Initial Findings from ThinkTank II

ThinkTank II, an initiative of Foundations in Art: Theory and Education (FATE), met May 22-24 at the University of Georgia. Thirty- two higher education professors in foundations and art education attended the invitational workshop. Participants addressed two major issues.

1. How can undergraduates entering the visual arts major be prepared for understanding art as a process of analysis and inquiry?

2. How can the graduate students and adjunct teachers who teach the majority of Foundations courses be better prepared for teaching these core skills?

To address these issues, working groups formed around each theme. Jim Elniski facilitated Critical Theory. Mary Stewart facilitated Critical Thinking. Carole Henry and Renee Sandell facilitated Critique.

Besides developing ideas and approaches for curriculum, each group found that the intellectual skills it identified were by no means proprietary to the visual arts. The habits of mind and forms of analysis developed in each of the 3 C’s are arguably broad general skills for the 21st century workplace. From this point of view, teaching art is more than teaching art. Thus, the potential audience for Foundations courses extends far beyond the visual arts major.

Mary Stewart will be posting more detailed notes as they become available, as well as future ThinkTank events.