Pedagogy Foundation Programs page 5


Summary of Student Comments on How to Improve Foundations

Foundations by discipline rather than a general program for Industrial, Interior and Graphic Design. (13)

No graduate student teachers.

Better quality of teachers. (2)

More emphasis on process (rather than end product)

Computer instruction. (2)

Fewer projects with more emphasis on objectives.

Program for Sophomore level should be taught at Freshman level.

Better organization.

More interaction between teachers and students.

Fixed work space.

Two-hour classes did not allow enough time in the studio.

) The single most important factor for an effective educational program is the faculty, and this includes all the conditions related to, or determined by them.

) Program of study is the second most important factor to achieving educational effectiveness.

) Quality of students accepted into the program is established by the quality of teachers making the selection.

) Quality of program is determined more by what is taught than by who is taught.

) A cohesive faculty that interacts is vastly more effective than a divided faculty.

) Allocation of office space seems to have a great deal to do with encouraging a cohesive faculty that interacts. Within my own experience, faculty studios were always clustered or as in one instance at Kansas City, faculty shared one large studio.

) Another factor in space allocation relates to students. If students have fixed workspace, it strengthens the interaction within the entire class, promotes working on projects outside of class, and leads to additional interaction with faculty.

) With the greater number of sections there will be a corresponding diminishment of program quality and the educational experience for students differs from section to section. There are distinct advantages to keeping sections limited to two, even though there might be more students in each section than normally allowed.

I have always judged Ken Hiebert's program in graphic design at the University for the Arts to consistently be one of the best in the country, and over a long period of time (1965 -).

In collecting information for this paper, I was surprised to learn that the program has to accept every student who applies following a one-year general Foundations. Graphic design has four sections in the Sophomore year, three in the Junior year and two in the Senior year. Teachers and graduates are widely represented as some of the finest, and most successful, designers of the last forty plus years.

The facts seem to contradict much of what has been observed, stated and recommended in the paper. However, there are significant circumstances connected to the program at the University for the Arts that actually reinforce the findings.

The faculty share a common educational philosophy and pedagogical background that had its origins with Armin Hofmann at Basel, Switzerland. The faculty are cohesive and work as a team. They have a well-defined program of study. They have an exceptionally well-qualified faculty. There is fixed workspace for upper division students.

I think this is a clear indication of where priorities should be in graphic design programs, and it demonstrates the possibility for a quality program even though there are negative factors such as over enrollment and too many sections, multi-use space.

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