Hypatia Society Gifted Program


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Universal Learning through Art
For Students in Middle School through High School

Hypatia Society

I. Purpose

The goal of this program is to provide gifted students with an opportunity to engage in significant and challenging work which will encourage them to achieve according to the fullest of their abilities. This programs focus will be to teach students to recognize how art, science, philosophy, culture, literature and other aspects of life are interconnected and directly influence each other. This will encourage the student to utilize convergent thinking, rational analysis, creativity and research skills, among others abilities. In accord with the Hypatia Societys dedication to the concept of Universal genius, students will use the methodology of many different fields and ways of thinking.

II. Program Structure

The syllabus can be tailored to the needs of individual schools. A school may have one session of Universal Learning through Art or may repeat the program once or twice a year. Universal Learning through Art may be given as an after school enrichment program meeting once to twice a week for an hour or ninety minutes; in this case the students will do some preperation work on their own in between class-periods. Or Universal Learning through Art may be given in a summer-camp program during six half-day class-periods with all work completed within the class-periods.

1. Each session of Universal Learning through Art will be focused on art of a specific temporal or geographic context, depending upon the number of session in a complete program:

4 Sessions

A. Ancient Art (Greco-Roman, Egyptian etc..)
B. Representational Art
C. Modern Art
D. Minority and International Art

2 Sessions

A. Representational (including Ancient) Art

B. Modern and International Art

1 Session

A range of all art, with a specific focus determined by the instructor or orgnaizer.


III. Syllabus

During each session the student will create 1 major project, each project springing from an artwork from the period of focus. Each portion of the project must be discussed with the program volunteer and/or the sponsoring teacher. In each class meeting, the student will begin an assignment that will be complete and returned to class the following week (In the case of a summer camp session, when meetings periods are longer, the work may be completed in class). There will be no grade for projects, but upon completion each project will be critiqued by the program volunteer, assisting teacher(s), and/or peers. All student projects will be showcased on the Hypatia Society website.

Class Meeting I--Introduction

Students will examine a number of predetermined examples of art, either on the internet or in available library materials. They will each select one favorite piece to concentrate on during the remainder of the session. This piece of art will be treated in a variety of ways through the course.

During the first class meeting Students will begin (or begin and complete) a narrative essay which describes how the student feels about the art, what they believe the art represents, and/or the message of the artist.

Class Meeting II- Research

Students will use available materials, either from a school library of on the internet, to prepare a short informative essay which tells about the life of the artist or, if the artist is unknown, gives a brief overview of what life was like at the time the art was produced.

Class Meeting III-Artistic Expression

After having reflected for two weeks on their chosen artwork and researched its creator and cultural/historical milieu, students will begin to explore the formal aspects of its composition, for example making a geometric analysis of the used of perspective in the piece under the guidance of the instructor(s). The main assignment in this class, however, will be for students to create their own work of art in any medium (limited only by available materials) inspired by or in reaction to their chosen artwork.

Class Meeting IV-Aesthetics

Students will prepare a research paper describing how aspects of the artists life or cultural milieu are reflected in their chosen artwork. Aspects may include, but are not limited to: philosophy, language, religion, technology, science, math, discoveries, war, family and gender roles, class and race systems, superstitions, medicine, education, politics, fashion, courtship and marriage, drugs and alcohol, mental illness etc.

Class Meeting V-Literary Expression

Each student will create one or more creative works which react to, or are inspired by, the artwork itself, some feature of its milieu discovered during research, or any other related theme. Possible projects include (but are not limited to): poetry, short story, dialogue/ drama, literary or critical essay. In some circumstances a musical composition may be permitted.


Class Meeting VI-Conclusion
Students will prepare an essay as the last portion of the project, it should describe what the student has learned or gained, how they feel they have grown, and how they now feel about the piece of art. In general students should prepare this essay in advance and use the time of the final class meeting to share their work with their fellow students.

It is not worth an intelligent man's time to be in the majority. By definition, there are already enough people to do that.

G. H. Hardy (1877 - 1947)