Dejlige Creative offers a wide range of art and design education experiences. The teacher, Stephanie O'Dell, is a graduate of VCUarts Graphic Design ('09) and a recent graduate of the VCU Art Education master's program. She has taught courses at many Richmond-area instititions, including the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Studio Two Three, Binford Middle School and Thomas Jefferson High School.
Click here for Stephanie's full teaching résumé.
Art and design education can strengthen students’ critical and creative thinking skills. Developmental theorist Jean Piaget said that these skills are honed through repeated cycles of overcoming challenges through creative problem solving (1952). This process aligns with the goals of art and design education. In the classroom, I seek to create an environment that maximizes the opportunities for creative adaptations through collaboration, discussion, and questioning the status quo.
Building problem-solving skills is the goal of design education. By incorporating cultural contexts, artisanship skills, technology, and tools, my curricula focus on using available resources to creatively, and collaboratively, overcome challenges. Prominent art and design educator Robin Vande Zande emphasizes the importance of problem-solving skills in education (2014). Art and design are all around us—our worlds are created by people through the art and design process. My professional background in graphic design provides a unique framework to present real-life context to the classroom. Through creatively solving art and design challenges together, my students gain confidence in communication, collaboration, and critical thinking. Students can discover new knowledge through inquiry, and I encourage students of all abilities to reach for the next step—all students have the capacity to learn.
The philosophies of a constructivist, dialogic classroom inform my teaching. I encourage students to discover their own answers through asking open ended questions. Social constructivist theorist Lev Vygotsky said that we learn from each other—all our knowledge comes from those around us (1978). A collaborative process that builds team working skills like communication, leadership, and mediation facilitates students’ learning.