At the end of February, teens in the Satellite High School Program gathered around Michelle Erickson’s Texas Tea Party (2005). They’ll study this object for the whole semester, using different methods of looking to form their own interpretations. For their first session, we spent one full hour looking closely at the work and having an open-ended dialogue about what we saw, the artist’s intent, and what it all might mean.
In my previous two posts in this Reflective Evaluation series, I detailed all the ways we found and evaluated data to show teen participants in the Satellite program became more reflective. So: did the interviews, exit slips, readability tests, and final projects all add up to a full image of the impact that a year’s worth of reflective practice can have on students?
In part two of my three posts on this year’s Satellite teen program, I’m sharing the unexpected data that helped me see the bigger picture about my students’ ability to reflect thanks to being in the program.
Over the past four years, I have worked with hundreds of Milwaukee-area teens who love art, and who, over their time in teen programs at the Milwaukee Art Museum, grow to love museums as well.
I have always had a sense that my students grow over their time at the Museum. This year, though, to really study that growth, we designed our longstanding Satellite High School Program as a year-long experience to explore exactly how weekly sessions at an art museum might change the thinking of our teen participants. To that end, our program outcome for students was that they would show an increased ability to reflect upon their own experiences and performance.
As the weather slowly became warmer and final assignments had come and gone, the summer of 2013 slyly crept upon me and I still had no idea as to what I would spend my time doing. So many of my friends already had plans for their summer, but I hadn’t found something as beneficial to my field of study: education. Right when I began to settle for a typical mall job, the gates of heaven opened and the stars aligned when I was told about an internship at the Milwaukee Art Museum! I eagerly dropped all other applications and began updating my résumé because I knew that this internship had to be mine! Thus, after a few weeks of emails and a meeting with my future boss, the amazing Chelsea Kelly, I was offered the job as the Teaching Assistant Intern! Yes, the title is a mouthful, but my experience as an Intern was amazing, and I think it beats applying makeup at some mall any day (no offense to those awesome cosmetologists out there).
Editor’s Note: I’m thrilled to share another post from my intern, Jessica Janzer, whose previous piece focused on the Fall 2011 session of Satellite, one of our teen programs. In this post, Jessica reflects on her teaching practice, which is informed by her art education degree program as well as her work as an intern here at the Museum. Jessica’s thoughtful comparison of two different ways of teaching is great food for thought for all of us who are interested in education and the arts. –Chelsea Kelly, Manager of Digital Learning
As I am getting into the meat of my Art Education B.F.A. major at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, I am finding more and more just how well my internship at the Milwaukee Art Museum compliments and contrasts with what I am learning academically.