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2015 NAEA National Convention

This year MAT faculty and teacher candidates with BFAs in design fields were invited to offer workshops at the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD) sponsored Live Learning Lab. As the NAEA conference theme suggests, the importance of teaching design extends beyond the specific content of any given field. Our program’s motto, “We teach for possibilities,”  expresses the fact that design thinking prepares people to creatively face the unimaginable challenges of tomorrow.

Below you’ll find a short overview essay about the importance of design in visual art education as well as lessons plans that involve the designed environment. 

Taste, Aesthetics, and Student Designers
Teaching about Art and Design is more than teaching about media, art history, and art-making skills. This essay by Kelly McConnell establishes a  theoretical case and provides a practical example of how design thinking enlivens an art classroom. 

Mapping Our Designed Environment 
Through an examination of the placement of everyday objects, this twenty minute warm-up activity highlights the complexity of the world around us. Demonstrated in the Live Learning Lab at the NAEA Conference in 2015.  

Design and Build Your Own Paintbrush
Meredith Leoni takes a frequently used art lesson and redesigns it to show how student interests and inquiry can shift a lesson from replication to invention. 

From the Air to Where? 
Shaun Aylward establishes an art and science investigation for kindergarteners to explore the winter ecology of moths and butterflies.

Street Art/Graffiti Self-Portraits
Aimee Carmella uses student interests to design a high school unit that focuses on how visual artists use images, symbols, and words to convey meaning.