Working Together...Farolynian Thinking

I really enjoyed Nikki' s post on Farolynian Thinking. I was inspired to re-think my definition of collaborative art-making again. A few weeks ago I watched a lecture by Sugata Mitra. In the video,  'Can children teach themselves?' Sugata Mitra proposes the idea of a school designed to facilitate self-organized learning. In his ideal learning environment teachers would be unnecessary. Sugata proves through several studies that children can in fact teach each other without adult supervision. In one of his studies he places a computer in an impoverished community where the residents have no experience or knowledge of computers. Within days the students are browsing the Internet and so on. One of the first students to walk up to the computer was a adolescent male who dropped out of school. The first thing he noticed was the interactivity of the device. The computer responded to the movement of his hand. In a matter of minutes the students started teaching each other how to browse the Internet. The children organized an informal classroom with approximately 30 or 40 children. The children worked together to figure out a solution to problems they encountered. I began to form a connection between his study and the studio art classroom. Why is it a challenge for art teachers to get students to collaborate? What if a variety of art materials were given to a group of students without an explanation? Would the students interact with the materials and each other to create a collaborative art piece? Is it important to set the stage?

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