Professional development can be as beneficial for presenters as it is for participants. A few years ago I was invited by a district visual art coordinator to be a presenter during the art teacher professional development day. My topic was meant to encourage art teachers to explore contemporary artists and methods with their students and avoid formulaic, cookie-cutter, recipe-type assignment, otherwise known as the "school art style," a term coined by art educator Arthur Efland in the 1970s. It was at this event that another presenter struck up a conversation and he mentioned the work of Alfie Kohn. If you haven't heard of Alfie Kohn and you're reading this, then you should probably look into his work. He's something of a maverick in the education world, a critic of many widely-accepted traditional practices in education, and advocating for reforms like eliminating grades and homework. His work has been a great inspiration for going gradeless and my teaching in general. Below is a short video where Mr. Kohn discusses "Why grades shouldn't exist." Enjoy!
I'll mostly be blogging about my experience teaching pre-service teachers about creativity and artmaking. I teach a class called Art Curriculum & Concepts for Teachers where future classroom teachers learn about visual art-integration. Among other things, I'm attempting to "Go Gradeless" while also experimenting with a hybrid in-person / online curriculum.