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August 3, 2016

Visual Arts CPD review - by Muinteoir Valerie

I chose to do three summer courses this summer. It was a lot, and I am still not finished them! My first course was ‘Visual Arts-The Visual Arts Curriculum in Action’. The main reason I chose this course was because of the tutor, I had him in college for music and he was brilliant! I loved his on-sites and just really liked him, so I said I would give this a whirl! Also, you can never have too many art ideas! I went into the course thinking ‘I am quite good at teaching art and always have nice lessons so I don’t need to learn a whole lot’, what an awful attitude to have, I know! Anyway, I was sorely mistaken as I actually learned a lot. You know when you do some courses and they just drag on and you feel like you will never finish it? This course was not like that! I enjoyed each of the presentations and the forums too.

I’ll give a brief overview in case you are trying to choose a course.

The objectives of this course are to:

  • Critically examine practice in relation to the key messages of the curriculum
  • Suggest practical solutions to the difficulties currently encountered in teaching the visual arts
  • Outline strategies for the design of age-appropriate, process-orientated visual arts experiences for all class levels in each of the six strands of the Visual Arts curriculum
  • Outline a practical approach to the teaching of, looking at and responding to art strand unit of the curriculum
  • Examine approaches for the design of a school plan and theme-based classroom plans for visual arts
  • Explain how both linkage and integration apply to the Visual Arts curriculum
  • Evaluate assessment tools that can be used to assess work in the visual arts

I think, well I hope I achieved all the above objectives. I wrote down many ideas which I hope to use in art, which is a good sign!

The course explored all strands of the curriculum and included a wide range of process-orientated activities for all class levels and approaches to looking at and responding to art. I also learned about planning at school and classroom level, designing thematic units of work, and evaluating and assessing visual arts work in schools. That is quite an amount of learning! I loved how the course showed pictures of real art work from real students, and showed that art should never be perfect and uniform, it is all about creativity and celebrating the uniqueness of the child and their art work.

The overall lesson headings are as follows, though each lesson has several sub headings and a quiz at the end of each section.

Lesson One: What is the Problem with Art?

Lesson Two: 2D Art

Lesson Three: 3D art

Lesson four: Looking and Responding to Art

To successfully complete this course, you need to read/watch all the presentations, complete the activities, and post two posts to the forums, one to respond to someone else’s post and another post of your own. The course is very doable, and didn’t take me long to get through. I did enjoy it, and I got a lot of new ideas from it, particularly for using clay and fabric and fibre in art.

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