Educating the Educator
A report from the field by Debi Germann, LW's Director of Education
|4th grade students from P.S. 163 observing and sketching local architecture.|
On three Thursdays in January, I participated in a course at the Frick Collection, "On An Experience Of A Work Of Art," led by Rika Burnham, Head of Education at the Frick and noted leader in the field of museum education.
Guided by philosopher John Dewey's theory of "an experience," where one feels a sense of fulfillment after observing, discussing, and learning about a work of art, Ms. Burnham led over twenty educators and art enthusiasts through after-hours workshops at the Frick Collection.
|Self-portrait of the artist Rembrandt,|
via About.com Art History.
Although studying art is mostly an interpretive process, and looking at architecture is more black-and-white, the two can be taught in a remarkably similar manner. Observation, discussion, and the distribution of information are three important elements to having "an experience." This process is one that we use to bring the study of preservation to students through Keeping the Past for the Future.
By observing, sketching, and getting information about local architecture, students come away with a better sense of their own neighborhood. They can look at the Ansonia the same way they look at a Rembrandt!