Spring and Fall 2004 - Volume II, Issue 4
“...more and more
photographers have discovered that the power of the photograph springs from a
deeper source than words–the same deep source as music. At birth we begin to
discover that shapes, sounds, lights and textures have meaning. Long before we
learn to talk, sounds and images form the world we live in. All our lives that
world is more immediate than words and difficult to articulate. Photography,
reflecting those images with uncanny accuracy, evokes their associations and our
instant conviction.” –Nancy Newhall
The camera is an artifact
of our technological culture and my approach to teaching photography to young
children reveals the multiple relationships I have with the medium as an artist
and an educator. As the philosopher Patrick Maynard has explained, “photography
is...a kind of technology...[that can] amplify our powers to do things.” In
particular, Maynard has pointed to photography's ability to intensify “our
powers to imagine things, and our powers to detect things”, noting that
photography often performs these various functions simultaneously, and that the
functions do not just merely combine, but interact in useful ways (1997).
My original idea for teaching photography to elementary school children was
intended to serve many purposes. Committed to a form of community action that
would enrich the M.E. Fitzgerald School, a K-8 school in Cambridge, MA (1) , I
had conceived of a curriculum that would address gender inequity and the
under-representation of women in the fields of math, science and technology.
Planning to focus initially only on a subset of girls in the first grade, I
wanted to use their natural interest in drawing and coloring, which I had
observed from time spent in the classroom, and create an inquiry-based
curriculum that would help them develop the skills for science and math, while
at the same time improving their artistic vision. (2)
Yet as I began to
develop the curriculum and implement it in the classroom, I began to see many
additional “functions” that photography could provide in an urban K-8 school,
and I broadened my work to include the entire class of fifteen boys and girls.
The technology gave all students a form of realistic and satisfying
self-expression that allowed the teacher to “see” her students differently.
While studying the photographic process engaged their technological curiosity
and was a way for students to creatively focus their scientific inquiries, it
also helped learners who are primarily “visual” develop an interest in technical
subjects. Moreover, the photographs themselves were a compelling force when
displayed at the school facility. Students’ pictures of home life and after
school activities created a broader picture of the entire neighborhood
community, making a vital link between family life and education, a relationship
that many educators have argued is essential to the success of any child in the
public school system (see the Harvard Family Research Project at http://www.gse.harvard.edu/~hfrp/).
In the following pages, I describe the photography curriculum I developed for
six- and seven -year olds, and present the images they produced as a result of
their study. If at first I was uncertain whether my ideas would be too complex
for first graders, at each step along the way I was both inspired by the
student’s response to the project and gratified by teachers and administrators
feedback. Most of my pedagogical work has been at the university level, yet
perhaps it is this lack of training in elementary education that allowed for
innovations outside what is traditionally viewed as developmentally appropriate.
My inspiration for developing the photography
curriculum began when I started a portrait project in two first grade classrooms
at the M.E. Fitzgerald School in 2002. My intention with this project was to
follow the children through their elementary and middle school years until
graduation, creating a vision of the passage of time, and artwork that would
enhance the institutionally unfriendly walls of the newly renovated facility. I
wanted the children to be collaborative in the process so I planned a
demonstration of different kinds of cameras to show them what I was doing.
As I unpacked my equipment in the classroom, the excitement was palpable;
while most children have certainly seen and experienced cameras, these are
usually simple point and shoot cameras that use traditional film or digital
technology. They are, in a sense, magical boxes which turn out pictures. Few
children, nor many adults for that matter, have any understanding of the science
behind that magic. The cameras I brought in for my demonstration were larger
than most consumer models, much more straight-forward in design, and also more
conducive to explaining the process of photographic picture-making. The
children's high level of interest struck me as a “teachable opportunity” and I
started to look for grant money to develop a curriculum. (3)
A number of
educators and researchers have put cameras in children's hands with a variety of
intentions and results. In the mid-1970s, Wendy Ewald spent six years in
Appalachia, intending at first to “document” her new community but then creating
a more innovative artistic practice (Ewald 2000). She established the Mountain
Photography Workshop and began the first of her many photographic collaborations
with children, work that would take her around the world in the years following.
