The theme-based and material-based units (with lessons and lesson sequences) propose a curriculum for one academic semester in an undergraduate visual arts school (for sophomore, 2nd year, or junior, 3rd year students). However the lessons could be modified and tailored to any age group developmentally. This curricular framework aims to foster collaboration (within individuals, materials and disciplines), explore networked pedagogy and networks in pedagogy as a collaborating force through and with the visual arts and explore the materiality of the code and the digital media. The course also engages with new media theory and literature, investigates the materiality of the digital media as collaborators, mediators and metaphors and reflects on how technology affects pedagogy and allows students to tailor projects according to their own interests. The course content is flexible in its approach with plenty of elbowroom. The 3rd Unit of the suggested curriculum also seeks to advocate for social justice; students cultivate perspectives about the power of digital media to address social issues, they probe into matters of social justice or injustice with the featured artists and make connections with the artistic processes and goals of the artists (listed in the lessons) to reflect on the sociopolitical context of their own art making. The students also think about networks as an abstract or tangible concept (digital, social, physical, and biological networks) and create works in an open-ended, student-centric environment that encourages critical thinking, independent decision-making and enables them to chose their own nature/ track of projects.
The following project was developed as a requirement in an Art Education preparation course at the University of Northern Colorado. The program is strong in traditional academic skill building as are many of the k-12 art programs in the area. Teacher candidates must take courses in drawing, painting, ceramics, sculpture etc.
Kris Heintz Nelson
This unit is a hybrid, combining art history, studio instruction, and visual culture and has been interwoven into a freshman foundations drawing course where students are taught observational skills, use of media and process, and introduced to the creative processes of generating ideas and developing personal inquiry. The inquiry is intended to guide students to question dominant assumptions regarding representation and how artists engage in visual research.