Current Practices (Context of Inquiry)

Reviewing my current practices, my grade 11 visual arts students have made limited use of the internet, mostly to conduct research of artists and to find examples of painting which might be used as inspiration for their own art work. I have also posted student work to a web-site so that they can share it with families and friends, being careful not to use full names, however as a static gallery, there has been not opportunity for feedback.

Art analysis and art history assignments usually involve a one-on-one process where the student records her critique or information using traditional pen and paper methods or presents the information verbally. One additional option has also been offered, where a student can create a painting “in the style of” an artist of the period being studied, along with a written explanation of how they captured the critical features of the artist’s work

In looking at the current course expectations (Appendix C) I have identified areas in which I have difficulty in motivating students with learning differences, from behavioural problems to giftedness. These expectations include the areas of visual arts literacy, art history and culture, planning and documenting their work, critiquing their own work and that of other artists, and evaluating post-secondary options and careers. In fact, most areas of my curriculum can be considered for differentiated instruction and assessment, in this case, using the tools of Web 2.0

  • explain how the application of the elements and principles of design supports the concepts and ideas expressed in their own work and work of others
  • identify and describe materials, techniques, and stylistic qualities in their own work and that of others
  • use appropriate terminology
  • identify style, content, and technique in the art works studied, and speculate on each artist’s intent.
  • document their creative process by including in their portfolios evidence of the research and resources they used, as well as their rough sketches, plans, revisions, and final art works;
  • identify the most appropriate works to include in their presentation portfolios.
  • evaluate works of art orally and in writing, following standard procedures in critical analysis
  • explain the effect of social, political, economic, and other influences, including their personal beliefs and experiences, on their own art works;
  • explain the significance of the symbolic and conceptual aspects of their works;
  • explain how moods, feelings, and ideas are used in both the creation and the evaluation of art works;
  • explain how aspects of specific works of art make them visually dynamic and thought provoking;
  • describe arts programs in various postsecondary institutions;
  • identify requirements for careers in visual arts and in fields related to visual arts that particularly interest them, through an analysis of various career possibilities.
    The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 11 and 12: The Arts, 2000


In addition to these specific curricular expectations, I would like to instill more confidence in their ability to express opinions about art and a greater appreciation for the art around them. I would also like to see my students feel more freedom to take risks in their art making, which, in part, can be done by allowing them to access and assess the work of a variety of artists.

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