While some students do well with very structured requirements for each class and each project, I'm definitely finding that the majority of my students are flourishing more (and getting more excited... and more cooperative) when they have the ability to set their own goals and design their own projects.
For any art teachers reading this: Here's a good article from The Art of Education about the "Choice-Based Spectrum" of art ed: http://www.theartofed.com/2014/12/19/where-are-you-on-the-choice-spectrum/
But THIS is what I really want to share:
Tall Painting - artist Holton Rower
I discovered Tall Painting while researching Process Art for my Advanced Art class. One particular student in my first-year art class seemed to need some inspiration for his "Free Choice" project, so I showed him the above video. He set about searching for advice and materials to build his own "hat" (as the structures are called) and diluting paint so that he could pour it.
|A tall painting by Mike S. in progress|
|fresh, wet paint layers|
And check out the variety of projects created during Art IV's Fauvism unit after introducing CBA:
|Students working in a variety of media during a Choice-Based unit|
|The 10 images with green and purple borders along the top were chosen by students as examples of Fauvism they liked best.|