teaching for artistic behavior (TAB)

Teaching for Artistic Behavior is a framework for a learner-centered, choice-based curriculum in the art classroom.

The Three-Sentence Curriculum:1

What do artists do?
The child is the artist.
The art room is the child’s studio.

I implement various levels of student choice across any grade level I work with. The TAB framework goes hand-in-hand with the Studio Habits of Mind framework to fully engage students in the art-making process and develop their capacities to think and make like artists. Choice allows students to explore personal ideas and various media, build skills, and create meaningful artwork at their own pace. 

“Our phrase ‘making artists’ should not be misunderstood. It should not be interpreted that we expect our students to become artists in the future, or that we wish to lead all students into art careers. Rather, it should be understood that we consider the students in our classrooms to be artists whose ideas deserve respect. In response to fostering their autonomy, our students develop the composure to solve problems on their own terms, and thereby experience insights applicable not only in the art room, but also in their everyday lives.” —Melissa Purtee + Ian Sands2

1 Douglas, K. & Jaquith, D. (2018). Engaging learners through artmaking: Choice-based art education in the classroom (TAB). Teachers College.

2 Purtee, M. & Sands, I. (2018). The open art room. Davis.
© Ava Lonergan 2023