Art class Observation

Adrian Worsfold
19 October 2000
13:15 - 15:15
Observation of Art Lecturer


Underpinning knowledge.
Reviewing learning development. Evaluating resulting development.

This is a teacher who has known some of his students there for up to fifteen years, and he has a very good knowledge of their abilities and interests. So one aspect that comes through very strongly is the relationship he has with the students, which often includes a lot of "off topic" conversation. This reflects the age of the students, all but two being of retirement age in a leisure based class, the pace of work done varying according to personal preference and, in some case, socialising. So it is important to develop a good rapport and to know the "entry level" of students to any lesson. These two aspects are demonstrated to go together and so it is something I would want to develop in tandem. I also noticed the level of stretching in the complication offered in the still life and in the life drawing, in which he was the sitter. He also was not unafraid to have a go at assisting someone's painting, something that comes with prior knowledge of its acceptability (not something I would accept myself, for example).

This is an example of leisure course teaching. It is informal and assessment is light, yet there. The teacher makes interventions and gives advice, and the advice is always based on the existing ability ("entry level") of the student. Whilst the student remains free to choose what to do, the still life was a little more difficult than the previous week as was the use of himself to provide a live portrait resource. I noted the use of a friendly atmosphere, as is usual. He discussed with me that there is always a lesson plan, but that in creative classes this can easily be put to one side as something crops up that the student brings to the class. It is an example of where the affective meets the psychomotor (categories which diminish the act of creating art, I feel).

Further reflection.
For example, own experiences.

He has been my mother's tutor for six years and I went along this year as numbers had reduced and the class might not have run. So I was accepted there as a student. I think some of the relationship he has built with students I began to see with about three or four people in the Research Methods teaching I did after quite a number of one to one sessions with their planning, where their confidence in the teacher's advice grows. In the art class they need confidence in your own ability, and through developing a relationship the ability to communicate learning grows.

Adrian Worsfold