Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Post 44 - How I arrived at my "claim"/theory... And, a mathematical representation for the issues of this-and/or-that, otherwise known, as "My DaVinci code"

Blogging my evolution as an artistic art educator - An art-based experience...

So, I stated my "claim" in the previous post, and that "claim" is the theory that I am responsible for supporting in the Literature Review (part of my paper).

So, how did I arrive finally at that "claim"? (This is the thought process "stuff" that becomes a part of my Blog Purpose and Artist Statement eventually.)

1). I started by whittling down my focus, this past Fall, which started out too broad back in the Spring of last year, to... My identification issues as an art educator,... which you already know. (Just go with me on this. I am explaining stuff to you all, so I can confidently put it into words for my paper. Although, my horoscope says something to the effect of I enjoy the experience of being uncertain... Fabulous! Just what I wanted to "hear".)

2). Next, I created a question to answer about my focus, that could inform and help me develop a clearer "claim"... Still with me?... The question I came up with was, quite simply or not,... How can I effectively discover the ways in which my identification issues effect my pedagogy, and the way I feel about my identity as an artist and teacher, as it is manifested when I make art, make crafts, take risks or not, live my life, play or not, etc...?

3). Finally, after realizing I struggled with sub-focus issues, that effected my focus issue (Artist and/or teacher), and was probably effecting my pedagogy as well, I went about brainstorming, to "ferret out" those sub-focuses.

Interestingly enough, when I did this, I discovered that many of the sub-focus issues I deal with all the time, are ones that other art educators deal with, my students deal with, artists deal with, and, really, everybody deals with sometimes. In addition, I realized that identifying my sub-focuses helped my pedagogy, in the way that I planned lessons, and my personal art making as well. For example, I struggle with risk-taking. Nobody likes to fail. I don't. My students don't. But, risk is necessary for change and growth. So, I began to take risks with my own art making (I will explain in later posts), and I began to create lessons that were even more open-ended for my students (I will share some of these in later posts too.).

OK... Here's the DaVinci code part... Math for my friend Lisa, and my sister Lisa! (What is it about that name? I wonder what percentage of math geniuses are named Lisa? Sorry, digressing...)

Anyhow, because my sub-focuses seemed to be polar opposite pairs, but I still identified with each "pole", and all the "stuff" in between, I was left with a dilemma. I am a visual creature. You all know that already. So, I was really craving a visual way to represent my sub-focus pairs, for my paper, future artwork, and possibly another tattoo (Yes, I am always considering more of them... Digressing again...). I tried arrows, but too boring. And, than it occurred to me... mathematical symbols. I love crossing over into other disciplines all the time, so why not take advantage of one discipline that has art built into it... math. (Yes, kids... Art and math ARE linked! "Too infinity, and beyond," as Buzz says... Get the joke?... I know. I'm lame. I admit it with my students all the time, and they try very hard to make me "cooler". It is just not going to happen.)

So, I searched the almighty web, and found an answer on a site called "Good Problems"...

[a, b] = The value between "a" and "b", including the endpoints.

This definition fit my needs perfectly! And, here is my focus (first), with the sub-focus list below that...

[do, teach]
[artist, crafter]
[personal, professional]
[play, restrain]
[living, life]
[risk, safety]
[breakthrough, block]

4). Thus, my "claim" evolved, to be clear enough to fuel my project's direction, and the GOAL I set for myself... To create this blog, which (remember my question above), is here to help me discover, through reflecting and sharing with all of you, how my identification issues of artist and/or teacher "inform my pedagogy and personal change".

It's a bit of a maze-like path, but I am here, and I really love the idea of sharing my adventures as both an art educator and artist with all of you... now for my project, and into the future.

One result for now is that I finally don't feel uncomfortable telling strangers what I do for a living. I used to just say, "I teach high school art". Now, I add, "... and, I am an artist, as well".

It's progress! Step-by-step... Word-by-word... Student-by-student... Artwork-by-artwork...

Safety, health, happiness, and peace... Pam

1 comment:

Lisa said...

Why not say "I'm an artist inspiring future artists via the high school classroom"?

Thanks for the mention. Math genius - can't wait to share that with my coworkers. :)