Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Gallery Tour for Primary 4D Pupils [Exploring Art Gallery As the 3rd Teacher]

When I first visited art galleries and/or museums, I was often in awe of the visual space and the works of art displayed. I often wondered if my interpretations and feelings towards the exhibits were the intended outcomes of the artists, and often felt at a loss on how to best appreciate the artworks. I still harbour such thoughts at times but am more ease with entering galleries and museums now, ready to respond to the artists' perspectives and comfortable with my own interpretations of the exhibits. 
Together with 4D pupils, we decided to explore the concept of the art gallery as a 3rd teacher. With no prior briefing, the pupils were encouraged to explore and observe the artworks that aroused their interest and to jot down and/or doodle their responses. My role was to observe their responses and throw in one question or two to help them explore their interest more deeply. Enjoy the documentation of 4D gallery tour :)
Some children found what interested them instantly. Others were more hesitant. Nevertheless, almost everyone found something that interests them in the gallery. Having no 'rules' to follow removed the need to accept what is 'likeable' by others. Not explaining, to me, opened up varied ways to interpret the artworks and make own discoveries. Here's the pupils driving their own learning :)
As a teacher, there was much to be learned from observing these children. I think the pupils enjoyed the gallery tour - the freedom to choose to interact with others or ponder alone; to share views with some and move on to another group to join in another discussion; to disagree; and to agree to disagree. I guess, at this juncture, not teaching is to allow pupils to learn more. Perhaps, we teachers can learn to take a step back sometimes and wait patiently for such culture of engaged learning and rich interactions to take place at the pupils' pace :)

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