CSTAE’s Online Curriculum Portfolio invites the submission of lesson plans and unit plans that have been piloted in PK–12 schools, higher education, community settings, after–school programs, museum education, and other sites of art education practice. This growing collection offers art educators useful ideas that revolutionize the field by intertwining social theory in hands–on practice.
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- Art in the Age of Networks - Networks as a Way of Thinking by Rabeya Jalil [View Image]
The theme-based and material-based units (with lessons and lesson sequences) propose a curriculum for one academic semester in an undergraduate visual arts school (for sophomore, 2nd year, or junior, 3rd year students). However the lessons could be modified and tailored to any age group developmentally. This curricular framework aims to foster collaboration (within individuals, materials and disciplines), explore networked pedagogy and networks in pedagogy as a collaborating force through and with the visual arts and explore the materiality of the code and the digital media. The course also engages with new media theory and literature, investigates the materiality of the digital media as collaborators, mediators and metaphors and reflects on how technology affects pedagogy and allows students to tailor projects according to their own interests. The course content is flexible in its approach with plenty of elbowroom. The 3rd Unit of the suggested curriculum also seeks to advocate for social justice; students cultivate perspectives about the power of digital media to address social issues, they probe into matters of social justice or injustice with the featured artists and make connections with the artistic processes and goals of the artists (listed in the lessons) to reflect on the sociopolitical context of their own art making. The students also think about networks as an abstract or tangible concept (digital, social, physical, and biological networks) and create works in an open-ended, student-centric environment that encourages critical thinking, independent decision-making and enables them to chose their own nature/ track of projects.
- Big Data Visualities by Ron Wigglesworth [View Image]
Make sense of abstract Big Data numbers by creating concrete, static or kinetic images/visualities which communicate or translate the meaning of the numbers to a human scale of understanding. The subject of the visualities should be created in each student’s artist voice, with the freedom and empowerment to express their own social, economic, political and ecological concerns so his/her work has personal meaning and strength of concern. Employ art hand skills in 21st century postmodern art by using Big Data to illustrate interdisciplinary social justice concerns in visualities, created to move a viewer to action.
- Exploring Public Space: Interventionist Artworks and the Creative Disruption of the Everyday by Jack Watson [View Image]
Attempting to bridge a gap between artist and spectator while also challenging the elitism and preciousness associated with art, artists have long sought ways to blend the art experience into the everyday. From the ephemeral performances and “social sculptures” of 20th century conceptual art to the culture-jamming interventions of contemporary street art, there is a rich historical context for engaging directly with the spectator in public spaces. Taking artwork into public spaces in the form of actions rather than objects – actions which involve the participation of the spectator – bypasses the negotiations and mediations that take place when a viewer experiences something presented as “art”, and opens generative (and unexpected) spaces of dialog and meaning-making. In this unit, high school students will collaboratively plan and implement public space interventions of their own design.
- Install America (or wherever you are) by Connie Stewart [View Image]
The following project was developed as a requirement in an Art Education preparation course at the University of Northern Colorado. The program is strong in traditional academic skill building as are many of the k-12 art programs in the area. Teacher candidates must take courses in drawing, painting, ceramics, sculpture etc.
- Let's Collaborate! Process-based Sculptures by Lena Isenberg [View Image]
To begin this lesson, students will study action painting from the Abstract Expressionist movement. Students will watch videos of Jackson Pollock and Dale Chihuly painting, and compare their processes. Students will also view Pollock and Chihuly’s art-making processes in the context of existentialism. They will understand that an artist’s actions are what give his or her life meaning. Taking inspiration from these artists’ processes, students will create collaborative sculptures in response to their materials. While creating their collaborative sculpture, students will be challenged by the dynamic interplay between individual ideas and group decision-making.
- Power Issues in Everyday Life ÷ Socially Engaged Art = Empowerment by Hoyun Richter [View Image]
This lesson is facilitated so that students can identify and expand their perspective on a power issue relevant to their lives through dialogue, analysis of relevant artworks, and everyday examples. Artists Suzanne Lacy, Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, Emily are introduced to discuss power and powerlessness.
- Public Space Interventions: Collaborating with New Craft Artists in Action- Finger Knitted Basketball Nets by Jody Boyer [View Image]
Public Space Interventions: Collaborating with New Craft Artists in Action- Finger Knitted Basketball Nets
A variety of artists make artwork that intervenes in public spaces. There are many reasons why artists engage communities in their work. This lesson explores a variety of artists who make artwork that intervenes in public spaces and engage communities with their work and teaches students to finger knit a 4 foot piece of yarn with excellent technique and craftsmanship. This lesson explores how the NCAA New Craft Artists in Action Net Works project and their public space interventions with handmade basketball nets. This lesson explores how artists collaborate to make artwork and empowers students to collaborate with their peers to create a finger knitted basketball net for a neighborhood or park in our community to make a positive impact as an artist in their community.
