Adams State art education students work with PALS

(12-10-2014)

Rachel Kresl and Janyne work on art project

Rachel Kresl helps Janyne shape an aspect of her idea of community.

Elementary-aged students in the PALS program visited the Adams State University Art Education class twice in November to create art and build a community from recycled materials.

Jenny Gawronski, assistant professor of art, teaches the art education courses. Working with PALS (Positive Activities Lead to Success) provides the Adams State students with their first teaching experience and builds collaboration beginning teachers. "The art education students worked together to create the lesson plan and co-teach the class." Gawronski has created opportunities for the ASU students to collaborate with each other in their ASU courses, which aligns with the Colorado Department of Education's Professional Teaching Standards.

Adams State art education student Rachel Kresl '17 said working together brought out a diversity of ideas. "It was a lot easier than I thought it would be to work with others."

Gawronski said the students learn to respect everyone's ideas and approaches to teaching art. "The ASU students are encouraged to contribute their strengths and ideas during the design phase of the art lesson." The lesson included elements and principles of design, historic and contemporary artists and a final critique. "The Adams State students light up when the PALS students come in the classroom. The co-teaching experience offers the beginning teachers a chance to practice their teaching strategies and leadership skills."

PALS attend two sessions and with guidance create forms to build a large community. "The children choose their favorite aspect of their community to build," Gawronski said.

Tim Dellett received his master's degree from Adams State in '02 and now runs the PALS Program. He said watching the art education students take a leadership role and engage the children in the project is "where the magic happens." He appreciates the partnerships with departments across campus. "We build strength through collaborations and Adams State is one of our primary partners."