Sketchbook Self-Evaluation

For our Sketchbook Self-Evaluation, we were asked to choose one aspect of the core competencies of Creative Thinking and Social Responsibility and then to grade ourselves on a scale of 1-5.

Creative Thinking: #1 Novelty and value

According to the curriculum “Competency profile,”

Students get creative ideas that are both novel and have value. There are degrees of novelty—an idea may be new to that student or it may be new to their peers; it may be novel for their age group, or it may be novel to a larger community. It may be new in a particular context or absolutely new. The idea or product may also have value in a variety of ways and contexts—it may be fun, it may provide a sense of accomplishment, it may solve a naturally occurring problem, it may be a form of self-expression, it may provide a new perspective that influences how people think about something or the actions people take. An idea can have an impact on the individual student, classmates, a larger group of peers, in one’s community, or on a global level.

Sample “I” Statements

  • I get ideas when I play. My ideas are fun for me and make me happy.
  • I can get new ideas or build on other people’s ideas, to create new things within the constraints of a form, a problem, or materials.
  • I generate new ideas as I pursue my interests.
  • I get ideas that are new to my peers.
  • I can develop a body of creative work over time in an area I’m interested in or passionate about.

Grade: 4/5

This art class was one of the first times I felt I could “do” art. Kathleen was an incredibly instructor for my personality/learning type, because she was so approachable and provided so many opportunities for us to modify projects to better suit our sensory preference. Because of her many approaches in the class, I found myself exploring different materials much more than I ever have in art. There are certainly always ways I could improve, but I was impressed with how many ideas I was able to generate over the semester, and was happy with my final collection of works (my digital sketchbook).

Social Responsibility: #4 Building relationships.

According to the curriculum “Competency profile,”

Students develop and maintain diverse, positive peer and intergenerational relationships in a variety of contexts.

Sample “I” Statements

  • With some support, I can be part of a group.
  • I am kind to others, can work or play co-operatively, and can build relationships with people of my choosing.
  • I can identify when others need support and provide it.
  • I am aware of how others may feel and take steps to help them feel included.
  • I build and sustain positive relationships with diverse people, including people from different generations.

Grade: 5/5

I’ve been amazed at the relationships I’ve built throughout my PDPP Program. It’s been so encouraging to spend my days with passionate people who are honestly striving to become the very best teacher they can be. Because of the many opportunities we had to work in groups and side-by-side, Art class was an ideal space to build those relationships. I gave myself a 5/5 on building relationships because I am a very relational person and love investing in my peers.

Holistic Art Experiences: Reflection

We began our first art class activity by reading The Dot by Peter Reynolds. Reynolds’ story follows Vashti, a young girl who doesn’t think she’s artistic, but is encouraged to explore her own creative angle by a teacher who refuses to doubt her creative ability. 

Using this story as a prompt, our art instructor encouraged us to break into small groups to experiment with a variety of materials on a large piece of paper. Afterwards we brought our posters to the middle of the room and offered a few “non-judgemental critiques” of the other groups.

My group’s collaborative effort.

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For the second half of our activity, we were encouraged to create our own individual pieces using smaller pieces of paper.

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This was also followed by “non-judgemental critiques”. For this reflection, we were encouraged to consider if this type of activity could be considered a “holistic arts experience”.

I appreciated the instructor’s choice to begin the activity with a prompt (The Dot). This helped to remove the pressure and stress of a completely unguided activity, but still allowed us considerably freedom in our creative choices. I also appreciated the intentional nature of a non-judgemental critique. Rather than ranking artwork according to an often arbitrary ranking system, this approach targets key elements that were done well (colour use, spacing, form, etc). This could really help students remain emotional engaged with the artistic world (unlike those of us who dropped out early because we were never “good”), while also challenging their knowledge of key elements of the artistic method. Physically, the open-ended objective allowed us to move about the classroom and engage in a type of art more compatible with our learning method (for example: I crumpled up my paper to make a 3D shape, since I’ve never really enjoyed drawing, or artistic forms that require small, neat detail). I could easily see this kind of activity fitting into current elementary education practices, while also producing a more holistic learning experience than some classes currently provide.