Teacher Professional Development: Visual Culture and Visual Arts in ECE

Art galleries are a great resource for young learners, but often teachers can feel quite daunted at the prospect of visiting them! One of our goals in Te Papa Education is to build teacher knowledge, skill, and confidence in engaging and responding to art with young children, and so, on Saturday 1st March, we held our first ECE Professional Development session. This was led by the wonderful Lisa Terreni, Visual Arts specialist and Senior Lecturer at Victoria University.

We started our morning by taking a line for a walk, experimenting with three different types of media: pencils, vivid markers, and charcoal. We used ‘line’ words to describe our work, such as wavy, broken, zig zag, thick, thin and cross hatching. Every journey was quite different. This was followed by a very interesting theory lecture by Lisa.

Classroom setup, Photographer: Te Papa and Lisa Terreni,  © Te Papa and Lisa Terreni

Classroom setup, Photographer: Te Papa and Lisa Terreni, © Te Papa and Lisa Terreni

Art media, Photographer: Te Papa and Lisa Terreni,  © Te Papa and Lisa Terreni

Art media, Photographer: Te Papa and Lisa Terreni, © Te Papa and Lisa Terreni

We moved upstairs to Nga Toi | Arts Te Papa on Level 5, where Lisa led us in a guided exercise with Colin McCahon’s Walk (Series C), 1973 . We had a good look at the artwork and walked it’s length. We imagined we were inside the painting – asking what did we see, hear, smell, taste and touch? We talked about the limited palette the artist had used in his work.  We even made up a story that spanned the 14 panels of the work!

Looking closely at Walk (Series C), Photographer: Te Papa and Lisa Terreni,  © Te Papa and Lisa Terreni

Looking closely at Walk (Series C), Photographer: Te Papa and Lisa Terreni, © Te Papa and Lisa Terreni

Jumping into the painting, Photographer: Te Papa and Lisa Terreni,  © Te Papa and Lisa Terreni

Jumping into the painting, Photographer: Te Papa and Lisa Terreni, © Te Papa and Lisa Terreni

Inside the painting, Photographer: Te Papa and Lisa Terreni,  © Te Papa and Lisa Terreni

Inside the painting, Photographer: Te Papa and Lisa Terreni, © Te Papa and Lisa Terreni

Telling a story, Photographer: Te Papa and Lisa Terreni,  © Te Papa and Lisa Terreni

Telling a story, Photographer: Te Papa and Lisa Terreni, © Te Papa and Lisa Terreni

 

We applied what had learnt through group work in the This is Trekka and The WOW Factor exhibitions. Teachers came up with some excellent ideas for pre-visit and post-visit activities relating to both these exhibitions. Screen printing onto cardboard boxes, having a mobilo exhibition, and making felt were among some of my favourites.

Group work with This is Trekka, Photographer: Te Papa and Lisa Terreni,  © Te Papa and Lisa Terreni

Group work with This is Trekka, Photographer: Te Papa and Lisa Terreni, © Te Papa and Lisa Terreni

Finding our reflection in the wheels, Photographer: Te Papa and Lisa Terreni,  © Te Papa and Lisa Terreni

Finding our reflection in the wheels, Photographer: Te Papa and Lisa Terreni, © Te Papa and Lisa Terreni

Ideas inside the bonnet, Photographer: Te Papa and Lisa Terreni,  © Te Papa and Lisa Terreni

Ideas inside the bonnet, Photographer: Te Papa and Lisa Terreni, © Te Papa and Lisa Terreni

Designing in The WOW Factor, Photographer: Te Papa and Lisa Terreni,  © Te Papa and Lisa Terreni

Designing in The WOW Factor, Photographer: Te Papa and Lisa Terreni, © Te Papa and Lisa Terreni

Back in the classroom, we created our own art responses to Walk (Series C) using a range of black and white media, including paint, chalk and crayon.

Art responses, Photographer: Te Papa and Lisa Terreni,  © Te Papa and Lisa Terreni

Art responses, Photographer: Te Papa and Lisa Terreni, © Te Papa and Lisa Terreni

Art responses, Photographer: Te Papa and Lisa Terreni,  © Te Papa and Lisa Terreni

Art responses, Photographer: Te Papa and Lisa Terreni, © Te Papa and Lisa Terreni

Art responses, Photographer: Te Papa and Lisa Terreni,  © Te Papa and Lisa Terreni

Art responses, Photographer: Te Papa and Lisa Terreni, © Te Papa and Lisa Terreni

When we had finished we lined the art works up down the centre of the room and made one long piece. It was so long we captured it by video!

It was a wonderful experience for all with a lot of valuable learning. Thank you to all of our participants – I look forward to seeing you and your tamariki (children) in the galleries soon!

Our next Visual Culture and Visual Arts session is fully booked too, but we still have places in our Early Years Matariki PD session on the 10th of May.

6 Responses

  1. Karen Hudson

    I thoroughly recommend this workshop.

    Lisa is so enthusiastic about the topic and has a wealth of knowledge to share. The theory lecture was so interesting.

    Even though I have seen them before, spending time “inside” the Colin McCahon painting and the immersion in the wearable arts were really informative. I could of stayed all day and as a group we all agreed we wanted more.

    Thumbs up to Rebecca for being a great hostess and putting together such great resources for us to take away and to Te Papa for putting on such a delicious kai.

    Reply
  2. Christa Napier-Robertson

    Hi Rebecca and Lisa,
    Thanks so much for generously sharing your practice here! Wonderful to see the ways Te Papa is working with the ECE community on collectively developing rich learning opportunities with and through the Visual Arts – this looks like a really exciting day.
    Cheers,
    Christa Napier-Robertson (Auckland Art Gallery)

    Reply
    • Rebecca Browne

      Hi Christa

      It was such an inspiration coming to visit Auckland Art Gallery last year and observing your educators with young learners. I hope to come visit again soon!

      Rebecca

  3. Rebecca Browne

    I received this feedback by email today:

    From attending the Teacher Professional Development: Visual Culture and Visual Arts in ECE session lead by Lisa Terreni, I started to review my own art teaching practice. In particular the point that creating art is not the whole learning process but getting children to talk about their art is of equal if not more importance. I had attempted before to get children to discuss their artwork but often found getting the right questions to provoke thoughtful responses difficult. The development session delved into this giving insightful ways to ask children deeper questions which I trialed that afternoon in my Saturday art class. One boy brought in a drawing he had done at home. I asked him questions about why he had chosen different marks, the story behind his picture and how that affected his decision to place items in different areas and finally trying to get other children to ask him questions in the class so it became a class discussion.

    Another point I took away was not being shy to interact with children and artworks in a gallery context and how theatre and story telling can aid this experience. Since then I have taken children from the classroom into the gallery and looked at portraiture trying to make the same facial expressions and postures as people in the portraits! It was heaps of fun and lead to a lot of discussion on how they were feeling, what they were doing and why they were painted this way.

    Thank you for the opportunity of attending this workshop,
    Esme Hanton

    Reply

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