Success in new skills increases student motivation. Students gain confidence in an area and understand the importance of practice. This behavior became even more apparent in the Art II class. There is one particular student who has a lot of skill and potential, but did not show confidence. Because of this lack of confidence she lacked independence. She would want me by her side every step and always asked “Is this how I should do this, Do you want me to do it this way?” etc. Keeping classroom inquiry in mind, instead of offering suggestions as to what I would do, I asked her questions to guide her to her own conclusions. Like, “How do you see this outcome? What would happen if you went in this direction?” etc. Once this conversation started she went above and beyond in the assignment and finally got it. Asking students questions will lead them to their own conclusions. This student had motivation but lacks confidence, which lead to a lack in practice! With this newly found confidence she realized that she can create successful art on her own and do her own problem solving. She knows with more practice she can continue to grow.

This assignment she was working on during this discovery was a sculpture. Students were assigned to use their own cast body parts to create a thought provoking sculpture. She knew right away she wanted to use her feet. After going through the long process of casting her feet, she set them on her desk and asked, “Ok, now what?” Which was her usual question to me. So my response was to figure out what to do with these feet. I asked her and the rest of the class, “What do you think of when you see these cast feet sitting on the desk? What are they doing? Where could they have been? Who do they belong to?” Each student had their own sculpture to create but they were all involved in each others projects, which I loved! So the class discussed possibilities in an in depth and sometimes funny discussion. She decided that some of the imperfections of the casting process could be used to her advantage and looked like scars and blisters. Like that of a person without proper footwear for everyday use. The scars and blisters looked sad and tired and worn, like that of a homeless person. Then the ideas came flowing! The outcome was a sculpture of the sad, distressed, dirty feet of a homeless man.

Gaining confidence and realizing they are capable is how to continue student motivation and realization of practice actually helping them.