Problems show up in all different forms, and change from year to year.  This year it is the lack of materials which the students have access to.  This causes us all to have to think outside the box and find new and exciting ways to create art.  It gives the students a challenge, (which is not always good, cuase they deserve materials for art) to explore alternative means of creating art pieces.  We share this process in art lessons and art creation.  It is a way that kind of joins us together in our fight to keep the arts alive in my school.  The students are taking ownership of the classroom because they do not want it to go away.  They kept hearing there would be no art class and really didnt like that answer from the administration.

With that being said, my group is touching on topics relating to when is it ok to use inquiry and when do you give a more defined answer to your students.  It is a question of when is a student sitting long enough to realize you need to give a little extra guidance.  It is a balancing act between active teaching and active inquiry, which i dont believe is just easily defined.  Inquiry seems to be an on going process which is ever changing in itself.  We strive to give more freedom to students creative processes, yet also need to realize that without the specific skills, they may fall short of their true levels of ability.  As for resources, i believe that the AE2.0 group is one that shows support to each of its members and even intermingles between groups itself.  It is a common denominator which binds us together, in which we all have a purpose in creating an environment which our students strive to be better and more creative.

As a teacher, our goal is to access when the proper time is to let the student “fail” in order to find their own solutions.  There is a grey area where if you let them struggle too long, they just become frustrated and give up.  But if you dont let them struggle at all with their decisions you are actually doing the work for them.  It balances between inquiry and instruction.  I have had many times where I know i have a good answer, but have to take a back seat to see what the student can come up with on their own.  And usually they are proud of what they come up with, and you can see the light “click” in their eyes when they realize they were able to find a solution that works.  Many people do not understand this process when looking from the outside.  They see it as the teacher not doing their job.  As someone not wanting to help their students the way a traditional teacher would.  This causes both a problem and a solution for me as a teacher.  It gives me the chance to explain my methods to others, causing them to be involved in my classroom indirectly . They have questions aned this makes them join in discussions with myself and my students which otherwise would probably not even interest them.  A problem is that at times the artwork might look unfinished or incomplete and what is viewed is what is percieved.  People think “wow, this is not the best stuff yet” becuase they do not see there is more at work than just the art.  The hit the room in short intervals and do not see the entire picture.

I can not say what i feel most knowledgeable about, because i feel it is an ongoing experience for me as well.  I feel I am ever changing in my understanding and process of inquiry, yet enjoy the freedom it gives me and my students in knowing there is not a wrong answer.  We all know that if something doesnt work, it is just another reason to keep trying new ways.  It gives both myself and my students the power to make or break the class at any given time from day to day.  So I believe that without the AE2.0 experience, i would have done the inquiry as i did before, but I would not have had the resources of other teachers, ability to bounce ideas off others in my situation, and the kind leadership of all the group leaders.  Which are there non-stop for our growth.