Studio Thinking in Practice

Focused on contemporary Arts Education theory, a set of ENGAGE at CCA classes is working together to put studio thinking to practice.

A group of five, these classes are using Studio Thinking as a point of departure as they partner with different schools and community organizations working with youth, in Oakland and San Francisco. One element in particular that the faculty and students are focusing on while they develop curriculum, and collaborative art based programs with their community partners is Studio Thinking. In essence this is a pedagogical framework developed by Harvard's Project Zero. Studio Habits of Mind articulates eight different cognitive habits associated with the creative process. Along with the Alameda County Office of Education(ACOE) the center partnered with the Project Zero during their developmental research for the Studio Thinking Project lead by principle investigators Dr. Lois Hetland and Dr. Ellen Winner. Ann Wettrich, codirector of the center describes the current stage of our involvement ENGAGE at CCA: Studio Thinking In Practice as "generating innovative models for teaching and learning in and through the arts".

Happening this Spring semester, a cohort of faculty are documenting their process as they work with topics such as "How can artists best serve their communities?", "Using Studio Habits of Mind to think about teaching" and "Creating self aware citizens". A part of the project which links the faculty and classes is a peer to peer based blog: Studio Thinking in Practice, written and hosted by Tana Johnson. The blog will have upcoming guest bloggers Dr. Lois Hetland from Project Zero/Massachusetts College of Art and Design and Dr. Dave Donahue from Mills College. Ideas and information are shared, such as resources for developing culturally responsive pedagogy. This list comes from Tana Johnson and Virginia Jardim:

  • The Olivia Gude article on Color Lines from the Teaching Tolerance site is an excellent read.
  • Teaching Tolerance: Amazing resource for culturally responsive pedagogy and tools for teaching in a racially diverse classroom.
  • Harvard Project Zero’s Visible Thinking site provides resources for creating a culture of thinking in the classroom. Look at the Thinking Routines for short, guided discussions that your students can do together.
  • Minnesota Public Schools site offers wonderful tools to help you plan your teaching using Artful Backwards Planner and Teaching for Understanding frameworks, as well as assess student learning using Studio Habits of Mind.
  • Art Is Education site that highlights the 10-year anniversary of Alameda County’s Art Is Education work. Please note that Amana’s Art Esteem Self as Super Hero is featured as well as Peralta Elementary where Trena is artist in residence.

Participating are Amiee Phan's class with partner 826 Valencia as they work together on the 826 Valencia Book Project. Virginia Jardim teaches her continuing Athena Project, with Friends of Peralta Hacienda Historical Park. Lauren Elder's Home Grown: Art and the Environment is paired with San Francisco's Mission High School. Amana Harris, also director of ArtEsteem, teaches her class in a community-based organization setting, Attitudinal Healing Connection of Oakland. Trena Noval teaches Art Education Teaching Practices while partnered with and working in Emery Secondary School.