Ewald continued to create projects in many parts of the U.S. and in Latin
America, Europe, Asia and Africa, always establishing working relationships of a
reciprocal and non-hierarchical nature. Critics and academics have called her
work, “a delicate kind of collaborative dreaming....that challenges fundamental
categorical distinctions between art and documentary photography, between
photographer and subject, [and between] child and adult (2000).” Most recently,
Ewald has created the Literacy through Photography curriculum, a project that
encourages students to find their voices through photographs and written text.
The students photograph scenes from their lives and these images become the
inspiration for increasing their ways of expression about their dreams, selves,
families and communities.
In a recent collaborative project among
European researchers at six different institutions, the intentions were much
more research oriented. Children as Photographers (4) has as its mission the
creation of a map of children's practices, decisions and attitudes to
photography as they develop between the ages of seven and fifteen. Over 180
children in five countries were asked to participate in taking pictures, with
the resulting photographs and accompanying interviews of the children forming
the wealth of data that is being used to capture the patterns of meaning
implicit in children’s practices. Using a Grounded–Theory approach to the
analysis (Strauss and Glaser, 1967), the researchers have conceptualized three
different dimensions to children's photographic picture making; a social
dimension, a transparent dimension and a control dimension.
photographic work with children was conceived simultaneously as an art project,
a research endeavor, and a scientific learning experience; it was created in the
context of an elementary school and specifically as a curriculum, yet with
open-ended learning outcomes. Certainly artistic self-expression and enhanced
media literacy were two of my goals, but I was just as intrigued with using the
camera to encourage an interest in scientific investigation and understanding. I
had some basic ideas for the project, but I also had a researcher’s interest in
what might occur; a desire to see how the first graders used the camera, what my
explanations inspired, and how any resulting photographs would be used by
teachers, parents and the school community. My plan was to develop the
curriculum in situ, seeing what the students grasped in each lesson and
developing the next lesson in response to their questions and inquiries.
“A black box is an
engineering term that works like this. First we drop something into a black box.
Then, we wait while our thing is “magically transformed” inside the black box.
Finally, we receive a new transformed thing back from the black box. The beauty
of a black box is that all we need to know is how to drop something into the
black box and what to expect on the other side. We do not need to understand the
can be thought of as an everyday black box, and taking a picture with a modern
consumer camera usually happens in one of two ways. With a traditional film
camera, a film canister is dropped into the back of the camera and an internal
motor advances the film to the proper frame. The photographer looks through the
eyepiece and “sees” the picture, then pushes a button. The film is automatically
advanced to the next frame and so on until the roll is complete. Many cameras
also automatically rewind the film, so the photographer needs only to pop open
the camera and take the canister to the nearest drugstore or lab. Within hours
or days, the photographer can have the photographs in hand.
digital camera, the process is even simpler and perhaps, more mysterious. A
digital camera allows one to “see” an exact image on a screen at a reduced size,
just as it will appear when printed. Any darkening or lightening of the scene
can be changed and viewed instantly by pushing a button. In contrast,
photographers using a traditional film camera need to understand something about
light and exposure in order to make any necessary changes and these are not
visible until the final image is printed. Digital camera users can upload their
images to a computer and print them out themselves, or go through a service that
will print the photos for them. In either case, whether using a traditional film
camera or digital camera, the photographer/consumer does not need to know what
occurs in the lab or how a CPU works in order to take a “good picture.” When
people say, “my camera takes good pictures” they are usually referring to the
sharpness of the image and the color quality. They are also implicitly saying
that outside of choosing the subject matter, they have nothing else to do with
In developing a working framework for the photography
curriculum, I assumed that many students had posed for snapshots with family
members or even used a camera to take pictures themselves. What I wanted to do
was help them understand that a camera is a tool and the photographic process a
technology. Over a twelve week period in the spring, I worked with the first
graders in the classroom once a week, speaking with them about photography,
demonstrating some aspect of the technology or accompanying them on a fieldtrip.
