Visual Learning-Postcard Project Responses

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Visual Learning- Postcard Project RESPONSES

As a reminder, in the class Methods and Materials for Teaching Visual Arts at the Secondary School Level, we are testing the idea of teaching two high school level classes through visual learning.

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When I say “visual learning” via postcard, I literally mean that high school students are given one postcard that has some type of visual image, and the student then creates a visual response.

The pictures included show the Columbia Art Education graduate student’s postcard on the left and the high school student’s response on the right. The visual communication or conversation shows that students either:

A) Mimic the visual using the same medium but using a different theme or subject matter shown in the picture below.

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or B) Take the visual image and use it as a form of inspiration for their own creative interpretation (shown below).

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The significant difference between these outcomes may have something to do with the decision of splitting the postcards into two separate art classes in the same high school and giving them different directions from the teacher. In one class, the students received more guidance by the teacher and in the other class the students did not receive any directions from the teacher.

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In the Student “A” class, the students received the postcards and were guided by the teacher to look closely at what type of art it is or what art element/principle is being communicated through the visual image.  Or in other words, what is the artist trying to teach you through the visual image, and then respond. This limited the creativity in some cases where the students used similar mediums and themes to the postcard that was given to them.

In the Student “B” class, students were not given any guidance and were able to respond to the visual of the postcard how they wanted to, leaving the main drive of the assignment open-ended based on their personal creativity.

The results from this first exchange of postcards has questioned the use of guidelines in art projects in order to successfully meet the objectives of a lesson. It appears that guidelines help students stay on topic or the concept that you are trying to teach them. However, it does hinder their ability to explore their own personal creativity at times.

What are your thoughts on this experiment of visual learning?

Also, in the future, I will post more graduate student and high school student visual postcard conversations.