- Re-Imaging City Walls: Engaging Children to Replace Hostile Wall-Chalking with their Drawings by Rabeya Jalil [View Image]
Experience how two art educators lead a community-based initiative by engaging children from suburban districts to revamp public walls; erase hate graffiti and wall- chalking and replace them with interactive drawings.
- Representation By Design: Mining the Source by Kris Heintz Nelson [View Image]
Kris Heintz Nelson
This unit is a hybrid, combining art history, studio instruction, and visual culture and has been interwoven into a freshman foundations drawing course where students are taught observational skills, use of media and process, and introduced to the creative processes of generating ideas and developing personal inquiry. The inquiry is intended to guide students to question dominant assumptions regarding representation and how artists engage in visual research.
- Seedfolks: An Integrated Literature and Visual Art Unit by Michi Thacker [View Image]
The book Seedfolks takes place in Cleveland, Ohio, in an inner-city vacant lot. The story develops through a series of 13 vignettes, each culturally isolated character bringing his/her unique perspective and contribution to the story as the trash-ridden lot slowly develops into a community garden.
- Temporary Sculpture: Activating the Ordinary by Julia Mack [View Image]
Invite students to use everyday objects as art making materials. Through this lesson students will be challenged to consider how everyday objects can be re- imagined as art making materials. In this lesson students will research and discuss every day materials from the art room as materials for sculptures. Students will also consider how the ordinary spaces around them could be activated by the addition of a sculpture.
- Through and Beyond the Barbie: 3 Themed Lesson Sequences by Rabeya Jalil [View Image]
This lesson sequence will facilitate students to collaborate, explore and experience themes that they can personally relate to on a deeper and meaningful level. The purpose of this unit is to foster a safe and creative environment for early adolescents of 11 – 14 years (7-8th grades) to explore their personal identities, their gender, their socio-cultural beliefs, their values, through critical thinking, self-reflecting, and art making. Through engaging in a conversation and exploratory dialogue to deconstruct the layers that form identity and culture, using both in the traditional and digital media (collage, printmaking, drawing, digital photography, video, Scratch programming software, Photoshop, iMovie and other digital software, and collage) students will learn to appreciate that a casual dialogue about a popular/ material/ visual culture phenomena (in this case, the Barbie) can reveal/ unfold critical insights into their deepest emotions, opinions and socio-religious inclinations by engaging with it.
- Urban Pets as Social Practice: Constructing Pets with a Purpose by Carrie Pope [View Image]
I developed this lesson in my fourteenth year of teaching. I had just transferred to sixth grade general art after primarily teaching pottery classes in a high school for thirteen years. I was at a low income, high poverty school and was having a difficult time engaging my students. I had seen Robert Marbury’s work about ten years earlier and had wanted to do something with it but had never had the opportunity. Recognizing the student's need for play, I first approached this lesson with one class bringing in several garbage bags of stuffed animals my daughter had discarded.
The lesson did not begin as a study in Social Practice. It began with students simply creating a new “pet.” The first class of students began giving the pets that they had created stories and I recognized that many of the stories were personal. One young boy’s pet had just recently moved to our community and was living in an apartment, which was the exact personal experience that student was going through. Watching the students give stories and purposes to their pets that addressed their personal needs made me realize this lesson could be so much more than just making imaginary animals; we were making pets with a purpose.
- Women of Our Worlds: Women Raising Voices Against Violence by Patty Bode [View Image]
In a high school painting and drawing course, students investigated what contemporary women artists were making, saying, protesting, and changing in multiple art worlds. Group dialogue centered on generative themes in which students chose interconnected topics of combating domestic violence, affirming diverse body expressions and family relationships to launch a painting on canvas project. Students took leadership in activism to invite community workers into the art room resulting and in-school interventions such as, installing art exhibit in the school office, and projecting text and imagery in school cafeteria walls. Expanding into the community, students produced and installed info-art-posters in sites where they knew women needed access to information such as nail salons, homeless shelters and the employee break rooms of low-wage employment retail stores. This led to students teaching painting classes at a local women’s shelter. The study of contemporary women artists empowered students to reconsider what counts as art, and re-envision their role as art-makers in their worlds.