Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Looking with the Learner with Professor Robin Dash by Sadye Sagov

Sadye Sagov shares her EL experience:
"Looking with the learner was an amazing class and one of my favorites taken at Brandeis so far. For the first five weeks we had free reign in the Rose Art museum as it was prepared for the newest exhibit. Each class we were given a prompt and then explored different media both individually and as a group. No one had to be an artist we just played with art, interpreted the painting that slowly began to fill the walls, and formed a group dynamic that needed to be present for the next layer of the course. 

For the next five weeks we added the teaching practicum component. Each Monday we met sixteen students from the Stanley School and walked back to the Rose in pairs. We had the same learner every week, and although it was short, we really developed rituals and relationships. After eating hot bread with honey, donated by Iggy’s, and fresh fruit often picked from an orchard, we moved into the museum to begin our explorations of the art with our children. 

We gave the children prompts, but also allowed a lot of freedom— to discover new spaces in the museum, try new materials, interpret assignments in their own ways, in the same model that we were taught in the first weeks of class. Every week we wrote a journal reflection about our experiences as being both a teacher and a learner, the next week we were handed a detailed and receptive response almost equal in length to our own. Instead of a final paper or exam we presented our experience to the class and had a final meeting with Robin. We learned from experience not a textbook. We gained tangible knowledge that reaches far beyond this class. We developed creative problem solving that as our teacher says is “essential to both teaching and learning,” got to know our peers and professor on another level working with them rather than next to them, and explored the museum- an extension of the school that is too often ignored."











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