. With a safe learning space, students are able to fully immerse, engage and contribute to the learning experience. As articulated by Clapper (2010), “If the learning environment is not physically and psychologically safe, learners may not fully engage with the activities in the lesson.” In the second lesson, I created a shared learning experience by using the Non-Dominant Hand Drawing strategy. Understandably, throughout this exercise, all my students lamented on the challenge of producing ‘good’ drawings. This activity was done to put everyone on an equal learning platform in terms of their drawing abilities. No student would feel superior to another in terms of skills. The drawing outcomes from this lesson were used by students as a starting point to develop their subsequent drawings. For the third lesson, I decided to challenge them about their perception of aesthetics. Using the Karen ethnic minority tribe as an example, students discussed and questioned -- what and who determines beauty? It was interesting to observe the engaging discourse amongst the students. They paused to think and rethink their preconceived notions of what beauty meant to them. This led them to reflect how their drawings from the second lesson could be appreciated from alternative perspectives. When students are aware and are able to understand diverse viewpoints, they would feel more comfortable and be encouraged to articulate their opinions and value their work. As a follow-up, I weaved in some questions for a drawing exercise -- What if you are the leader of the country and you get to determine the standards of beauty? What if all things oval (shape) are considered beautiful? Students created a series of drawings of animals using different shapes. In the midst of their own creation, they made decisions on what shape they, as the ‘leader of the country’ wanted their animals to be. They were at ease with their own creation; they did not have to worry about being ridiculed. By sharing with them awareness of different cultures and perspectives, students are then equipped with the belief that everyone can be different and unique, thus helping them to embrace their own unique drawing abilities as well. Non-Dominant Hand Drawing which subsequently became the basis for stu- dents to develop further. 16 17