Searching for the Truth

Continuing my thoughts and writing about fake news, fake web pages, teaching search skills, and ultimately, trying to find the Truth of a matter, this post brings together for your consideration two web articles which are not new, but which work well together. The first is Why Students Can't Google their Way to the Truth, by Sam Wineburg and Sarah McGrew, published 1 November 2016.  The authors describe their research at Stamford University: "Over the past 18 months, we administered assessments that ...

Good Practice – Carrying out a lab

Here is an idea I got from a colleague of mine recently for a novel way of getting your students to plan a lab investigation. It is a model that could be rolled back and used in a variety of labs and it is very straightforward to do. Essentially, you give the students a task (for example, testing for halides) and then give the students a framework in which they can plan their own personal investigation. For example, you give them ...

Gallery Visits

PLEASE visit art exhibitions – not just because it’s a great experience but because it could improve your grade! I recently visited the Tate Modern and the Tate Britain Galleries in London. Of course, many schools are nowhere near a big city and/or a large, prestigious and internationally acclaimed gallery. For eight years I taught art in a school situated on the lower slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro – the excellent and unique International School Moshi – and we visited small local galleries or ...

The NEW visual arts course

  In my last blog I made some mention of the new DP visual arts course and suggested the 'top 4' differences between the current and the new course, but it’s probably about time to start talking about it in a bit more detail. Hopefully quite a few of you will already have participated in a workshop, either online or face-to-face. IB Diploma Programme subjects usually have a seven year lifespan. The current visual arts course (started in 2009) still obviously has ...

THE VISUAL ARTS UPLOAD – FINAL REMINDERS!

Its less than three weeks before the deadline for all files to be uploaded (20 April)! REMINDERS PHOTOGRAPHING STUDIO WORK Photographs or videos of the studio work should be clear, reflect the work appropriately and be sized to fill a standard computer monitor screen at 100% zoom. For an especially large or detailed piece, separate close-up shots can be included in a later slot to detail further aspects of the piece. VIDEO No sound/music please! If submitting video, remember the emphasis on VISUAL arts. The ...

Visual arts examiner training and qualification (…and the introduction video)

A couple of weeks ago I travelled through the Spring sunshine to the hallowed halls of the IB Assessment Centre (Cardiff, Wales). The Subject Manager for visual arts met me there. The purpose of my visit was to film a video for examiners, so we spent the morning discussing, amending and finalizing the things that would be said. Although of course examiners have been going through a pre-examination qualification process for years, this is the first examiner qualification video, and all examiners ...

Say YES to discrimination!

Discrimination IS great - and the more people discriminate, the better! I have regular discussions with my grade 12 IBDP visual arts students about a variety of issues, and the other day I said how important it is to be able to discriminate, that discrimination involves some higher level thinking skills and for artists was a key skill. There was a moment of shock, then one of them said, “you can’t be serious. Discrimination is a terrible thing. It starts arguments, fights ...

Back to School!

So how was your summer? If you are about to start your 1st DP visual arts year, congratulations! You are riding the new wave of visual arts, first to take the new course! Hopefully your teacher has attended a workshop to get him/her up to scratch with all the changes, but either way you are breaking new visual arts ground. As I’m sure you will learn, there are three components, but the holistic nature if the course means that you will probably ...

COMPARING OLD AND NEW: 14 DIFFERENCES (part 1: today’s blog – the top 7)

In my last post, I wrote about the similarities between the old/current visual arts course and the new one starting any day now. You can find the post here.   However, there are also significant differences, so here I will discuss some of these. I have listed my first seven here. Some are obvious but others may not be. I am lining up another set of differences between the current and the new course for a future blog post. Stay tuned!   DIFFERENCES BETWEEN OLD/CURRENT AND NEW ...

COMPARING OLD AND NEW: SIMILARITIES (Visual Arts courses)

In my last post, (Are you ready for the new visual arts course?)  I encouraged teachers to attend a visual arts workshop to learn all about the new course - which many (including me) will be teaching next month. For those new to the DP a comparison with the old (but still current) course may have no relevance, but if you have been and are teaching the ‘2009 onwards’ course, it may be useful to note similarities/differences. Here I am going to ...