Troubleshooting the Art Lesson by Beverly Levett Gerber
This post is a summary after reading the article, "Troubleshooting the Art Lesson" by Beverly Levett Gerber.
Troubleshooting is a process designed to help teachers choose lessons, analyze their language and procedures, and organize classroom space and time. for prevent or minimize potential problems.
This chapter provides a troubleshooting framework to identify and avoid potential art lesson and classroom management problems.
Troubleshooting Rationale. In a school day filled with written words, symbols, and directions that frustrate and embarrass them, students with special needs may find little positive. It is easy to understand why they might feel like failures.
The art room can be a refuge, a place for students with special needs to demonstrate their skills and abilities. In contrast to reading or math, the art studio curriculum uses a variety of art media that encourage students to approach problems anew, without a history of failure.
The art studio curriculum can offer students with special needs a fresh start because there are many different ways to solve art problems and to be creative.
Success in Art is Not Automatic
In one workshop activity, Rick Lavoie, a renowned special education administrator and an inspirational speaker, demonstrated that motivation alone wasn't enough to overcome a learning deficit.
Without classroom accommodations that address their learning needs, the students' failures accumulate throughout the day and can become a"cycle of failure," a self-fulfilling expectation of failure. Art teachers are in a unique position to break this cycle of failure because they can offer opportunities for creative problem solving and more.
Good Teaching is Good Teaching
Good teaching involves careful planning and sensitivity to the students' and school issues, among other factors. There are effective teaching strategies and approaches that can reach a wide range of students of differing abilities. When these strategies are put together, they form a framework for lesson planning and behavior management. Put together they form the troubleshooting process, a systematic approach to teaching that recognizes and anticipates the needs of special education students.
Choosing the Art Lesson
Closed-ended vs Open-ended Art lessons
Closed-ended art lesson Open-ended art lesson
direction-following encourage individual creativity and problem solving
traditional special education or modern style
judge with right or wrong no judge, no wrong answer
ex: word spelling, math ex: art
step-by-step approach liberal approach
easily identify various goal
the result looks the same the result looks different
a wide range of ages and grade level limited
Troubleshooting the Seating Plan
Choosing,planning and gathering the resources for an appropriate art lesson art the initial considerations in the troubleshooting process. The next part requires a careful look at where students with special needs are to sit in the art room.
-Sitting Near Peer Helpers
The art class provides an opportunity for students with special needs to connect with and learn from their peers. In inclusive classes, when students with special needs are seated at tables throughout the room,general education students can become models and peer helpers.
Teacher selected and trained peer tutors can help in several ways:
(1) the peer tutor can function as a role model through his or her own work skills
(2) the peer tutor is already at the table at the time a problem occurs
(3) the peer tutor can re-demonstrate a skill if and when it is needed.
Other students with special needs may not close physical proximity or interaction with any of their peers. They may, in fact, work more effectively when seated separately.
Troubleshooting the Materials
After choosing the lesson and organizing where students will sit, troubleshooting the materials becomes the next consideration. It is easy to assume that the materials needed for the lesson are available,reliable, and ready to use.
Organizing the Materials
When materials are well organized and logically located, students with special needs and general education students can find and use them independently and can help clean up at the end of the period. Whatever system works best for the teacher and the setting, a consistent and predictable system is both reassuring and saves time.
Troubleshooting the directions with a task analysis
A task analysis is one of the best direction teaching methods. Task analysis has long been used with students who have intellectual disabilities. It is an effective teaching method to use when teaching self-help skills or using an art material. The break down of a self-help task into its component parts may appear to be quite time consuming, but once a task analysis has been written, it can easily be adapted for other students learning the same skill.
Task analysis is a tool that helps to teach the goals and objectives specified in the IEP(Schulz&Carpenter,p.164)
The emphasis on open-ended art lessons encourages students with special needs to use their own ideas and make their own creative decisions. The troubleshooting process provides opportunities and time to focus attention on the students' positive efforts. Students with special needs do bring their histories of learning and/or behavior problems to the art room, but they can thrive when given opportunities to succeed.
Myungja Anna Koh