Explicit Instruction in Art – Definition, Examples, History & More – Art Education and Methodologies Glossary

What is Explicit Instruction in Art?

Explicit instruction in art refers to a systematic and structured approach to teaching artistic concepts and skills. It involves clearly stating the learning objectives, modeling the desired behaviors or techniques, providing guided practice, and giving immediate feedback to students. This type of instruction is teacher-directed and focuses on breaking down complex artistic processes into smaller, more manageable steps.

Explicit instruction in art is often used to teach foundational skills such as drawing, painting, sculpting, and design principles. It helps students develop a strong understanding of the elements and principles of art, as well as the techniques and processes involved in creating visual artworks. This approach is particularly beneficial for students who may struggle with abstract or open-ended assignments, as it provides clear guidelines and expectations.

Benefits of Explicit Instruction in Art

One of the key benefits of explicit instruction in art is that it helps students develop a solid foundation of artistic skills and knowledge. By breaking down complex concepts into manageable steps, students can build their confidence and competence in creating visual artworks. This approach also allows teachers to scaffold learning, providing support and guidance as students progress through the artistic process.

Explicit instruction in art can also help students develop problem-solving and critical thinking skills. By clearly defining learning objectives and providing structured practice opportunities, students are encouraged to think creatively and make informed decisions about their artistic choices. This type of instruction can also improve students’ attention to detail and ability to self-assess their work.

Another benefit of explicit instruction in art is that it can help students develop a deeper appreciation for art and art history. By learning about different artistic techniques, styles, and movements, students can gain a better understanding of the cultural and historical significance of visual art. This can lead to increased engagement and motivation in the art classroom.

Strategies for Implementing Explicit Instruction in Art

There are several strategies that teachers can use to implement explicit instruction in art effectively. One strategy is to clearly define learning objectives and expectations at the beginning of each lesson. This helps students understand what they are expected to learn and achieve, and provides a roadmap for the lesson.

Another strategy is to model the desired behaviors or techniques for students. Teachers can demonstrate how to use different artistic materials, tools, and processes, and explain the reasoning behind their choices. This modeling helps students understand the steps involved in creating visual artworks and gives them a clear example to follow.

Guided practice is another important strategy for implementing explicit instruction in art. Teachers can provide structured opportunities for students to practice new skills and techniques, offering support and feedback as needed. This guided practice helps students develop their skills and build confidence in their artistic abilities.

Differentiating Explicit Instruction in Art

One way to differentiate explicit instruction in art is to provide multiple entry points for students with varying skill levels and learning styles. Teachers can offer different levels of support and challenge, depending on individual student needs. For example, students who are more advanced may be given more complex assignments or opportunities for independent practice, while students who are struggling may receive additional support and guidance.

Another way to differentiate explicit instruction in art is to provide choice and flexibility in assignments. Teachers can offer students a range of artistic prompts or projects to choose from, allowing them to explore their interests and strengths. This can help students feel more engaged and motivated in their artistic learning.

Teachers can also differentiate explicit instruction in art by incorporating technology and multimedia resources. By using digital tools and resources, teachers can provide interactive and engaging learning experiences for students. This can help students develop digital literacy skills and explore new ways of creating visual artworks.

Examples of Explicit Instruction in Art

One example of explicit instruction in art is teaching students how to use perspective in drawing. Teachers can break down the concept of perspective into simple steps, such as drawing a horizon line and vanishing points. They can then demonstrate how to create the illusion of depth and space in a two-dimensional drawing, providing guided practice opportunities for students to try it themselves.

Another example of explicit instruction in art is teaching students how to mix colors. Teachers can explain the color wheel and color theory, demonstrating how to create different hues and shades by mixing primary colors. They can then provide students with color mixing exercises and activities to practice their skills and experiment with different color combinations.

Assessing Student Learning in Explicit Instruction in Art

Assessing student learning in explicit instruction in art can be done through a variety of methods. One common approach is to use rubrics to evaluate student artwork based on specific criteria, such as creativity, craftsmanship, and use of artistic techniques. Rubrics provide clear guidelines for students and help teachers provide constructive feedback on their work.

Another way to assess student learning in explicit instruction in art is through formative assessments, such as quizzes, exit tickets, or peer evaluations. These assessments can help teachers gauge student understanding and progress throughout the lesson or unit, allowing them to make adjustments to instruction as needed.

Teachers can also assess student learning in explicit instruction in art through summative assessments, such as final projects or portfolios. These assessments allow students to demonstrate their mastery of artistic concepts and skills, and provide a comprehensive overview of their learning over time. Summative assessments can also help students reflect on their growth as artists and set goals for future artistic development.