I have always been interested in the idea that students can be responsible for their own learning. The concept that students can engage directly with phenomena itself is something that I think is drastically important to students being able to develop authentic perspectives. Traditionally, the argument for the “core subjects” is that students need the raw mental material that math and reading provide, but science seems to suggest that children, especially younger ones, need concrete experiences to develop their thinking. This aligns perfectly with the ideas that were discussed by Phillip Yenawine. When given visuals or manipulatives, students have the opportunity to observe not only phenomena but also to observe their own perspectives.
I also love the stages that were discussed in Phillip Yenawine’s article. Moving from personal and anecdotal evidence for artistic interpretation to communal and historical evidence is an excellent analogy for children’s journey from internal and self-centered to external and other-centered.
In my classroom, I like having students draw and write interchangeably with one informing the other at differing points in the process of creation. This applies to science, social studies, and English Language Arts. I also enjoy using theater in English Language Arts as a way to help students work on expressive reading, close reading for details, tone, and purpose. By letting students “run the show,” it allows them to work on their communication and collaboration skills as well.
Watching these videos makes me want to begin to include art interpretation as a regular process in the classroom. I think the personal and communal engagement with a piece of art as phenomena will help my students to respect other students’ perspectives and foster the development of their own.