The students in the Teaching Practicum course are responsible for teaching children, ages 4 - 13 in our after school Art Enrichment classes. Working with fellow pre-service teachers, they plan a comprehensive unit of art study and studio mastery for an assigned age group. The lessons follow a primary unit theme set by the instructor for the semester and a secondary theme developed with teammates for each set of required lesson plans. Individually each student plans three lessons that engage children in looking at art, intelligently talking about art, learning art skills, and creating art. The culminating activity is an art show featuring all the artwork created for family and friends to enjoy.
Foundations and Concepts/Secondary is a senior level course addressing the methods and strategies required for authentic art instruction at the secondary level (grades 7 - 12). Particular focus is placed on teaching students with special needs. Students investigate the theories of teaching special populations and also have the opportunity to practice these theories in a classroom setting.
A special focus of this course is to explore and critically study connections between art education curriculum and community resources. The assignments are structured to involve community members and institutions such as regional museums, while increasing understanding of the socio-political and cultural context of learning, and exploring the potential for an art education curriculum as an integral part of the community
Field Experience in a senior level course designed to provide our pre-service teachers with the opportunity to work with children in a secondary environment along with one-on-one exposure to practicing art teachers in the region. For the past two decades, Kent State University art education students have planned, organized and taught issue based lessons to students at area detention centers. Working in teams of two, pre-service teachers create their art lessons specifically geared to the students' needs and interest. The course instructor and classroom teachers provide guidance and support to the pre-service educators. In addition, the pre-service teachers are paired with an area mentor art teacher. By spending time in the mentor teacher's classroom, the pre-service teacher participates in classroom organization, observes instructional and assessment techniques and is exposed to discipline strategies. A a precursor to the Student Teaching experience, Field Experience equips our students with the tools necessary for success in the classroom.
Student Teaching Offers Real-World Experience to Students
By: Jackie Mantey
Stepping into a new classroom can be scary - especially when it's you at the front of the classroom.
"The hardest part about student teaching was earning the students' respect," said Kenan Gabriel,
senior art education major who student-taught at Dike Elementary in Cleveland. "Their immediate
reaction as 'Who is that guy?'
Gabriel and his peers in the Student Teaching and Practicum class go back to elementary, middle and
high schools across the country today for six weeks to complete their student teaching requirements to
graduate with a Bachelor's in art education.
Student Teaching and Practicum sends students out into specific schools to supplement the art
program in those schools for six weeks. Then they come back for a two-week review period. Today
they start the last six-week period of the course.
Student teaching is designed to stimulate hands-on learning.
"Getting the students out into classrooms creates a whole new experience for them," said Robin
Vande Zande, assistant professor in the School of Art.
Christine Campbell, a senior art education major who taught at Jackson Middle School in Massilon,
couldn't agree more.
"Someone can teach and teach you about teaching, but you don't really know until you get out there, she said. "At the schools, we got involved in every aspect of teaching - parent/teacher conferences,
aspects of the budgeting, student complaints, special needs. Other challenges are posed beside earning respect. The student teachers must find a way to work
around different curricula of the schools they visit.
"We write 20-page long lesson plans in our classes, but there is limited time in the schools we go to, said Gay Barnett, a post-undergraduate who taught at Greentown Elementary in Canton. "Sometimes
you are dealing with short attention spans, and you have to try to get the most important information
out in the first fifteen minutes.
But with the bad always comes the good, and most student teachers have said they found it to be a rewarding experience for several reasons. For Gabriel, it was being treated like a colleague. "This was the first time that I felt like the teacher. I felt like a professional rather than a student," he said. Part of being a professional teacher is getting along with the students. Gabriel, who taught
kindergarten through seventh grade, was in a unique circumstance.
"Discipline was hard. I dealt with kids from the rough part of town who were dealing with a lot at
home, and we got the brunt of it at school," he said. "We butted heads a lot, but I learned that you
have to be consistent.
Positive reinforcement is the name of the game for the student teachers.
Campbell taught 8th grade, and found that one of her students had never had anyone set high
standards for her.
"I didn't know that this was the case, so I did not treat her any different from the rest of the students, Campbell said. "I just talked honestly to her and encouraged her more than anyone had before. That belief in her student led to the revealing of some amazing talent. "Her final project blew me away," Campbell said.
As the student teachers enter different schools, a unique understanding of art can be found along with
a better appreciation for teaching, Barnett said.
While teaching the fifth grade class at Greentown Elementary, she was asked a question that she never
expected from a mind so young. "I had a student ask me if all art was meaningful," she said. "It was shocking. They are thinking on
levels above what we think they do.
The student teachers said they plan to take what they learned in their previous student teaching
experiences at the new schools. Campbell said she looks forward to the new classroom and is already thinking about what to do for
lesson plans. But the hardest part has yet to come. "It was so hard to leave," Campbell said. "Some of the kids were so sad to see me go. I was sad to leave. Every one of them taught me something.