Welcome to my ah ha moment. I’ve just figured out why my gallery walks haven’t always been so successful; the ones that have worked have been spontaneous, springing from a genuine need for feedback. The ones that haven’t have been neatly scheduled moments in my program. Today was one of the more successful moments.
I ran a refining workshop with Johnny’s class – they’re still in the early days of gallery walks, so I showed them my three drafts and gave a verbal artistic statement, what I liked and what I was struggling with. Then invited them to help me. Whilst they hesitated at first, they ended up giving me some fantastic ideas that will really improve my work. From there we placed their work around the room and moved around giving as much kind, helpful and specific feedback as we could. The beauty of this is the students who had done a rushed job don’t need to be told, looking around they knew their work isn’t up to scratch.
On reflection they said they really appreciated the process. Some commented that writing the feedback made them feel they were less likely to offend their peers. My feedback came with some diagrams to help me understand their meaning, a touch that really added to the quality and was quite thoughtful.
So my personal lesson? PBL procedures are not a checklist. No one is giving me bonus points for being a good girl and scheduling them in. They’re just tools to use to help us in our journey. Oh yeah, and always do the project yourself!