July 23-25 COCAedu will host the annual Summer Institute at the University City Administrative Office. Special this year, is an in-depth exploration of Studio Habits of Mind with Jillian Hogan co-author of the new book, Studio Thinking from the Start: The K–8 Art Educator’s Handbook.
We spoke with Jillian about the new book and what educators can expect from the Studio Thinking focus at the Summer Institute.
Though many of our COCAedu teachers are utilizing Studio Habits of Mind already, there will be educators at the Summer Institute who might not be aware of just what Studio Thinking is; can you give your elevator pitch to those educators with no prior knowledge of your work?
Studio habits help us think about how artists think. It gets at the most important part of the cognitive activity that go into making art. What does an artist do? They paint, but they express their feelings and they convey a message—that’s all true. Studio habits of mind lay out and give concrete language to those processes that go on while you are making art.
The second Studio Thinking book, Studio Thinking 2: The Real Benefits of Visual Arts takes feedback and observations from educators who have been using the Studio Thinking framework in their own diverse settings; how did that take shape in further studies and this most recent publication?
So I was not part of the first editions, but they reported the findings from research conducted all in high school settings. And they were in arts-based high schools, so the arts were respected, and a great deal of their day was dedicated to them. They were looking at the best-case scenario.
This third book, Studio Thinking from the Start: the K-8 Art Educators Handbook, The first difference that it’s for elementary and middle school. Many teachers from all over have translated the high school books to their level already; we wanted a place to document the ideas that they were coming up with.
Another goal was to be more practical and more prepared for the classroom. The first book was about findings, but it was a first step in putting out this framework. This is a little more concrete for teachers in their classrooms. We include different examples for talking to kindergartners, we go into various classrooms and looks at their situations and paint a portrait of what they are doing. The same for planning; how do you do this within in different disciplines? How do educators explain this to their school board? We also talk a little bit about assessment and there is a chapter about advocacy for outside the classroom.
In settings like The Summer Institute, what do you most hope educators both new to Studio Thinking and familiar with them walk away with?
We want teachers to be hands on and have them moving and active, and we also will leave some time to think about their own situations. We have them bring lesson plans, and then map studio habits onto them.
And the first theme is that everyone walks away with what it is that artists do. It’s easy to look at the technical skill, but we think the most important thing to take away, is this idea of, “there is a whole lot more to that process that I didn’t know about.”
Even artists and musicians might not think about their work in that lens unless someone has put it forward. So Studio Thinking as a lens, once you start looks at projects in this lens, it’s kind of hard to get rid of it.
July 20th is the LAST day to register for the 2018 COCAedu Summer Institute. Learn more and register here: https://www.cocastl.org/cocaedu-summer-institute/