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2318 Oakland Ridge Drive · Kalamazoo, MI 49008

(269) 598-0829 · molly.sell.art@gmail.com · missmollysartroom.weebly.com

My teaching philosophy is anchored on the idea that art is active and entails three fundamental actions: Looking, Thinking and

I believe that all children have the ability to learn and the right to a quality education. As an art educator, I seek to create a learning
environment that addresses the needs of a diverse student population and provide students with an atmosphere in which Looking,
Thinking, and Creating are together encouraged and pursued. My students are encouraged to seek-out, and have the freedom to
bring in, a range of influences from their lives.

Teaching students about Looking is foundational in my art room. Drawing from close observation helps students become active and
detail-attentive learners. Close observation of artwork fosters the development of self-awareness by looking closely within
ourselves. Exposing students to both historical and contemporary work allows my students to see alternative viewpoints and
representations of socio-cultural matters. Through observation and discussion of interdisciplinary and multicultural artwork, visual
art also helps nurture a personalized sense of identity that, in turn, helps a student develop as an individual.

As students become more accustomed to Looking, it is key to also teach them to Think about what they see and how it applies to
their own work and lives. Art requires students to Think about solutions to visual problems and emphasizes the importance of
developing creative problem-solving skills that are critical for success in our rapidly changing world. The Thinking process also
teaches students how to take an active role in their education such as making well-informed choices and understanding the
importance of setting goals and meeting them. My students are encouraged to think critically about their peers’ and their own
artwork. The atmosphere of my classroom, built through Looking and Thinking, ensures that critique conversations take place with
mutual trust, consideration, and growth at the core.

Teaching the exploration and experimentation of ideas through Creating is the third part of my role as an art educator. When
concentrating on the process of physically making art, students learn about the inherent qualities of various materials and tools.
Creating in a choice-based environment with provided constraints or challenges also allows students to find new solutions and
reimagine artistic limits. The creation of a tangible artwork gives a sense of value and accomplishment and inherently involves
perseverance through failures. The students in my class that need accommodations are embraced and are encouraged to
participate alongside their peers. Creating brings to fruition the inventive ideas arrived at through Looking and Thinking.

By consistently applying the three actions of Looking, Thinking and Doing, students develop a personalized approach of
inquisitiveness, discipline, and innovation. My students acquire the skills to confront new challenges with eagerness and self-
assurance. Ultimately, my goals as an art educator are met when students go into the world as capable, creative innovators
prepared to engage contemporary artistic practices and actively challenge and enhance the world in which we live.