Nicole Clark '14
2012 Soar Student
Major/minor: Art Education/Spanish
Hometown: Asbury, N.J.
Project: Constructivist Art Education Theories in Practice: Summer Art Camp for Children
Project advisor: Dr. Kristin Baxter
Project details: Colleen Hait and I created a lesson plan for our week-long camp. We designed our lessons based on constructivism and social justice. Also, some of our lessons were designed to see the artistic development of children. Our camp centered on paper and book-making, but we also taught lessons on recycling, conservation, and what is fair. We wanted to teach children that art can be sustainable. The students were also encouraged to write and draw about a topic or issue that was very important to them so they can use their art for self discovery.
Why I wanted to participate in SOAR: I was first motivated to participate in SOAR when I heard about it at the president’s dinner when I was a freshman. I thought it would be a good opportunity and it would help me when I started applying for jobs. At a National Art Education Association club meeting, my advisor, Dr. Baxter, told us about an idea she had for a SOAR project. She wanted to hold a summer art camp based on constructivism and let the students curate a show for all the work that they created during the camp. I was very excited and decided to apply for a SOAR grant with Colleen.
Results: Through this project I gained a lot of teaching experience. Colleen and I taught a total of 42 hours. Unlike a field experience or helping out in an art class, we had the same students all day, everyday for a whole week. We got to know them and how they learned. Also, we learned how to redirect students if they got distracted and how to get certain students involved in lessons based on their interests. Many students only have an art class once or twice a week for 40 minutes during the school year. The students in this camp had more art in one week than most students get in an entire year of school. Every student created a wonderful and meaningful self-made and self-bound book.
Future plans: I plan on taking two years off to join the Peace Corps and volunteer in South or Central America. When I return, I want to get a job teaching art at the high school level. Then I want to teach private art lessons for teens or adults.