I found a scholarly article online about Studio-Based Learning, written by Dr. Kay Brocato. In this article, Dr. Brocato refers to SBL as a model for “person-centered learning” and classroom management. I like the idea of having a “person-centered” environment because takes away the idea that teachers are “in charge” and students are under their authority. In some sense, yes they are. However, SBL treats students as actual people or individuals, while teachers are there as the “lead learner” to nurture the growth and learning of those in their class. This is an interesting approach to teaching. Dr. Brocato also quotes J. Brophy from the AREA Conference in 2007. Brophy says that an effective classroom manager will “become a caring socializer rather than a remote authority figure” and “emphasize ethics and ideals rather than rules and sanctions.” Over the past year, I have come to understand the importance of encouraging self-motivation and self-regulation for students, rather than over-using rewards and punishments as a way to change student behavior.
Through our discussion board, projects, discussions, and this blog, the central point of SBL, “propose-critique-iterate,” has been modeled for us by Dr. Brocato. We propose our thoughts and ideas on the discussion board and write a second iteration on the blog. For our design projects, we are allowed the opportunity to critique and reiterate our thoughts through a second submission. Although the SBL environment has been challenging to adapt to, I think it has helped my self-regulation practices. I have also come to recognize the importance of creativity, connections, and reflection in all of my school-work. Furthermore, I have seen how studio-based learning promotes individuality. Dr. Brocato has encouraged us to think deeply and creatively on our projects, and she has helped each one of us in the development of our ideas. I believe in studio classroom environment, more students’ needs are met because they are allowed to think on their own, ask the teacher for assistance when needed, and constantly critique their own ideas to put together a wonderful project at the end. While SBL does promote individuality, it also includes collaboration through partner projects and classroom discussions, which help us to think deeply and critically. Although individuality and collaboration can seem like two opposing ideas, they both can help reach students’ needs and build many skills for each individual learner. Therefore studio-based learning can be a tool for equity and a step toward social justice for students.