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The English Guild Method of Learning, by Maryanne Kathleen Basti


Guide Entry to 86.03.01:

In this unit the guild has become a subject of study itself as well as a model for learning and producing art. As I introduce the concept of the guild, I will teach my students about its origins, history, purpose and its vocabulary. From that start we will move into creating the guild experience, in which students will create by stimulation, encouragement, and interaction.

The experience of the guild (being together, commenting on each others’ work, exchanging ideas, group creativity, role of master-student) is what makes such high creativity and quality happen and this is what I want to show my students through the guild experience (recreated in the classroom). This high quality and artistic experience comes from the feedback, encouragement, and stimulation a craftsman gets in the guild to inspire him to highest achievement. The lesson I have suggested is to recreate in the classroom the art work in the great hall of a medieval country house or castle through the guild experience. For it is this artistic achievement-social organization duality which really underlies the scope and purpose of this paper.

(Recommended for Art classes, grades 4-12; and Social Studies classes, grades 6-12)

Key Words

Renaissance Art Guilds Art History Crafts

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