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Art Seminar at Willow Park Elementary


On Friday, February 2nd, 2018 our year four teacher candidates met at Willow Park Elementary School for an Arts Education workshop led by MRU instructor Cintia Anselmo. The goals of this collaborative day's work were to

● provide teacher candidates with the opportunity to observe the ways in which the arts live authentically in this model Calgary school
● observe intentionally, think critically, and reflect upon capacities for arts integration
● glean inspiration from the expertise of the Willow Park staff
● incorporate workshop learning into their lesson planning for EDUC 4101: Teaching Art (planning framework, theoretical links, art works).

Teacher candidates first engaged in an "art crawl" to explore the school space as an instrument of art integration and then debriefed their findings. Next they joined classrooms to support the art-making in the classrooms.
Finally they met with Willow Park teachers to discuss the research of Maxine Green, Rena Upitis (holistic arts education research from Queens University), and the work of the Lincoln Center Institute on Aesthetic Education.
Some takeaways are shared below.

"Art is an entry point, it is everywhere and allows us to live a balanced, aesthetic life. Learning with, through and about the arts creates impactful learning experiences that stay with our students."

"Aesthetic Education: Create, Make and Build.
Construct, Engage, and Portray,
We are all artists in our own minds, we learn through play.
Release the Artist."

"Aesthetic education can be fostered in all subjects as design thinking, as evidence of student understanding and a way for students to communicate their knowledge."

"Creativity ought not be demanded, but rather allowed to flourish given time and space. We, as teachers, are responsible for providing the conditions for both success and creativity - with the knowledge that we cannot force either."