Melissa Purtee wrote a post that intrigued me because of her willingness to discuss a topic that challenges some educators. The connections formed between motivation, behaviour and cognition were brilliant. Many times, students possess a level of motivation that allows them to progress through tasks, but it isn’t always this easy. What I appreciate most is her development of a framework for Design Process Thinking:
There are two main reasons why I am grateful for Melissa’s post: 1) Any time we scaffold the steps required to succeed, we know that our students’ best interests are our priority, and 2) A framework is a handy assessment tool which may help us identify where students need help. If, for some reason, a student appears unmotivated (such as Emma, the student whose story is told in Melissa’s post), it may simply be that they need extra help in one stage of the Design Process.
I would love to see another diagram: one that specializes on each step of DPT and provides even more scaffolding. I believe this could help many educators provide open-ended learning opportunities for their students.
In the next task that is planned for my senior art class, I want to spend time breaking down each step of the Design Process (which, thankfully, is quite similar to the Creative Process, available in the Ontario Curriculum for Visual Arts). The image above is meant to address the Inspiration stage of the Design Process. Here, I begin by introducing the topic that will help guide our thinking throughout our task. I ask questions that will spark discussions in class, or will serve to prompt new explorations for students who hadn’t considered these ideas before.
I’m interested to hear from other art educators. What kind of framework do you use in your classrooms? Which models help your students the most? Do you have any suggestions or tips that you would like to share?