I showed them cameras, diagrams, and professional photographs to help them think
about what a photograph is, performed experiments to peak their curiosity about
technology and how photographs are made, and took them into professional
situations to prompt their understanding that photographic technology has a wide
range of uses. The following sections explain the activities that we were able
to accomplish, although there were many more lines of inquiry and demonstration
that we could have taken.
There were two primary ideas I wanted to get across at the outset.
The first is that the camera is just a box that captures light in various ways.
The second is that a photograph is made by light striking a roll or sheet of
film placed inside the camera that is transformed into a negative image through
a chemical development process. I brought into the class a variety of cameras so
that they could see different kinds of “boxes”. Most intriguing to the students
was my large format camera which holds a piece of film that measures 4” x 5”
(commonly referred to as a 4” x 5” camera); the shutter is manually manipulated
and one can see the aperture open and close easily. To take a picture with a
large format camera one must focus the image (upside down) on a ground glass at
the back of the camera with a dark cloth over your head. I gave each child a
turn to look at the image and then “take the picture” by snapping the shutter. I
also showed them how the large film fit into the film holders and how it was
exposed when the shutter was open.
The first graders already had one
sense of the effects of light on film. When I began to unroll the film out of a
35 mm canister, a number of children got very agitated and told me to stop. When
questioned, they didn’t quite know why it was wrong, but I was able to build on
their anxiety with a simple diagram. Drawing a circle on the white board and
naming it the sun, I asked the students what was missing and they easily
identified that “the lines” or rays of the sun were absent. From this simple
visual concept that many children use in early drawings, they began to
understand that light has energy, waves and movement, that the camera focuses
this light through a lens or hole, and that when it interacts with the surface
of the film it makes a picture.
Building on the idea that the camera is just a “box“, I wanted the students
to open up the “black box“ and figure out what’s inside and how it works. I
bought eight old 35 mm cameras and purchased a number of miniature screwdrivers,
usually used with electronics equipment, so that the students could open up the
backs of the camera, take off the lens and generally pull the cameras completely
apart. A number of girls spent nearly forty minutes patiently unscrewing all of
the tiny screws they could locate on the cameras. Two boys, working together
just as hard but with more vigor, actually broke one of the screwdrivers in
their great excitement to “see inside”. The classroom teacher was amazed at the
level of concentration that this activity generated and that the students began
to see connections with other technological devices. Intrigued with what they
found inside the cameras and excited by the opportunity to explore, a few
students exclaimed they were interested in “going home and taking apart their
can take something apart, you can build it. This activity emphasized the notion
that the camera is a box and is something that is made. Using a small how-to
booklet containing brass shim stock for various focal length pinhole cameras (5)
I constructed one camera with normal focal length, one with telephoto focal
length and one with a wide angle. Viewed from the front, the cameras all had the
same dimensions, approximately 10 x 12, but when you turned the cameras
sideways, the telephoto camera was longer than the normal camera and the wide
angle was narrower, a very obvious and demonstrable difference. I brought a
fourth cardboard camera to show them the basics of the construction and how the
film was placed in the box. I demonstrated how the film was exposed and how this
was analogous to the lens and shutter operations on consumer cameras. We then did an experiment to visually understand what different focal length
meant and how it created a different image with each camera. Setting up a bowl
of fruit in the corner of the room, I exposed the black and white film in each
camera for an hour, having the students and the teacher attend to the time. I
returned later in the week with the photographic negatives and corresponding
pictures and asked the students to determine which picture corresponded to each
camera, stacking the cameras one on top of each other like blocks so that they
could clearly see the differences in the dimensions of the cameras. While it was
a difficult concept to grasp, they did understand that the rays of light that
made the picture had to travel different distances in each camera from the
pinhole in the front of the box to the back of the camera where the film was
held, and that this is what created the different images. One student also
intuited that the pinholes were slightly different sizes and that this was an
additional factor that contributed to the different images created by each
black and white film development, a chemical process is used to make a negative
out of the film that has been exposed in the camera. To make a print, this
negative image is then projected through an enlarger onto specially coated paper
in a darkroom and put through an additional process to develop the latent image.
