The Flipped Field Trip

Reimagining the traditional field trip, the NCMA has been developing a “flipped museum” model of learning for students across North Carolina that prefaces the onsite experience with online engagment to activate and deepen the Museum encounter.

One of our signature Flipped Museum programs is called Artists in Process, which encourages high school students to explore the creative process by studying artists in our collection through videos, articles, and their own research–all the while reflecting on their own artistic process. As they experiment with different types of media and composition, students select one of three concepts (identity, place, or storytelling) as the theme for their final project. Classes from different regions of North Carolina are paired online and then meet in person at the NCMA for a field trip that builds on their online experience and helps guide them in thinking about their final project.

Daryn Martin, an art teacher at Arapahoe Charter School in South Arapahoe, N.C., has participated in Artists in Process twice, each time partnering with Green Hope High School in Cary, N.C. We asked Daryn to share her firsthand experience as a teacher in the Flipped Museum’s Artists in Process program:

“Arapahoe Charter School is a K—11, Title 1 School where more than 50 percent of my students receive free or reduced lunch. Many of them are shy and have never traveled to Raleigh. Artists in Process allowed my students to not only travel to the NCMA but connect with another art class from across the state.

“It was really good to get my small-town kids out of their comfort zones.”

“Once students started the online course, my partner teacher and I began to use Google Hangouts for our classes to see each other and communicate before meeting at the NCMA for the field trip. By the third Google Hangout, our students were joking around with each other, and there seemed to be an ease that settled over our classes. However, once we got to the NCMA and they met each other in person, both classes initially stayed in their respective groups. The ice breaker helped warm everyone up before we broke into small groups for gallery discussions in the permanent collection.

“The students were in groups based on the concept they were exploring in Artists in Process: Identity, Storytelling, or Place. My partner teacher texted me that one of my students was talking and sharing in her group. Yay, for minor victories! After the gallery experience, students had time to explore the galleries on their own before all meeting for lunch. After lunch our partner school returned home, and we had extra time at the Museum. My students asked to go into East Building.

“Upon entering, my kids immediately relaxed in the darker setting. They vocalized that they felt better in the older building; it was darker, more of a cocoon. We explored the special exhibits of the modern artists and visited the outskirts of the M.C. Escher exhibit. The students enjoyed the N.C. State Student Exhibit and were blown away by the electronic piece. We looked at the artistic process of the college students, and I emphasized how those students were doing the same things they were doing: Ask, Imagine, Plan, Create, and Improve.

“It was really good to get my small-town kids out of their comfort zones. This experience challenged them to experience new things and communicate with others. While they shared with me that it was stressful, they still enjoyed going to the Museum and seeing all the art. Most of them have already decided which piece they want to use for their inspiration and are excited to start on their projects. While we normally identify stress as being a bad thing, I know there are types of stress that are good for the psyche. My students were exposed to a healthy dose of stress and are stronger because of it.”

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