November 2, 2005
Mike Stepanovich, 661/654-2456, firstname.lastname@example.org,
or Jaclyn Loveless, 661/654-2138, email@example.com
A children’s art exhibition presented by “pre-service” teachers at California State University, Bakersfield who have been working with third, fourth and fifth graders at Ronald Reagan Elementary School is scheduled Tuesday, Nov. 15, at the elementary school.
The third-grade exhibit will be from 8:30 to 9 a.m., while the fourth- and fifth-grade exhibit will be from 2 to 2:30 p.m. The public is invited to this free exhibit.
The CSUB students have been teaching art to the elementary school children as part of a collaborative effort between CSUB, the school’s Parent-Teacher Association, school Principal John Birkhauser, and the school’s art coordinator, Ellen Ansolabehere, a CSUB alumna. The CSUB students are known as “pre-service teachers,” or those who have indicated that they are planning a career teaching but are not yet in the credential program.
Children in third grade at Reagan School studied the artists Claude Monet, Winslow Homer, Wayne Thiebaud, Vassily Kandinsky, and Alexander Calder.
Each artist featured a project funded by the school’s Parent Club. The
fourth- and fifth-grade classes studied the artists Gilbert Stuart, Leonardo DaVinci, Judy Chicago and Bridget Riley.
The CSUB students are enrolled at a course at the university titled “Art in the Elementary School” where students learn how to teach art at the elementary level. As part of the course students are required to learn how to put on a culminating activity involving parents, teachers, children and other invited guests. The CSUB students present a classroom exhibition featuring all of the children’s artwork in the classroom along with a presentation on each of the projects.
“Altogether we have 46 CSUB students at Reagan teaching in 12 classrooms,”
said Dianne Turner, CSUB education professor who teaches the class and oversees the project. “Our students appreciate being in the classroom to get this experience. The response from the children to both my students and the teachers has been that the second they see us at the school is to ask us if it’s time for art. They told their parents about it, and last week all the teachers said the children come home enthused about their art teachers.”
The value of art in education is immeasurable, Turner said. “It offers the children the opportunity to design, create and think. Everything we have is created and designed by some kind of artist.”
She said the children “are very innovative. We teach them using Power Point, so they’re taking in the visual images from the Power Point and becoming aware of those types of images in their own environment. It’s opening up a whole new world to them, and for us as well because our students are able to be in the children’s classrooms.
Turner said the experience the CSUB students are getting at Reagan Elementary is invaluable. “They learn all the theory from me, then they get to go into the classroom and apply what they’ve learned. And the Reagan teachers have been exceptional in cooperating on this project.”