When I tried TAB at the high school level it was a disaster, mainly because I had no idea how to teach high schoolers. I've thought about how I would do it now, knowing what I know. I think a key step for success is the wading I did in elementary. It's helpful to try out big ideas in pieces and see what is a good fit for you and your students. This gives everyone some time to get used to it, because it's a big change in mindset from a traditional art room, as well as school in general. Don't worry about doing things right - instead, do what works for you, in your setting - because TAB is a way to approach teaching and learning, not a set of steps to follow.
Two TABish things to try:
1. Limited choice of materials. Experiment with offering two or three material choices for a project. If that goes well, continue to expand. You'll hopefully notice the positive impact that validating preference has on student engagement.
2. Themes. Start with an idea or concept, show a few examples of work that exemplifies it and support your students as they interpret it.
Question to ask as you plan:
*These are key! Reflecting on these ideas after a lesson is also helpful.
What do I want my students to learn from this?
What challenges will this present my students and how will I support them?
What are some options I can have ready for students who struggle?
How will I challenge students who excel?
How will I make information ready and accessible to everyone so they can answer common questions independently?
What will make this better next time?
So, what are you waiting for? Now is a great time to try some new ideas out!
I'm an high school art teacher who's really interested in student choice and creating opportunities for self expression. I'm also a writer for The Art of Education and co-author of The Open Art Room.