The aim of integrating this project into a university elementary methods course in art education was to develop visually sensitive and culturally engaged future art teachers through meaningful art experiences in the college classroom and in the community. This approach to teacher training expanded the students’ knowledge about multicultural art through innovative inquiry, critical reflection, artistic creativity and meaningful learning in a living art education curriculum.
In this pedagogical model, the college students are active participants in the creation, and dissemination of The Patterns for Peace: Tulip and Arabesque curriculum. Students are required to create original lesson plans and studio projects to share with children in a three- time class visit. Using a variety of instructional methods such as the Discovery, Directive, and Socratic methodologies, students guided children through the art lessons at their small tables that became mini-classrooms. In this way, students were able to apply, and test out, the learning theories and educational strategies that they are studying. The community outreach offered an alternative setting for supervised pre-service fieldwork. Here, the student began the transition from student to teacher in a favorable environment that encouraged intergenerational teaching and learning. For many students, especially the non-art majors, the challenge of motivating and promoting meaningful aesthetic experiences was enriched through the working with the children. They were learners together.