SchoolArts Magazine

October 2017

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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W hen it comes to Teaching for Artistic Behavior (TAB), I have heard teachers label their practice modified TAB. However, any amount of TAB should not be reduced to a point on a scale. TAB is a philosophy with a primary principle: the student is the artist. The art teacher who fol- lows this principle is a TAB teacher. That being said, TAB teach- ers do need to consider what l evel of choice they are comfort- able with. The following is a l ook at three levels, beginner, intermediate, and advanced, pre- sented to help you decide which l evel is right for your class. BEGINNER LEVEL The beginner level is best for students and teachers who have never engaged in a TAB program. The beginner level limits the decision-making by subject matter and media selection. Limiting Choice with Themes One method for introducing students to the concept of choice is by using themes. Themes present the student with a question or topic to inspire thought. The student considers the theme and then generates a work of art. For beginners, it may be best to consider concrete themes. Examples of concrete themes include What's Inside the Room, Don't Look in the Garden, and It Happened on the Bus. As the class becomes accustomed to working with themes, the con - cepts may become more abstract. E xamples of abstract themes include Play, Transformation, and Identity. Grouping Media Another method for offering choice at a reasonable pace is by presenting limited groups of media. By present- ing media in small groups, the teacher offers the student a comfortable range of materials with similar prop- erties. For example, a teacher might start the year limiting the first project to black and white media. Students would be offered the choice of using pencil, charcoal, or pen and ink. Examples of other media group- ings include colored pencil, marker, a nd oil pastels; watercolor and tempera cakes; or clay, plaster, and other 3D sculpting materials. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL The difference between the beginner and intermediate level is not simply the increased availability of choice. Widening the number of choices doesn't necessarily mean students are thinking and working as art - ists. The intermediate level directs s tudents towards open media and incorporates Artistic Behavior units. When art teachers present Artistic Behavior units, they allow their stu- dents to move beyond the limitations o f the theme-based program. Instead of being based on media or elements and principles like traditional art lessons, Artistic Behavior units are based on how artists think and work. What Level of TAB Is Right for You? Ian Sands TAB is a philosoph ith a primar principle: the student is the artist. CONTINUED ON PAGE 54. T H E O P E N A R T R O O M Parker Rush, South Brunswick High School. 16 OCTOBER 2017 SchoolArts

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