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Leadership and management advice wanted for my new Art dept, please.

Discussion in 'Art and design' started by markwilsonesq, Nov 21, 2010.

  1. Hello
    Recently started a new Head of Art and of Design Technology job KS1-3, and having a few teething problems.
    I think Ill put out two examples here and see what kind of response I get, rather than trying to explore too many things at once.
    1. I manage five other Art teachers who work one day each. Im finding it extremely hard to co-ordinate them all ... especially since - even if I were happy to organise a meeting each day of the week- our non-contact times dont ever really overlap in a couple of cases. Id wondered about videoblogging, but its lot of effort to set up without having heard of a precedent that is set up and working.
    2. Quite a few of our KS1 class teachers do what seem to me to be wallpapering lessons. For example, they might hand out a photocopy of a drawing of a hedgehog and ask the children to paint in the brown spines. Or, at this moment. Christmas tree outline photocopies are being distributed, and the children are being asked to colour or collage them in. It seems to me that these kinds of activities are wasted creative opportunities. However, the teachers setting these sorts of activity dont see whats wrong. To me it 'feels' totally obvious that these activities are wrong, but I cant even put myself in the mindset ofsomeone who would think differently in order to try and persuade them. Also, Ive been trying to research some evidence that demonstrates my case but havent come up with anything yet...to the point of wondering if Ive been in the wrong all along. Groan... :eek:)
     
  2. Hello
    Recently started a new Head of Art and of Design Technology job KS1-3, and having a few teething problems.
    I think Ill put out two examples here and see what kind of response I get, rather than trying to explore too many things at once.
    1. I manage five other Art teachers who work one day each. Im finding it extremely hard to co-ordinate them all ... especially since - even if I were happy to organise a meeting each day of the week- our non-contact times dont ever really overlap in a couple of cases. Id wondered about videoblogging, but its lot of effort to set up without having heard of a precedent that is set up and working.
    2. Quite a few of our KS1 class teachers do what seem to me to be wallpapering lessons. For example, they might hand out a photocopy of a drawing of a hedgehog and ask the children to paint in the brown spines. Or, at this moment. Christmas tree outline photocopies are being distributed, and the children are being asked to colour or collage them in. It seems to me that these kinds of activities are wasted creative opportunities. However, the teachers setting these sorts of activity dont see whats wrong. To me it 'feels' totally obvious that these activities are wrong, but I cant even put myself in the mindset ofsomeone who would think differently in order to try and persuade them. Also, Ive been trying to research some evidence that demonstrates my case but havent come up with anything yet...to the point of wondering if Ive been in the wrong all along. Groan... :eek:)
     
  3. Hi Mark
    I am a Principal Teacher of Art and Design in a Secondary School in Scotland.
    Last year I had 2 part time staff, one in on Mon, Tues the other in for the rest of the week.
    Communication was a problem however they left information about lessons, pupil behaviour etc in a diary for each other and I could read that and add to it as well. They also e-mailed each other which was also usefull. I had two department meetings each week. It would be a ludicrouse situation to have 5 meetings a week, how do you keep up to date with your own work? Do you have to have a meeting with each of them every week? Perhaps not. I do not know what you do with cross marking, staff development etc. Twilight sessions, if they were prepared to come in after school. As for the 'colouring in' lessons, that is just lazy, uncreative activity and should not be allowed in an art department. How can you develop drawing skills, creative thought and pupil ownership of their work when they are all doing the same work and all end up with similar final outcomes.

    Hope this helps


     
  4. D4n

    D4n

    Blacks have recently published a series of books which give detailed examples of schemes of work for Art in each year in KS1 and KS2. These books illustrate good practice. They include plans, objectives, resources and assessment. The books also include CD with resources and a virtual art gallery to use. Google 'Art Express Blacks Publishers' to find it.
     
  5. Hi ,

    I was head of art in a secondary school for 8 years. It seems to me that you are in very difficult situation there. However, I am sure you are going about the solution the right way by asking around for suggestions. Why not include those 5 staff into the question as well ? They might have ideas of how to colaborate better and make lessons and activities more educational and creative. Obviously, you have to be diplomatic about this and phrase the questions carefully, etc. are you happy with current provisions, what are our strenghts, what could be improved, what ideas do you have for this etc. Prepare a staff questionaire, maybe even a pupil/parent questionaire about what they would like to see in their art lessons. Apart from that, I quite like the suggestion of a central SOW , either prepared by you or ,again, shared out to the other teachers following a template that you have developed and that ensures that there are opportunities for students to aquire certain skills and knowledge in each theme/activitity offered by all the staff. I have such templates available and if you are interested, I could post them here. Then the next thing would be staff training, and your school should be able to accomodate some such sessions for you in allocated time slots if you discuss it with your leadership team.
    Hope this helps
    Gundel
     
  6. What about directed time? Do you not have an expectation at your school that staff - even part-time ones, pro rata - attend department meetings? Can you appropriate some CPD/INSeT time? I feel that the next layer of management needs to be mobilised to support you in this, at least initially. As for lesson content, I would establish a set of principles underlying the teaching and learning of art in the school, and a scheme of work based upon the incremental acquisition of skills starting with, say, line and pattern. Tie the assessment process into this, plus Performance Management, et voila!
    Easier said than done, I know. I do empathise - I've had tricky staff in the past and I began my HoD tenure with a firm belief in democracy. I run a benign dictatorship now :) good luck.
     

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