I showed the students undeveloped film and negatives in the classroom and
explained the process to them, but I wanted them to see how a negative becomes a
print because it is an understandable and dramatic experience that makes a
To demonstrate the printing process, I took the
students on a fieldtrip to a local private high school darkroom that had a
number of enlargers that the students could use. While the majority of the class
worked on a coloring activity with the classroom teacher in an adjoining room, I
took 3-4 students into the darkroom at a time to show them the process; the
paper is exposed with light from the enlarger, it is then put into a tray with
developer, moved to a tray with a chemical that stops the developing image, then
moved to a tray that fixes the image. I had the students create their own
photograms by placing their hands and other materials on photographic paper and
exposing this to the light under the enlarger. They were then able to watch the
development of these images through each step. I also printed a small 35 mm
negative for each group of students so that they could see how the enlargement
process worked to “blow up“ a 35 mm negative image to a larger size. The
children were fascinated with the development process and were able to take the
photograms back to the school where the classroom teacher began a bulletin board
about the photography project.
In preparation for taking home a camera to use on their
own, I wanted to demonstrate to the students how the modern camera gives a
photographer more control of light than a simple pinhole box camera because it
has a lens and shutter apparatus. I used my large format 4 x 5“ camera to
demonstrate how a lens bends and changes the way light hits the film. A
photographer is also in control of the light and the construction of a
photographic image through the size of the aperture and the speed with which the
shutter opens and closes. With a 4 x 5“ camera, the change in aperture opening
from f/64, which is very small, to f/6.3, which is fairly large, is very easy to
see and the students could easily get the idea that less or more light would
pass through the lens. (6) I then demonstrated a shutter speed of 1 second
versus a shutter speed of 1/500 of a second. I then put together both
variables–shutter speed and aperture–to help the students understand how these
two parameters regulate light gathered by the camera.
We also looked at
a number of art photographs in the Time-Life Library of Photography, using one
volume of the set that clearly classifies photos into themes; landscape,
portrait, action photo, and still life, an idea that was easily understandable
to the students through the idea of theme birthday parties. (7) When I posed the
question to the first graders whether photography was an art or science I got a
variety of answers “It's an art because its like drawing, it makes pictures,“
said one student. (8) “It's a science because you use chemicals,“ answered
another. After some discussion, the students and I all agreed that we considered
photography to be both.
The students were very excited to take home cameras and
start making their own photographs. I purchased six very simple 35mm point and
shoot Fuji cameras that had a manual control for advancing the film. The
classroom teacher developed a system for rotating the cameras among the students
so that each could have one for a week. I loaded each camera with black and
white film for thirty-six images and included an instruction sheet for parents
in a plastic bag with the camera. I explained to the students that they would
not have the various options I had with the 4 x 5“ camera as these cameras had a
fixed focal length and one shutter speed. The classroom teacher and I also
decided on a small assignment to give the students some direction and asked them
to take a picture of a tree, their car, a shadow on the ground, and their
family. I left it up to them to photograph what they wanted with the additional
frames of film.
A number of the students had trouble with the cameras
because they did not use them in the proper lighting situation. Others had too
much help from well-meaning family members and came back with very conventional
snapshot images. But many students returned with excellent images and
enthusiastically asked if they could take out the camera for another week. As
the students returned their film, I developed it at a local lab and I printed
the “best” of the 35 mm images at 8 x10“ to share in the classroom for
discussion. My main criteria for enlargement was simply the strength of the
image; my methods coming primarily from a class I had taken with Mary Ellen
Mark, the internationally known documentary photographer. In “The World
Observed”, (9) Mark asked students to shoot many rolls of film and then
critiqued the images following the students own visual intuition and direction
for image-making. Similarly, I would share an image with the students and
comment on the way in which they had used the camera, what was the strength of
the composition and what I saw them doing with their cameras and their ideas.
