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Last week my class focused on thinking about art education as a tool for play and exploring identity (Gude, 2007). Artist Abraham Cruzvillegas discussed the relationship between identity and objects, by asking: how can art making activate the dynamics of autoconstruction (building self). As we wrapped up this week and move into the next I've asked my pre-service students to consider the following questions:

  • How can kids use the materials of their lives to be active participants in it?

  • What can art do to help kids connect, activate, and engage their learning about self?

  • How are the places we inhabit reflections of who we are?

Some of the lessons that they came up with around play and identity are featured in the gallery below! Just click what looks interesting and start exploring with your kids!

Our next weekly module begins to unpack how the art classroom can become a place for both investigating community and living attentively (Gude, 2007).  As we begin to shift our thinking towards the potential for art education to do the work of community awareness and attentive living, I want to remember that learning should:

  • find ways to use play for kids to entertain themselves and not just be entertained by activities

  • recognize that kids lives are important enough to be remembered

  • centralize the role of imagination, memory, and identity formation

  • document the lives of students by recognizing the inherent value in their activities and ideas

  • increase access to knowing and understanding the world

  • help kids activate the dynamics of building themselves

  • recognize that identity is not static, it is constantly changing in response to our lives

I hope you are all finding ways to embrace the beginning of summer and begin doing the exciting work of #catchingsummermemories

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