In Department of Art, Experiential Learning

Art education student Rebekah Kubosumi shares how an experiential learning opportunity has enhanced her time at BYU

Photo by Dallas Museum of Art Digital Media Team.

I had the amazing opportunity to intern at the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) last summer. I specifically interned with the Early-Learner/Family Programs for children ages 0-11, and with Access Programs for anybody with a disability, including the blind and those with Alzheimer’s or autism. I crafted lesson plans based on artworks found in the DMA’s permanent collection. In the galleries, we would have art conversations with dancing, scent jars, small games or challenges. These activities are used to promote discussion and make connections.

During my internship, we worked with an organization called Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY). This program works with families to support parents in their critical role as their child’s first and most important teacher. The DMA partners with HIPPY to educate parents on how to teach their children within different museums. Dallas has a highly populated Latino community, thus the majority of our HIPPY participants are Hispanic. I had the opportunity to teach the lessons and interact with the families in Spanish, because I am bilingual. The most enriching experience was when a mom turned to me, crying, and said in Spanish: “Thank you so much for everything you did today. I have come to the museum several times with this program, but today is the first time I have ever felt comfortable here. I was worried that it was going to be in English, and I do not speak English. I am so glad for you. I feel so comfortable now with the art, and I will be coming back with my children.” 

Her comment added a new chapter in my teaching philosophy: art has its own language. Most people do not appreciate art because they do not understand it. I was able to connect and convert this individual to enjoy art solely because I was able to communicate to her in the language she understood. What if we did that in all aspects of art education?

I have a strong passion to bring out the inner artist in my students and help them build technical skills as well as self-expression and self-confidence. I want to become an elementary art teacher because I want to help young students appreciate art and develop their own artistic expression. Throughout the internship, I gained in-field experience and massively improved my teaching skills and curriculum methods. 

The publication of student articles allows the College of Fine Arts and Communications to highlight the experiential learning opportunities and behind-the-scenes experiences of students and faculty and tell stories with a unique voice and point of view. Submit your story at cfac.byu.edu.

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