CURIOSITY PROJECTS IN THE CHOICE-
BASED ART CLASSROOM
“It’s a miracle that curiosity survives formal education.” - Albert Einstein
A few years back, Scot Hoffman, R&D Coordinator, introduced ‘Curiosity
Projects’ at ASB. After learning about Curiosity Projects and how they
were driven by student interest, I was inspired to try to incorporate the
ideas into my early elementary visual art classes. This is my story about
how I applied the foundational ideas of Curiosity Projects with first grade
students in a Reggio-inspired choice-based Arts classroom.
As an early childhood Art studio teacher at ASB, I work with children from
3-7 years old. The art space does not look like a traditional art classroom.
It has wooden and appropriately sized tables for groups no more than six
children, in distinctly different spaces throughout the classroom. Each
table is setup to invite, inspire, and provoke children to make art.
Children have many different mediums, materials, and tools to choose
from as they move freely about the room during class. My approach is
informed and inspired both by the early childhood schools of Reggio
Emilia, Italy as well as the theories and research behind ‘choice-based art
education’, otherwise known as Teaching for Artistic Behavior.
Both Reggio Emilia and Teaching for Artistic Behavior hold that children
are capable of driving their own learning. As an early childhood art studio
teacher, my role is to provide students with the tools, resources and
guidance necessary for authentic student-driven learning. The Curiosity
Projects, researched and developed at the American School of Bombay,
are of parallel thinking. They support students to drive their own learning.
The Curiosity Projects gave me a flexible guide for the process. Their open