Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Let's Teach the Arts

 CIAMO was very excited to hold its first Official Teachers Training on February 20th and 21st, co-sponsored by the Ouidah School District, and a grant from SPA/USAID. Here is a quick recap of what happened!

19 teachers were present, each one from a different school in Ouidah. The training began with a discussion of the arts. What are the arts? Why do we teach the arts? The teachers were actively engaged in these questions, and anxious to better understand the impact of arts on children.

Pascal Avokpo shows how to draw a circle in perspective. 

After, we had two hours of drawing lessons, approaching observational drawing and perspective. These sessions were led by local artist and CIAMO teacher, Pascal Avokpo. 

Lydia helps a teacher to draw a cup. 

 Next, Lydia Dambekalns, head trainer, assisted by Pascal Avokpo and Christian Tamegnon, went through two model lessons. The teachers were invited to attempt each lesson.
Lydia and Pascal show examples of the gates that her students created.

The first lesson involved observing gates to compounds and drawing them, as well as inventing symbols to place on the gates. 

Teachers gather outside to draw the gates of EPP OkeAgbede

Observing the final product.

The second project was based off the Flags of the Dahomey kings. These flags are traditionally quilted and involve the usage of animals to symbolize kings. 

Teachers enjoyed the projects so much, many refused to leave during the lunch break! 

Cut out the form carefully!

Just one example of the final product.
Teachers drew animals and cut leftover fabric clipping to form the parts of the animals.

After finishing the projects, Dean Georges Azonaha, the author of Benin's art curriculum recapped the lessons, by showing how they could be used and justified in the classroom. 

At the end all the teachers were awarded certificates of participation by the Superintendent of Ouidah 

Our first teacher training was an incredible success! CIAMO thanks all those involved, especially Peace Corps/USAID and the Ouidah School District. Here's hoping that we'll have many more successful trainings! 

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