AP 2-D & 3-D Art and Design
About AP Art
AP stands for Advanced Placement and is a program run by the College Board. These classes allow students to take college level course work, and earn college credit, while still in high school. The College Board offers three AP class in art. These classes are AP 2-D Art and Design, AP 3-D Art and Design, and AP Drawing. In order to earn college credit, students enrolled in these AP course need to complete and submit a portfolio of original artwork.
The portfolio for each class is compiled of two sections:
Sustained Investigation and Selected Works.
The Sustained Investigation might be described as a series of artworks that demonstrates how the student explores in depth a particular idea or concept. While there is no set method that defines what the Sustained Investigation consists of, in general the work created for this section of the portfolio share common subject, techniques, style while still demonstrating strong use of the elements of art and principles of design.
For the Selected Works section of the portfolio, students will select five physical artworks and submit these by mail in envelopes provided by the College Board. Along with each work of art, students will submit written responses on paper describing the materials, processes, and ideas used.
Why AP Art is Student-Directed Teaching
It shouldn’t be hard for anyone who has done any choice-based or student-directed teaching to see how compatible the two are. The objectives of the AP Art course are aligned with objectives of the student-directed program. The following are only a few examples demonstrating this alignment.
Self-Discovery: Both the student-directed program and the AP Art course are about self-discovery. The student-directed class asks that the student be guided by their interests, their ideas, and their desire to explore topics and concepts of their choosing. The AP Art course asks the same by encouraging students to find their topic and produce a sustained investigation.
Designing Projects: In a teacher-directed program, the teacher often selects the projects the students will complete. This simply is not compatible with the AP Art courses. AP Art course ask the student to design, develop and reflect on their own, original idea. This is precisely what the student-directed program requires.
Selecting Media: Recognizing that the student is the artist, the teacher in a choice-based program will rely on the student to determine which media should be used to best visually present their idea. There is no difference when it comes to the standards set by the AP Art courses.
Writing: The recent changes to the AP Art courses require written refection of each artwork submitted in the Selected Works section of the portfolio. This aligns well with the philosophy of most choice-based teachers that require some form of written reflection at the completion of each project. Many choice-based teachers require students to blog, while others have their students complete written reflections using online apps such as Seesaw. Still others have students write artist statements which are presented alongside the artworks when they are displayed.
Three Keys to AP Art
When developing an AP portfolio, there are three key objectives the student should consider. These objectives include taking risks, demonstrating growth, and incorporating the elements of art and principles of design. Each of these three keys align with student-directed teaching, perhaps more so than in other teaching methods. That is because each key is built into the student-directed philosophy.
Students are first encouraged to take risks in a student-directed classroom through experimentation. Since the teacher is not designing the project, the medium and the techniques used are determined by the student. A teacher will always select media and techniques that students can be successful with. This is especially true when the teacher grades the project based on a rubric. In that situation, the teacher knows not only that the student can be successful by knows precisely how the student can be successful. However, when a student decides the media or the technique, there is no guarantee that the student will be successful. They may experiment with different media to see the results or try new techniques that may fail. At the AP level, the students are encouraged to show that they are experimenting as the develop their portfolio. The student who does not experiment is likely to present a portfolio that is flat.
Certainly, the student AP portfolio should show growth. Many times, this growth develops through taking risk. When a student takes risk, they grow because they learn what does and doesn’t work. A student can show growth in their work simply through practice and this can happen regardless of the method of teaching. However, a student-directed program has the advantage because students will have more opportunities to work on projects they design before they reach the AP level. Through working on projects in the medium and subject they prefer, they add numerous more hours of practice which leads to higher levels of growth.
Incorporating the Elements and Principles:
This is the one area that many people may believe the teacher-directed method may have an advantage. This is because teacher-directed programs often are developed around the elements and principles. While this is often the case, it is not to say that student-directed programs don't teach about the elements or principles. In fact, the opposite is true. This misconception may only exist because of those who don’t understand that the elements and principles can be taught without designing a project that revolves around them. Teachers in a student-directed program are more likely to discuss the elements and principles as they relate the work the student designed. While both methods teach about the principles, the later may have the advantage precisely for this difference in teaching.
Issues Student-Directed Teachers Might Need to Consider
There are several issues that the teacher in a choice-based program will need to pay particular attention too. Not that these issues are directly related to the student-directed program but they are issues that may be more regulated in a teacher-directed program.
Copyright: The artwork presented in the AP portfolio should entirely consist of original works. Images that are used for reference should either have been taken by the student or in the public domain. Even when students use their own photos as a reference, they are encouraged to alter the image in some way so it is not merely a direct copy. This is an issue that can happen in any classroom but teachers in a student-directed need to be even more aware of it. Since students are selecting their own subjects, it isn’t uncommon for students to want to recreate characters from cartoons, anime, or movies. While this may be acceptable in an environment where a student is creating the work in their own sketchbooks, learning a new medium or exploring a technique, it is not acceptable as part of the AP portfolio.
Due Dates: While some choice-based teachers still require due dates, many do not. Instead, they allow the student to set their own due dates. The idea being that as long as the student is engaged in the project, they should be allowed enough time to explore and develop their idea fully. It is possible for students in this type of arrangement to work on one project for a week or even several weeks. The student who is used to taking their time may experience issues when taking an AP level course. While it is not necessary for the student in an AP art room to have specific due dates for projects, it is helpful for students to set due dates to ensure that they complete all assignments necessary before the portfolios are due.
Investigation Ideation: 8/28
Investigation First Draft: Due 9/11
Investigation Final Idea: Due 9/11
Investigation 1: 9/11
Investigation 2: 9/25
Investigation 3: 10/9
Investigation 4: 10/23
Investigation 5: 11/6
Investigation 6: 11/20
Investigation 7: 12/4
Investigation 8: 1/8
Investigation 9: 1/22
Investigation 10: 2/5
Investigation 11: 2/19
Investigation 12: 3/5
Investigation 13: 3/26
Investigation 14: 4/16
Investigation 15: 4/30
Post All Artwork: 5/3
Finalize All Text: 5/3
Send to Teacher 5/3
Preparing for AP Art
AP Studio Design Day One 2019- Presentation
Preparing for AP-Pinterest
AP Art Website
AP Studio Art Sign in: https://apstudio.ets.org/