For example, one student had clearly tried to document the school day, taking
pictures of various sports activities, students reading in the library nook and
students working around a table. Another student had used the camera to “play”
with a friend and had been very creative with capturing action and using
different camera angles. I also worked one-on-one with the students, critiquing
their work and giving them suggestions for future photographs.
My original plan was to have the
students do color photography with digital cameras and computers, exploring the
world of digital imaging in contrast with traditional film. When this became
logistically impossible because the school's color printer was not working, I
decided to use color film in order to give students the opportunity to
understand that color composition includes different choices than shooting black
and white images. During the school day, I took three to four students on short
field trips around the school campus and in the nearby neighborhood. I explained
to them a very basic idea of color theory and loaded the Fuji cameras with color
film. These fieldtrips also allowed me to help students who had had trouble with
the cameras when they had taken them home.
The culmination of the science aspect of the
curriculum was a trip to the Edgerton Center at MIT, (10) a laboratory and
demonstration center that continues the work of MIT professor Dr. Harold
Edgerton. Recognized internationally as the scientist who invented the
stroboscopic flash, Edgerton also worked with high-speed film and sonar,
innovative technologies that allow us to see activities that are usually beyond
the ability of the human eye to perceive. (11) The Center has an outreach group
that provides programming for public school groups of 4th graders and up, but
they were also happy to accommodate the first graders and provided an
educational and entertaining demonstration. Using the students' participation,
the staff demonstrated high speed video, stroboscopic flash with optical
illusions and multi-strobe photography with the students in action. The visual
excitement was quite high and students also made some very astute connections.
At one point the staff had trouble getting some of the computer images to record
and decided they needed more light. As they began to move the lighting equipment
closer to the subject matter, I asked a couple of students what else they could
do. “Open the aperture”, replied one student to my great satisfaction.
Our final project of the
curriculum was an art exhibit showcasing one photograph from each student. I
printed the images to a size of 11“ x 14“ and curated the show, choosing one of
the best photographs from each student and also selecting a variety of black and
white and color, as well as a range of subject matter. The students chose titles
for their photographs and printed the titles on the work prior to the framing. I
hung the work down a central hallway at the school during the last month of
school and we organized a closing party for the exhibit to which we invited
other students, administrators and people who had helped us with the project at
various stages along the way. At the party, the students were encouraged to talk
about their photographs to the adults and other students who came to the
exhibit. At the end of the school year, I gave each child a copy of one of
their prints to take home. The Let's Make a Picture exhibit remains on permanent
display at the school, housed in a part of the facility that is dedicated to
nature of the image is both a formative process by which meaningfulness is
achieved as well as a product of vision or thought by which the essential
identity of a thing is grasped [...][This] mimic(s) the perceptual process of
raw experience itself on all level...drawing on the phylogenetically older
limbic system, which is the basis for our emotional involvement.”--Marie
Seward Barry, Visual Intelligence
The metaphor of vision is deeply
imbedded is in our everyday understanding notes the anthropologist and
folklorist Alan Dundes. “From early memories of playing 'peek-a-boo' or 'showing
and telling' in school, the primacy of vision in American culture is affirmed
again and again as infants grow to adulthood.” For example, we say that “seeing
is believing“, we greet people with phrases like “see you around” and “it's good
to see you“, and our national anthem begins with the phrase, “oh say can you
see”. Even phrases about comprehension are often couched in a visual expression;
“It all depends on how you look at it”, “I can't picture that”, and finally, the
phrase that denotes an understanding of common vision, “Oh, I see what you
mean“. Visual images are potent, and it is no wonder that visual presentations
play a key role in advertising, medical diagnosis, courtroom arguments, and
other forums in which we persuade and frame peoples' understandings. Yet despite
this overwhelming emphasis on the visual in our language and its formative place
in our expressive development, and regardless of the fact that most people today
get much of their news and information from the television and internet,
American schools do not seek to engage and develop visual media skills in the
My experience teaching first graders photography over a
period of a few months showed that they were emotionally engaged, fascinated
with the technology, and could grasp complex ideas and put them to use. I asked
many students about how and why they took certain pictures, but one girl's
explanation of her brothers' portrait was particularly intriguing and indicative
that students would find a way to logically use the information I had provided.
