STAR-POST (Art) January 2020 FINAL_STAR Post Art Jan 2020 - Page 24

By respecting students as artists, they are given the opportunities for creative explorations. What is Choice-Based Learning (CBL)? Choice-Based Learning (CBL) is not the latest buzzword, and neither is it a new methodology. In fact, CBL was coined in the 1970s and continues to be relevant today. CBL is a learner-centric pedagogy designed to promote inquiry and encourage choices and voices in the classroom. Closely linked to Teaching for Artistic Behaviours (TAB), the methodology touches on three important guiding principles: 1. What do artists do? 2. The child is the artist, and 3. The art room is the child’s studio With a sense of autonomy and control, CBL places students in control of three key areas—subject matter, art media, and art- making approaches. These approaches can be modified to meet the student profiles or lesson objectives. As a result, it supports differentiated learning where students could connect their artworks to their strengths and interests in a culturally diverse environment. Choices, The More The Merrier? Everyone likes to have choices but too many can be overwhelming. For young children to feel comfortable, the choices for art material had to be introduced in batches. When I first started with 5 media centres, students were hesitant to experiment with something new. To help them get out of their comfort zones, I placed materials in a “choice-café” setting the following week. This meant they were free to roam around to se- lect materials for their sculptures. The setting also allowed them to be both focused and engaged. Nurturing Creative Voices Among Different Types of Learners Unpacking what I had learnt from NAEA 2019, I decided to research the topic and start integrating CBL in my art lessons. Working in groups, my class of 40 Primary 3 students went through a vigorous 10-week process that sought to encourage them to explore their creative choices. The subject matter, “Water Pollution”, was conceived in response to Teo Eng Seng’s artwork, “The Net: Most Definitely The Singapore River”. For the lessons to be effective, I re-designed them to allow flexibility in catering to the diverse needs of the class. The above diagram illustrates my students’ learning process throughout the course of 10 weeks. Time spent during the “Investigate” and “Resolve” phrase may vary depending on the progress of each group. (Diagram adapted from Lean UX Design and Agile presentation by Dave Landis, 2016.) While observing my students during the art making process, I identified 3 types of learners: • Type A: Makes smooth progression • Type B: Faces conceptual difficulty • Type C: Faces technical difficulty 24 25