She explained that they would be making winter ornaments out of pine cones - “to hang in your house, in your room, maybe on a tree.” She explained the process wherein the students would receive a pine cone and would first paint the pine cone. After painting it, they would be allowed to add glitter, feathers, fuzzy balls and a number of other accessories that she had collected.
The teacher's view of artistic expression was first evident when a student raised her hand and asked, “What color should we paint it?” The teacher replied that the girl could use any color she wanted. When the student asked if she could use more than one color, the teacher said yes to that as well, “as long as you put one paint back before opening another one.” It seemed that the teacher viewed herself primarily as a facilitator and provider of materials, and that she wanted the students to make their own artistic choices.
She called for her two “helpers” to pass out pine cones. There were two long tables in the room, each made up of three smaller folding tables. Each of the smaller table received three pots of paint; the teacher reminded the students that they could “borrow” paint that wasn't being used, but should remain sitting and ask for it to be passed if they had a wet pine cone in their hands. The students went right to work. Many of them announced their choices enthusaistically and loudly, calling “I'm doing mine green!” or “Mine's gonna be rainbow!” The teacher smiled and responded encouragingly to these decisions, suggesting a commitment to encouraging students' creative choices. ...Show more