"Art is a way for students to incorporate their own interests into their work and engage in projects that they create for themselves."
Art Education allows students to express themselves in a way that differs from their other classes. There is an emotional and personal connection through the subject matter that is unique. Art is a way for students to incorporate their own interests into their work and engage in projects that they create for themselves. The art classroom is a place where socialization and collaboration come naturally, giving students an advantage in their learning process. Students should be at the center of their education, and what they want to learn and explore should always be considered by their teacher. Art teachers have many opportunities to get to know their students and learn about their interests both in art and outside of the classroom. Teachers can promote these interests by making them relevant to students’ art making and allowing them to explore these interests in the classroom through critical thinking and creative expression. Teaching around big ideas is a way to allow students to create their own knowledge and explore ideas and issues that have relevance to them.
Children are often unaware of how much they encounter art in their everyday lives, and making them aware of visual culture is important in shaping them as artists. Making students aware of art, and the power it can have for expressing ideas about the world to others, is something that students will rarely learn in their other high school classes. Contemporary artists almost always deal with big ideas, a great tool for the art teacher to use in helping students understand what is going on in the world around them. Showing students how artists struggle with big issues can foster self-reflection and encourage students to understand how they think and what is important to them. I believe that introducing contemporary art to students at an earlier age can help them create their own worldviews and think about big ideas and today’s relevant world issues. By studying these artists and their work, students will not only be confronted with big ideas, but will also experience the different ways in which art can be a reaction to an idea as well as a means of addressing issues in a personally expressive way. The expressivity and flexibility of the art teacher and the art curriculum can benefit all students and encourage them to think in ways that most adolescents are not encouraged to think. Students can experience the world in new ways through the art-making process, and it is the responsibility of the art teacher to provide an environment in which this type of exploration can occur on a daily basis.