Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Students Teaching Students

Something a bit different, in the name of variety.
Every summer for the past 11 years, I've been graced to teach in the MCAD program known as Summer Expressions Seminar (SES). I've not heard yet if I have the appointment for this year, but I have hopes.
In 2010, I added a wrinkle to the assignment in my class, which is the Liberal Studies portion of the college prep program. In the past I've had them storyboard less common fairy tales.
This time, I also had them work in one another's disciplines and teach one another. For example, a painting student would work with a comic artist, or an animator, or a gamer.
The point of this was to help them understand their own craft and to communicate that craft to one another.
You learn by teaching.
Here are some panels from one of the more successful pairings.

The students, Taylor Smith and Sarah Williams, bought their own styles to the work and advacned the story at the same time.
It also serves to make the point that every discipline, including storyboarding, is much more flexible than many teachers would have it be. The boards presented here from college level courses are very professional, but that has its down side when teaching the novice. A good teacher will find a way to encourage students into growing into a desired result, not to browbeat them into doing the work in one regimented way. This assignment is an attempt to recognize that and encourage both professionalism and a sense of freedom and accomplishment.

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