The start of the new school year looms…

For many of us, the start of the new school year looms, and one of the many questions art teachers might ask is how to stimulate and excite those new art students as they launch into their two year Diploma visual arts programme.

There are, of course a variety of answers, and to a large extent they might depend on whether the students have ever held a paintbrush or written anything about art before. My school has no entry level pre-requisites, so my first task is working out how far back to basics I need to go with some students.

An introduction module is also a good idea, setting up the framework and your expectations, and making sure that students know things like the course objectives, the assessment descriptors and the unique method of final assessment – for most schools this involves a visit from an external examiner who will interview the student, primarily talking about the studio work (option A) or the investigation (option B).

For first time or less experienced teachers, the Online Curriculum Centre
http://occ.ibo.org/ibis/occ/home/subjectHome.cfm?subject=visar&CFID=181627&CFTOKEN=92650669&jsessionid=bc302b42896bdbe986df20527868189632e3
can be a life saver – or at least a time-saver.
There they can find useful correspondence in the  forum, the teacher-resource exchange, ‘official’ course and IBDP documentation and examples of assessed work (teacher support material).

There is also the virtual gallery
http://web1.ibo.org.uk/gallery/index.cfm?lang=ENG
containing a huge range of IBDP student artwork.

If you are less experienced about the course and keen to get off to a good start, please visit and familiarize yourself with these resources.

There are also WORKSHOPS. There are approximately 18 visual arts workshops being offered in all parts of the world  (and including online) between now and July 2011.

For example, there will be a 6-week ONLINE level 1 visual arts workshop starting September 27th
http://onlineworkshops.ibo.org/workshop/diploma-programme/group-6-arts/visual-arts/introduction-teaching-ib-dp-visual-arts
and a face-to-face workshop in St. Clare’s College Oxford (UK) starting on October 26th
http://www.ibo.org/events/172stcl10/

If you are interested, and if you have not recently attended a workshop either face-to-face or online, please visit the “Workshops and Conferences” page of the IBO website and see if the venues and dates work for you!
http://www.ibo.org/events/index.cfm

Good luck to those of you who are now in the process of starting to think about the new school year!

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