As the link between K-12 art education and higher ed, first year foundation studies provide an important opportunity to reflect on both. My first teaching job as a Yale MFA was Foundations Coordinator at the University of Wisconsin in Oshkosh, and more recently at Pratt Institute, I have remained interested and engaged in foundation studies. I am currently involved in a collaborative research project between the Foundations Drawing program at Pratt Insititute and and a team of cognitive psychologists from Brooklyn College and the UK.
Our questions are:
What do we really teach when we teach drawing, and how can we know?
Are our students actually gaining skills and knowledge they can apply in other arenas?
Can they use the perceptual skills developed in our classrooms in the wider world?
Will a greater sense of 2 and 3D spatial awareness help them more effectively visualize and communicate their ideas to others?
Are we helping them learn to use analogic reasoning to come up with inventive solutions to problems outside foundation classrooms?
What do we teach well and what do we think we are teaching, but our students are not really learning?.
For more information on this research project, please email me.