She informed me that her mother told her not to take the picture in the living
room, but to go into her own bedroom instead. Pressed further with additional
questions, this seven year old told me that she thought the bedroom was too dark
to take a picture but she had been able to solve this problem. “There wasn't
enough light,“ she told me, “so I put one up. You know those kind of lights that
have shades on them? I took off the shade so there was just the bulb.”
Making use of scientific principles to create better art, and using art to
understand science were the foundational principles I had started with when
thinking through the curriculum. But photography's other various functions also
served to enrich the classroom experience for both teacher and student alike.
Viewing the students' photographs allowed the classroom teacher a glimpse of how
particular children “see”, how they view the world and what they think is
important. The teacher was also excited to see their home environments and
relationships with other family members through their images. Displaying the
photographs at the school also helped create “community”, that elusive feeling
of cooperative existence that is so important in public education and difficult
to create with a diverse school population.
The pictures also allowed
the teacher to see the students differently. It was clear that some children had
definite compositional talents and that many began to see different kinds of
light. A great number of their images were well-composed and graphically strong.
In the first grade, coloring and drawing are still a requisite part of many
assignments, but many children don't want to draw and especially rebel against
drawing people. Creating photographs gave students a way to realize their vision
and to produce professional and realistic images; they gained a grasp of the
visual object which they didn't have with the pencil or pen. Studying the
photographic process as a precursor to taking photographs helped students
understand that the photographs were a product of themselves rather than
thinking that the pictures were a product of the camera, and many students took
great pride in the resulting pictures.
This strong emotional engagement
with the photographic process is a factor that Ewald uses in her literacy work,
and I saw other ways in which educators might use children's vast interest in
photographic picture-making and its accompanying technologies. An early and
visceral understanding of how images are produced and how they can affect us
emotionally and persuasively helps students understand the power of images. They
learn the basic concepts of early media literacy and gain a healthy mistrust of
media production. An early introduction allows students to broaden their
understanding of the technologies and craft, and increases their level of
sophistication. When boy returned his first roll of film with a picture of an
action figure nearly out of the frame, I suggested that he try to position the
character more nearly in the center if he wanted to take a picture of the action
figure again. His next roll of film showed that he had taken my suggestion and
elaborated significantly. I nearly laughed out loud when I saw six frames of
film showing two carefully composed action figures, each one depicting a
different moment in a battle between the two, an early attempt at animation.
Over the last 10 years, I have been engaged in visual communications as
both a creator and critic. As a critic of visual images, I have come to
understand their production within a political and social context. As a producer
of visual images, I have used my understandings of how various visual images
work–from video, to photographs, to graphic charts of demographic and
statistical data–to produce projects that advocate for political change as well
as persuade people to engage in serious issues. While a single photograph or
even a group of photographs may have little power to effect political
transformations on their own, visual images are still compelling and powerful
when embedded in a broader process. Teaching students' photography as both
science and art allows children to create their own images and increase their
understanding of the use of images, creating a sense of pride and empowerment.
The excitement of visual imagery can also help to engage students in scientific
subject matter and show them methodologies for investigating other technologies.
My interest in making a better picture refers to the localized photography
process that produces well composed and thoughtful images but also to the subset
of skills students learn when studying photography. The fortitude to ask “why”
and the know-how to open up the black box and find out just how something works
can be a lifetime lesson.
Barry, M. S. (1997).
Visual Intelligence: Perception, Image, and Manipulation in Visual
Communication. Albany, New York: State University of New York Press.
Dundes, A. (1980 ). “Seeing is Believing”. Interpreting Folklore. Bloomington:
Indiana University Press.
Eakin, E. “Penetrating the Mind by Metaphor”. The
New York Times. February 23, 2002.
Ewald, W. (2000). Secret Games:
Collaborative Works with Children 1969-1999. Zurich: Scalo.
Fiske, E. B.
“Controlled Choice in Cambridge, MA”. Sponsored by the Spencer Foundation.
