My proposal is to create a scenic art resource to use as a teaching tool outside of the workshops and an online community for discussion and sharing of learning.
What are the benefits of such a resource?
Students can focus on their artistic process having been given a foundation of knowledge.
When i talked to the students about working autonomously and failure in the workshop, they told my that the approaching a project they cannot always forsee the outcome and in the high pressure time scale of panto they are thrust upon a piece of scenery without the chance to experiment and work through there process. Hearing this I let two students create samples for the next scenery piece. They tested their colours, created a step by step guide for themselves (and their peers) and picked the best tools for the job. When it was time to work on the actual set piece, they were confident, accurate and understood exactly where they were going and how to get there. This was a success, but always looking to improve, i began looking at my process of coaching the students through this. I had to go over techniques, materials and tools as a refresher. This took me away from the other students for a longer time. And as Salman Kahn said:
“the last thing you need is another person saying ‘do you understand this'”
This adds extra pressure for the students to take everything in. What if the night before, they had watched a short video on spray guns. 30 seconds to a minute detailing how the gun works. The next day they come in and I give them a couple of questions, on a subject they now feel is familiar. Its valuable learning and it hands the autonomy back to the students.