A teacher in Beijing
Creative projects in a Chinese public school
From 2018 to 2021, I taught Art and Design in a Chinese public school; the High school affiliated to Beijing International Studies University. I started teaching the discipline in English for five months until I began working for the Sino-French bilingual program, which offers lessons of French as a foreign language (FLE) as well as arts, sciences and sport to a selected group of students. After few months of trial and error experimentation, I started applying a pedagogy of project-based learning through which students could explore a subject by producing creative results to the challenges exposed at each step. Through these projects, they were able to learn French differently, putting into practice their knowledge in an art context.
Students learnt to describe art works, their own results, those of their pairs; they learnt to follow project instructions and explain how projects were done; as well as they expressed feelings and opinions in a classroom converted in a workshop. As such, these language skills were added to the fundamentals that constitute the discipline, being the creative process and the plastic result of each engaging project, thus highlighting the committed posture of each student in his work throughout his artistic adventure. Meanwhile, my position as teacher may have been seen as "a guide on the side" to the students. I became a facilitator, a motivator and a content expert; even an instructional designer or a project manager; having to design and plan projects in which students could think critically, solve problems, collaborate and manage their own time while working. Therefore, in this section of the website, creative teaching methods are explained as they have been applied transversally to the four different grades, taking also into account the different disciplines being taught (drawing, design, architecture, etc.).