I spent twenty-five years teaching mathematics to a wide spectrum of ages and abilities, gave my heart and guts to it, and lived with the awareness that I was the oddball for seeing the beauty in it. A significant ratio of students resists learning about an analytic subject—hell, many students resist learning anything at all—and there is nothing inside me that desires to push anyone into such a pursuit.
When people find out I worked as a teacher and ask what subject, I reflexively wince inside when I tell them it was math because the common response to that is how they hated math and how it was their worst subject. Some of that hatred, you know, leaks onto the teacher.
So maybe I am a little phobic about getting myself into a reminiscent situation. The next bit in the color discussion is quite analytical and a lot of work for me.
Recently I carelessly blurted out in company, when asked, that I knew enough about perspective to volunteer a workshop (though I don’t really want to). The second person to respond made her negative feelings about such a study very plain. And there was no third response. I had long ago abandoned any intention of continuing discussing color; that exchange regarding perspective is what has motivated me to write this little posting.
But before I go I just want to say this: there is no synthesis without analysis.
*Bloom’s cognitive domain (knowledge-based) adapted from Wikipedia:
Remembering involves recognizing or remembering facts, terms, basic concepts, or answers without necessarily understanding what they mean. Its characteristics may include:
· Knowledge of specifics—terminology, specific facts
· Knowledge of ways and means of dealing with specifics—conventions, trends and sequences, classifications and categories, criteria, methodology
· Knowledge of the universals and abstractions in a field—principles and generalizations, theories and structures
Example: Name five types of composition.
Comprehending involves demonstrating understanding of facts and ideas by organizing, comparing, translating, interpreting, giving descriptions, and stating the main ideas.
Example: Identify the type of composition Da Vinci utilizes in Madonna of the Rocks. How does this composition contribute to the meaning of this work?
Applying involves using acquired knowledge—solving problems in new situations by applying acquired knowledge, facts, techniques and rules. Learners should be able to use prior knowledge to solve problems, identify connections and relationships and how they apply in new situations.
Example: Sketch a diagram of a street scene using a composition that implies activity.
Analyzing involves examining and breaking information into component parts, determining how the parts relate to one another, identifying motives or causes, making inferences, and finding evidence to support generalizations. Its characteristics include:
· Analysis of elements
· Analysis of relationships
· Analysis of organization
Example: Carefully analyze the compositional elements of Seurat’s La Grande Jatte, making specific reference to objects depicted in the painting to support your claims.
Synthesizing involves building a structure or pattern from diverse elements; it also refers to the act of putting parts together to form a whole. Its characteristics include:
· Production of a unique communication
· Production of a plan, or proposed set of operations
· Derivation of a set of abstract relations
Example: Create a painting whose composition combines three or more complicated shapes and that implies the quiet before the storm.
Evaluating involves presenting and defending opinions by making judgments about information, the validity of ideas, or quality of work based on a set of criteria. Its characteristics include:
· Judgments in terms of internal evidence
· Judgments in terms of external criteria
Example: Look back over your paintings from the last three months. Which are the most engaging by virtue of their compositions? Why?