Since I decided to spend the rest of the summer here, on the rock in the middle of the ocean, a few weeks ago I enrolled in an online course with the Center For Guided Montessori Studies.
I've never before taken an online course, and had been very skeptical about them in general. However, since my assistant at school completed the NAMC online Primary Training, I've found that a guided online study can complement work done in the environment. Obviously, there is nothing like attending a course in flesh and blood, especially an AMI course, but when you are "geographically disabled", to put it in discreet terms, the online world can certainly have its benefits. It is nice to have the foundation of AMI training, and be able to supplement areas such as Art and Science through other means. I'd really love to create a coherent Art and Science album for my personal use.
I'd been getting a steady flow of messages from Tim Seldin from the CGMS (online groups sure have a thing for long acronyms) and had for the most part skimmed them with not a lot of interest. As summer approached, one of the courses mentioned caught my eye: "Adventure in the Arts". It is offered as part of their "Professional Development" series.
The course is 6 weeks long, 4 weeks for art and 2 for music. The art part is meant to supplement the art curriculum in the classroom through 4 components:
- Color Theory
- Studio Art
- Art Appreciation
I'm 2 weeks into the course and it has been thorough, organized, and clear so far. I put in about an hour a day online (5 days a week) for it plus time making materials. The lessons are presented sequentially, in short videos accessed online. Each lesson begins with an introduction to the material, it's purpose, and when and to who to present it to. After the introduction, there is another short video of the presentation being given to a child.
What I've been gaining so far, is a sequential understanding of art theory and studio techniques broken down and made accessible for children of different ages. I'm feeling confident in what I'm learning and am sure that it will translate nicely into my classroom next year.
A cool technological experience was our first online meeting yesterday- with course students from all over the world coming together in a chat room to discuss relevant topics.