Bringing the Studio Habits of Mind to Life

When the book Studio Thinking was published in 2007, it had a profound effect on art education. One of the many benefits of the research was the naming of the Studio Habits of Mind. Art teachers began to organize around a common language to describe the thinking dispositions that students develop in visual art. As Ron Ritchhart says in Creating Cultures of Thinking: The 8 Forces We Must Master to Truly Transform our Schools, noticing and naming our students’ thinking encourages them to exhibit more of those behaviors. 

Studio Thinking from the Start: The K–8 Art Educator’s Handbook brought the Studio Habits of Mind to the elementary art classroom. My copy of that book is marked with so many notes from cover to cover. One of my favorite sections in the book is about the art teacher Demetrius Fuller and how he created HoMies (from Habits of Mind). The word “homies” is slang for “our people”. The book describes how he uses stories and songs about the HoMie characters to illustrate the Studio Habits of Mind for his elementary students. It made so much sense to me. Our people definitely think in those ways! 

After reading that book, I immediately went to work creating my own HoMie characters (borrowing heavily from Fuller’s characters) to help my students understand the different thinking dispositions in the Studio Habits of Mind. Since my school started online in August 2020, I decided to partner with the art assistant to create a video using the HoMies and explicitly teach the Studio Habits of Mind. 

I hope you enjoy the video.

Tech used in the videoApple Clips for my own Animoji head, Prisma to convert my colored pencil drawings of HoMies into paintings, Google Slides for text animation, Quicktime to screen record the Google Slides, iMovie for editing.

References

Hetland, L., Winner, E., Veenema, S., & Sharidan, K.M. (2013). Studio Thinking 2: The real benefits of visual arts education. New York: Teachers College Press 

Hogan, J., Hetland, L., Jaquith, D.J., Winner, E., (2018). Studio Thinking from the Start: The K–8 Art Educator’s Handbook. New York: Teachers College Press 

Ritchhart, R. (2015). Creating Cultures of Thinking: The 8 Forces We Must Master to Truly Transform our Schools. John Wiley & Sons

 

Author: Ron

Ron teaches Visual Arts to students in the early years through grade five. In his practice, he uses innovative approaches to foster agency in the students through a choice-based model that encourages creative thinking routines and supports student voice. Additionally, he works closely with teachers to develop arts integration and creative thinking across the primary curriculum. Ron is passionate about supporting creative thinking in the educational environment for all subject areas. He follows current literature on the topic and attends innovative workshops and conferences. Ron has previously worked as a Visual Arts teacher, homeroom teacher and university lecturer.

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