“How do you come up with these?” I’ve been getting asked that question about my curriculum a lot recently. I hadn’t really thought of the “how” before. I’ve come to realize that through my own art making I am able to refine and even conceive of curriculum to use in the classroom. My art making practices and my pedagogy are completely complementary. And why shouldn’t they be? As an artist I bring a creative supplement to the Common Core Standards in the classroom, and as an educator I am constantly inspired by my students. By designing arts curriculum I hope to empower my students with 21st century skills that can be used in the classroom and beyond. We use the opportunity to engage in critical thinking while exploring the creative process. Our art making is a vehicle with which to communicate, and that communication is often done in a collaborative way.
This installation, Time Index, is currently on display at the Children’s Creativity Museum. It consists of a photograph from my past and a painting of my present. The two media work together in constructing a narrative of ways we index, acknowledge and remember time. It was developed to correspond with my curriculum theme this month: Time. The theme itself came to me as I began to consider the shifting schedules for many of my students as summer comes to an end. Because I work with such a wide range of students (toddlers to teenagers), it is important that I keep my curriculum open-ended and easily adaptable for any age. I often allow myself to work on my own art with consideration to my monthly curriculum themes, and I see what comes of that. Throughout the month the curriculum will range from sensory exploration with moon sculptures to discussing the reactions of chemically treated light-sensitive paper. I look forward to seeing how my students interpret this theme. How do you come up with your curriculum?