The classroom is a place designed to bring the theory and practice of teaching and learning together. It is a dynamic environment in which ideas and actions are encouraged to flow, where preconceptions and limitations can be safely addressed, and where current ideas can be challenged and new ones encouraged to grow.

Less than two years after starting to teach basic drawing, it became evident to me that almost all of my students knew how to draw when they started the course. My attention was drawn to understanding how, as adults, many people loose the skill to draw, and how that skill can be encouraged to grow again. I also considered how little of the process is dependent on the ability to 'make', using hand/eye coordination, and how much of the process is dependent on a capacity to observe and to reflect. Donald schön has suggested that actively making and reflecting can occur simultaniously as 'reflecting in action'. This appears self-evident to a practitioner, but is a difficult concept for a novice to appreciate. What is, perhaps, a useful thing for students to know is that in order to learn how to draw, one must learn how to see, and if each does not further the other, little progress can be made.

I identified three things that my students needed; training in the ability to see, confidence in their abilities to express their ideas through drawing, and a supportive environment within which to aquire them both. Attention to these three things produced a high number of students that were able to chart their own course in drawing. Reading Elliot W. Eisner has confirmed for me two tenets of my teaching philosophy; the importance of addressing the subject of art across the three key areas of 'the productive, the critical, and the historical', and the value to students of teachers who teach by example.