Dara Ross

Art + Technology Teacher
Brooklyn International High School

My Teaching Philosophy

In my projects-based Art classroom we love to mix and infuse our projects with both high-tech, art making processes such as computer programming, 3D printing, laser cutting and digital embroidery with handmade processes such as drawing, weaving, quilting and painting. We also like to create artwork using interdisciplinary themes and content. We used digital embroidery software to create patches and hats with positive slogans and messages to help combat the recent rash of Islamophobia and negative stereotyping of Muslims. During a Shakespeare puppetry project we used 3D printing, fabric and paper-mache to make custom puppet heads, puppet hands, costumes and crowns for a variety of iconic characters such as Lady Macbeth, the Ghost of King Hamlet, Puck and Caliban. Besides creating innovative Art projects, I also try to give my students choices of which tools, materials and processes they want to use to make art. One of my goals in teaching Art is to help my students realize that there is no wrong or right way to make art. I also try to give them the opportunity to realize that they don’t have to consume products and content created by others. I want them to know that they can become the makers, creators and designers of their own content and products, not just blind consumers of mass marketed products.

Building Block Spotlight: Planning for Success

Planning for success is a crucial step in the design process. When students are demonstrating this skill they are able to recognize and articulate the next steps that need to be taken to achieve their desired outcomes. I plan on supporting students by helping them identify and internalize the steps of the design process and by helping them create planning tools to help them organize their goals and to help them monitor their progress towards achieving their goals.