The Art Institute of Houston
The most accomplished and interesting people I know are life-long learners. Kaye Arnold , Instructor , The Art Institute of Houston
Since I teach a traditional academic discipline—history—and have also held many positions other than classroom teaching in public education, I consider my field professional education. Like all career areas there are fundamentals in education, but there are also multiple opportunities to express creativity. When I first entered the field of gifted and talented education, I began to learn how significant a role creativity can play in curriculum and instruction.
How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience to provide an industry veteran's sense of the realities / challenges / opportunities of the profession?
I relate the history content to the present and challenge my students to become more interested in the present by keeping up with events. I also emphasize that understanding the past will help them to understand the present and, regardless of their goals and future plans, their lives will be impacted by larger events beyond their personal experiences.
Is there a class assignment that exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring? Similarly, how does your approach inspire each student to push themselves beyond their own perceived limits?
My students are challenged to become the teacher by presenting a proposal for a museum exhibit on a historical subject. This assignment requires research, visual designing, writing, and oral presentation skills. The general skill they have to demonstrate is planning over a period of time, which may be the greatest challenge of all.
What role does collaboration contribute to students' success, especially when students from other programs contribute to the same project?
There are classroom discussions that allow an exchange of ideas, occasional problem-solving of historical questions in small groups, and the opportunity to work in pairs on their museum projects.
In your opinion, what is the single most important thing you impart to your students to help them succeed in your class and in the real world? Alternatively, what is the most critical advice you would offer any student as he / she embarks on a creative career?
In my class, students who demonstrate a commitment to clear goals, reflecting high standards, and a willingness to complete whatever work is necessary to reach those goals will succeed, and this is just as true in their careers.
Is there anything else you'd like us to know about you, your experience, or your role as a faculty member at The Art Institutes?
Never believe that you have nothing else to learn in your career. The most accomplished and interesting people I know are life-long learners.