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Choice Based Art Education

Choice-Based Art Education

Art education is all about celebrating uniqueness. Every teacher is different, every learner is different, and every school district is different. Addressing the goals of all participants requires meaningful and intentional balance. When you achieve balance, you are honoring district and school initiatives. You are honoring learners’ goals. You are honoring your own philosophies as the art teacher in the room.

Finding this balance is what choice-based art education is all about. Explore the power of the learner-centered classroom, and reflect on how you are currently using choice in the studio. Explore different choice-based approaches to instruction. Envision integration into your own classroom setting. Look at assessment, advocacy, and management strategies. Revise curriculum and approaches for your students.

Participants in this course will need to purchase a copy of the book The Open Art Room, by Melissa Purtee and Ian Sands (2018).

ISBN: 978-16152-8677-5

Graduate Credits
All courses will now close at 11 PM Central time on the 27th of each month. Graduate Credits 3 Graduate Credits
Price Graduate Credit $1047.00
Upcoming Course Run Dates
May 1 Jun 25
Jun 1 Jul 26
Jul 1 Aug 25
Aug 1 Sep 25
Sep 1 Oct 26
AOEU Course Code
Morningside Course Code
EDUC500 AOE022

Course Outcomes

  • Assess a variety of choice-based art education philosophies.
  • Explore effective instructional and management strategies for integrating choice in the art classroom.
  • Apply current research in the field as you construct authentic, student-directed, learner-centered experiences from the bottom up.
  • Develop a comprehensive choice-based toolkit that includes your position on choice-based approaches, detailed action plans, instructional tools, assessment strategies, and documentation samples.

Course Breakdown

Week 1
What is Choice?
  1. Explore a variety of programs that use different levels of choice in their design.
  2. Define the level of choice you would like to pursue in your classroom. Does this mean following a specific pedagogy or creating your own hybrid model for the classroom?
Week 2
The Choice-Based Space
  1. Tour a choice-based classroom, and learn how other teachers are fostering environments that encourage student autonomy.
  2. Make a plan to adjust or revamp your classroom space in order to support a choice-based approach.
Week 3
Instructional Organization and Planning
  1. Gain helpful strategies from experienced educators regarding instructional planning.
  2. Prepare a curriculum matrix or lesson plan which illustrates the powerful learning taking place in your choice-based classroom.
Week 4
Introductions and Demonstrations
  1. Consider how you deliver instruction and plan demonstrations. Make adjustments based on choice-based approaches.
  2. Choose from a menu of demonstration ideas and strategies for immediate implementation in your teaching environment.
Week 5
Classroom Management
  1. Look at ways to track centers and set meaningful expectations for students in your choice-based classroom.
  2. Prepare a comprehensive classroom management plan, which will help you stay on track as well as hyper-focused on student success.
Week 6
  1. Look at ways to authentically measure student growth.
  2. Create record-keeping tools that make tracking student progress possible and practical.
Week 7
  1. Consider ways to showcase and celebrate student learning and reflection through exhibition.
  2. Prepare a documentation sample which will help inspire students, while also showcasing the work happening in your classroom.
Week 8
Choice-Based Toolkit
  1. Prepare a choice-based credo statement which summarizes your choice-based philosophy.
  2. Leave the class with a comprehensive toolkit that houses all of your plans, organizational tools, and reflections from the course.

Choice-Based Space

A sample assignment from Week 2 of the class “Choice-Based Art Education.”

1. Research

Explore the classroom of a fellow educator as you identify important environmental factors when facilitating a choice-based agenda. Conduct research to learn more about the choice-based space, and gather additional strategies to adopt in your classroom.

2. Discussion

How will learner-centered philosophies change your current classroom set-up? How do you think students feel each time they walk into a choice-based classroom? How do you want students to feel when they walk into your classroom? How can you foster this reaction?

3. Practical, Hands-On Application

Consider the steps you can take to transform your classroom and empower students. Craft an action plan to either improve an existing space or create a brand new classroom which allows the level of choice you desire.
Leah D.
"This class was a huge eye opener to me; I would recommend to anyone in art education. I had no previous knowledge of choice based art ed; it truly is the best approach to teaching students to think like artists."
Stephanie H.
"This class has really helped me develop a new philosophy and teaching style that brings creativity, media, and curriculum together into a very student-centered structure."
Deyana M.
"Love the 'realness' of the class - we actually created things we can use in our own classroom. Whenever I can get something to use in my own life, it makes the time spent so much more valuable and appreciated!"

What do past course participants think?

Hundreds of art teachers have taken the course “Choice-Based Art Education”. Here’s what they actually think — without cherry-picking.
(12 month rolling average from all post-course survey respondents – Updated 2/27/2020)







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