Rocks vs. Sucks: Follow-the-Teacher Lessons
Hey AOE Readers! We’ve noticed something interesting about the art ed world. For a group of individuals with a common goal, it’s amazing how different we really are. There are so many passionate opinions about how to deliver the best possible art education to our students. That’s why, we’re introducing a new feature for you today.
Welcome to “Rocks vs. Sucks,” articles where you can sound off on some of the most controversial topics in art ed. Over the next few Mondays, we’ll explore the ins and outs of four complicated subjects. We’re hoping that through meaningful discussion you’ll be able to refine your own thoughts about the trickiest topics in art ed.
Please note that we’re aiming to keep the discussion educated and free of judgement. We’d ask you to remember to disagree with ideas, not people! For each article, let us know if you think it “Rocks” or “Sucks” and why in the comments section. Let’s get started!
Rocks vs. Sucks #1: Follow-the-Teacher Lessons
Perhaps nothing incites more discussion than Follow-the-Teacher Lessons. You know what I mean. The bulletin board is full of 27 drawings of cats that all look the same. They may be different colors, some may have stripes and some may have spots, but they obviously came from a lesson where students were told, “Draw a circle for the head. Then add two triangles for the ears. Add a kidney bean shape for the body…and on and on.”
Follow the Teacher Lessons ROCK. Sometimes students have a hard time getting started on a project. By giving them a scripted drawing to follow along with, they become empowered artists! It is so fun to see a student exclaim, “Wow! I never thought I could draw a castle, but I can!” Follow-the-Teacher Lessons are essential to student success and often catapult students into willingly taking more risks and doing more drawing on their own.
Follow-the-Teacher Lessons SUCK. Using Follow-the-Teacher Lessons kills students’ creativity. They are boring for both the students and the teacher. The finished products may look nice, but don’t reflect true ability or skill. If you assess a Follow-the-Teacher Lesson, you are only assessing how well a student can follow directions, nothing else. These have no place in an art room!
So, what do you think!? Do Follow-the-Teacher Lessons ROCK or SUCK? Let us know in the comments below. Please remember to keep it professional!