Glaser, B. G. and Strauss, A. L. (1967). Discovery of Grounded Theory:
Strategies for Qualitative Research. New York: Aldine De Gruyter.
P. (1997). The Engine of Visualization: Thinking through Photography. Ithaca:
Cornell University Press.
Newhall, N. (1999) “The Caption: The Mutual
Relation of Words/Photographs”, in From Adams to Stieglitz: Pioneers of Modern
Photography. New Jersey: Aperature Foundation.
Pinhole Format Co. (1999).
How-To Make Three Corrugated 8 x 10 Pinhole Cameras. Brooklyn, NY: The Pinhole
Format Co. www.pinholeformat.com.
http://www.cap.ac.uk/. Children as
Photographers, Joint Research Project of The University of Birmingham, UK,
National Museum of Photography, Film & Television (NMPFT), Bradford, UK, and
the Eastman Kodak Company.
Life Library of Photography. (1970) The Great
Themes. Time-Life Books.
The M.E. Fitzgerald is located in North Cambridge, Massachusetts and is my local
community school. My son Andrew Dumit has attended the school for three years.
(2) There are numerous research studies as to why girls turn away from
these subjects (How Schools Short-Change Girls: A Study on Major Findings on
Girls and Education AAUW, 1992). Yet hidden among all the research about why
girls don't pursue these fields are some useful insights as to what might make
these subjects of more importance to girls. In Building Their Future: Girls and
Technology Education in Connecticut (1996), researchers Silverman and Pritchard
found that girls were more inclined to be excited about a project if the object
they were asked to build attracted their attention. “One teacher had students
build houses, giving them some leeway from the basic design and letting them go
on to decorate it if there was time. The girls in this class showed more
enthusiasm than girls in a similar class who complained that building bridges
was “boring.” Yet the principles of technology [and science and math] can be
learned as well from building a house, which was of interest to the girls, as
from building a bridge.”
(3) My photography portrait project started when
my son was in first grade and it was his cohort group I wished to follow until
graduation. The curriculum project was developed with his first grade teacher,
Ms. Mary Beth Callahan, and the class of students that followed the year after
his. Let’s Make a Better Picture was supported with a grant from The Open
Meadows Foundation, private individuals and other local businesses and
(4) This is a large-scale research effort involving working
groups at The University of Birmingham, Eastman Kodak, Moderna Museet, EFTI, the
Centre for Contemporary Art, and the National Museum of Photography, Film &
(5) How to Make Three Corrugated 8 X10
(6) f/6.3 is about 1“ in diameter whereas f/64 is just
slightly larger than an“o“ in font size 12.
(7) The Great Themes, Life
Library of Photography, Time-Life Books, 1970.
(8) The discussion of
photography as art has had a long history. Early arguments often disputed the
fact because of the technological aspect of the process, but today, photography
and other “moving images” have taken center stage in the art world. See
Aperature, 171, Summer 2003 for a discussion of the Guggenheim Museum exhibit
“Moving Images” and a brief history of the various influences and convergences
in contemporary art photography.
(9) The World Observed was a class she
taught for many years at The Maine Photographic Workshops.
(11) Dr. Edgerton's famous
photographs include the image of a milk drop falling onto a table, “Coronet” and
the stopped action of a bullet through a target.
(12) In spring of 2003,
the Fitzgerald School was closed as part of a contentious battle over district
consolidation. The district-wide plan calls for Fitzgerald students to stay in
the building if they so desire, and be joined by the students, administration
and staff from the Peabody School.Return to the Journal of Pedagogy,
Pluralism and Practice Main Page
Journal of Pedagogy, Pluralism and Practice Main Page
Spring and Fall 2004 Issue Main Page
Sylvia Sensiper - Let's Make a Better Picture
Tony Talbert - Give Peace a Chance in Our Social Education Classrooms
Sandras Barnes - Who is Teaching the Educators?
Caroline Brown - Nick's Careless Laughter
Multiple Authors - Multiculturally Transforming Teaching & Learning
2004 Spring and Fall
2000 Fall/2001 Spring
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