MAKING ART HISTORY COURSES MORE INTERACTIVE
Columbia College Chicago - Art Institute of Chicago (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2009 Proceedings
Publication year: 2009
Conference name: 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2009
Location: Madrid, Spain
Abstract:Teaching Art History survey courses has always been a challenging task for instructors. Not only is it necessary to cover more than 32, 000 years of human creativity and artistic production in various regions and civilizations, but you must also make this an exciting and intellectually stimulating experience for young undergraduate students. Since January 2008, I had the opportunity to teach Art History survey courses in two major art colleges in Chicago (Columbia College Chicago and the Art Institute of Chicago) to more than five hundred students in ten sections. During this period, I developed a series of interactive projects in order to make these courses more appealing to art students. In this paper, I would like to discuss these projects which include:
• Group Projects that require students prepare monuments and statues for their favorite heroes (dead or alive, real or fictional) with some direct references to ancient artworks discussed in class.
• Construction of models in class using simple materials and techniques to demonstrate ancient building methods and some major monuments of antiquity
(for example, making simple models of Pantheon and Hagia Sophia using fruit).
• In class discussions of contemporary topics of archaeology (such as Elgin Marbles or the loot of Baghdad Museum) focusing on the importance of preservation and international awareness.
• A series of games developed to review the presented material and encourage social interaction in class.
My oral presentation will incorporate various photographs of student projects, my models and demonstrations, and student presentations and discussions (in Power Point format). I will also present students’ reactions to these activities. This presentation, I hope, will encourage my colleagues in Art History and other fields to adopt similar projects in order to make foundation courses of undergraduate education more interactive and exciting.
Keywords: art history, architecture, teaching, survey courses, active learning.