In an age when pictures have become more eloquent than words, schools are still programmed to reduce the child’s immersive interaction with the visual world to the practical poverty of the alphabet. Visual literacy should become a pedagogical priority in order to prepare our children to function within the increasingly visual complexity of our environment.
– Vik Muniz
As in any creative pursuit, photography requires part technical skill, aesthetic perception, and creative vision. My job as a teacher is to both impart some technical competence and to encourage exploration of the other attributes. I often feel like a coach on the sidelines. I can teach, discuss, demonstrate, illustrate, and motivate. Yet, the end result is in the control of the student. I am a firm believer in Vygotsky's zone of proximal development and favor social constructivism practices in my classroom; I balance student autonomy, peer review, and teacher directives. This blend of social interaction seems to work well for my students. In the end students must produce work all on their own. They synthesize what they learn with their own experience and skills to produce images. The exciting part of my job is seeing students who push themselves beyond complacency to create images that are exciting and compelling. In this regard, I must give much of the credit for the growth of the photography program to motivated and willing students who put in the necessary time behind a camera to develop as photographers.
Feedback From Teachers and Photographers...
You just might have the best high school photography program in the country! I am blown away. No doubt you are making an impact on these kids. Keep up the great work. Joel
20515 W. Walton Dr,
Buckeye, Arizona 85396
Wow...great student work! Love your teaching philosophy...a lot like ours! Scholarship day is coming up...would love to have some of your students.
Once again, great work!
Craig J. Satterlee
Associate Professor of Photography
231 West 6th Street
Powell, Wyoming 82435-1895
I am a new art teacher at Melbourne Central Catholic High School in Melbourne, Florida and I have a Creative Photography semester course that I am developing as a work in progress. Your website is an invaluable resource for me and my students. Thank you for setting it up and for sharing your professional insights. Your student work reflects the training and professionalism that you obviously exemplify. Thank you.
I am an amateur photog and thought the teaching plans you have for your students are super interesting. Great that a high school could have such a thorough course offering.
Thank you for taking the time to write detailed and thoughtful responses to my questions. I was given the link to your website by a colleague of mine; we were both very impressed by your students’ work as well as the website itself.
You really raise the bar for high school photography, and your students’ work proves that high school students are capable of doing some sophisticated work.
William Fremd High School
Thank you so much for sharing your website! I find myself teaching Photography for the first time and your site is an invaluable resource for both technique and high quality student examples!
Art Teacher, Windham High School
Windham, New Hampshire
Thanks so much for sharing. Great work by the students. I have been asked to create a photography camp for students so your journey in developing your courses is helpful.