When you set students the task of Interview for the Creative Arts, (see this example) you are hoping they will unearth and gather targeted information that will help create context and subject matter that can be creatively synthesised for the project at hand.
These articles Fathers Day Gift Vouchers Book and Create A Father’s Day Board Game are Father’s Day Projects that require the students research aspects of their father’s lives. The task was to find out dad’s likes or dislikes and about what he values. For the play they were asked to unearth a funny story about dad or his world. The students (not age specified) were asked to find about events and characteristics of an era as well as historical and emotional material. This kind of research promotes empathy and fosters understanding between generations. Students get to know about the emotions of others and to find out and imagine what it would feel like to be in that a variety of situations.
Other projects especially for the higher grades might be more in depth and require they dig further into personal, emotional and historical material. For example, when a college student conducts a research interview to gather material for painting a themed project approached from a Social Constructivist Perspective the questioning would be more probing and exploratory. This type of project would require students to construct a personal response to social situations and contexts through Surreal or Photo Real painting techniques. The work often becomes montaged, mixing together collage and other related source material such as audio tapes and written text.
These older Upper High or College students would conduct probing interviews from a focused slant. For the purposes of synthesizing fact, opinion and context, they would be asking about facts, opinions, context, as well as feelings and interpretations of socially constructed aspects of topical or controversial situations.
- It is always a good idea for the interviewer to tell the candidate why she in conducting the interview. This lets the interviewee ‘into the loop’. He or she will know what kinds of information might be useful, and as well as streamlining the process might actually unjog memory and start the creative juices flowing. Sometimes the Creative Arts Interview will start a respondent thinking and if he or she thinks that the information will be useful they will often recontact the artist to relay even more information that has surface upon sleeping on it.
- It is also important to tell interviewees when and how the information will be used. This is so that students do not cross personal boundaries and/or reveal personal information about people with out their consent.
If you are a Primary School teacher and your project is a simple and humble play written ‘about dad for dad’. It might not seem very important to maintain strict procedures concerning disclosure of the reasons of the interview to the interviewee. Perhaps the kids like the idea of giving dad a surprise and you tend to like the idea also. They might pressure you to go through with the idea “just for fun.”
Present day thinking would say that this “surprise” use of interview information is not recommended even in a Primary School context. It would be better to talk about privacy with the students and have they understood that we can never be sure how someone will feel about disclosure and how they will react to “surprises.” It is good training for them to become used to sensitivity for fair play and for them to become used to strict protocol about disclosure even from an early age. This is a healthy awareness of personal rights that can foster an interest in correct procedure. If you have trouble pressing this point perhaps you could play a simple game of “How Would You Feel?” with them to press the point home.