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Running Head: CONTEMPORARY ART IN MIDDLE SCHOOL 1 INCORPORATING CONTEMPORARY ART INTO A MIDDLE SCHOOL CURRICULUM By NICOLE J. KIRKPATRICK A CAPSTONE PROJECT PRESENTED TO THE COLLEGE OF FINE ARTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2012
Running Head: CONTEMPORARY ART IN MIDDLE SCHOOL 2 2012 Nicole J. Kirkpatrick
Running Head: CONTEMPORARY ART IN MIDDLE SCHOOL 3 Acknowledgements First, this entire process. You have been my rock and solid foundation. Without you, I would not have gotten this far. adventure. The journey has been great an d treacherous at times, but we made it I want to also thank the wonderful professors who have guided me towards a deeper understanding in a subject be a better art educator in the 21 st century. I al so want to thank my one inspiring art teacher, Doug McCauley. If you had not dropped those small seeds along the way, I would not have had the courage to sprout. her. An educator in many ways you have been a driving forc e behind anything and everything in my life. You hav e been there through every milestone, and now this one as well. Thank you for always being my motivator and source of inspiration.
Running Head: CONTEMPORARY ART IN MIDDLE SCHOOL 4 ABSTRACT OF CAPSTONE PROJECT PRESENTED TO THE COLLEGE OF FINE ARTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS INCORPORATING CONTEMPORARY ART INTO A MIDDLE SCHOOL CURRICULUM By Nicole J. Kirkpatrick December 2012 Chair: Craig Roland Committee Mem ber: Elizabeth Delacruz Major: Art Education Abstract For my C apstone P roject I researched how to incorporate contemporary art into my middle school curriculum. My goals for this investigation were to determine the best ways to incorporate contemporary art into my current curriculum and why it is important to teach contemporary art to middle school students. Six of my middle school students participated in a thematically based curriculum project that involved learning about contemporary art ists that use recycled and non traditional art materials in their work. Following the inspiration of the contemporary artists, students created their own personal artwork using recycled and non traditional art materials. At the end of the project, the six students participated in an online classroom blogging site after their art project was complete. The classroom blog site and my personal blog site where I documented each class day activity can be found at
Running Head: CONTEMPORARY ART IN MIDDLE SCHOOL 5 http://nkirkpatrick.edublogs.org a nd http://dmsart.tumblr.com as well as my personal website, http://www.nicolejpottery.com Through this action research project, I found that my approach to teaching moved from a didactic role in the classroom to a guide or facilitator who used an inquiry based approach to learning with my students. Through the use of nontraditional materials, my students gained knowledge in using ma ny new tools in constructing their artwork. By incorporating contemporary art into my current eighth grade cu rriculum, I was able to determine areas where I could continue to add contemporary themes and units into my other sixth and seventh grade classes I currently teach.
Running Head: CONTEMPORARY ART IN MIDDLE SCHOOL 6 Table of Contents
Running Head: CONTEMPORARY ART IN MIDDLE SCHOOL 7
Running Head: CONTEMPORARY ART IN MIDDLE SCHOOL 8 In this Capstone Project, I chose to investi gate how I can effectively incorporate contemporary art into my daily eighth grade curriculum. Through courses I took in the online graduate art education program I was introduced to many new contemporary ideas artists and literature I learn ed about visu al c ulture and c ontemporary art and how each affects our lives today. During my early graduate studies at the University of Florida, I started to question my own teaching methods and practices. Reading current literature Spiral Worksh op sparked my interest in contemporary art and artists (2000). I began to consider how and why I might incorporate contemporary art into my middle school curriculum. I felt that and thinkin g if introduced into my current curriculum but Statement of the Problem Olivia Gude observes that many art teachers today often teach art the way they were taught in school (2000) today include the teaching of observational and perspective drawing (modeled on academic practices), teaching color theory and principles of design (based on modernist curriculum), and teaching crafts and media (based on various traditional forms) (2007, p. 11). It seems to me that a rt t eachers today may be falling behind in teaching contemporary art thinking and practice. Based on my personal interactions with other art educa cl assrooms. Many teachers today still teach the disciplined based art e ducation (DBAE ) model as their set curriculum but these teachers may have not kept up with current practices in the four disciplines identified in the DBAE model, practices which were su pposed to inform art education. As an artist/art educator, I have always taught my students the way I was taught in
Running Head: CONTEMPORARY ART IN MIDDLE SCHOOL 9 high school, using a DBAE approach. But I have not had a chance to study and create ways to include contemporary art in my curriculum. Lo oking for good examples of contemporary art practices and resources for teaching, I have found t he website art 21 ( http://www.art21.org/teach/on contemporary art ) useful. This site encourages art educators to teach around theme s and big ideas. Using themes and big ideas to plan art curricula is something new to me, and something I hope to better understand. Purpose and Goals of the Study The purpose of this study is to develop a way to teach about contemporary art. I believe that contemporary art offers opportunities for my middle school students to find personal meaning and value in art making. My goal is to create a n art curriculum that connects my middle school classroom to the current w orld outside to my middle school classroom. By expanding my teaching to include contemporary art and artists, I want my students to consider current ideas and to develop a sense of meaning through exploration and investigation. I want to build upon my cu rr ent teaching methods of D BAE by deepening my knowledge of contemporary art in a classroom setting. Through my research, I hope that my students will be able to learn about contemporary art and artists. They will also learn how to use a classroom blog s ite where each can share their findings. Research Questions This proposed study focused on four questions I felt I needed to answer in order to effectively incorporate contemporary art in my classroom: (1) What is contemporary art? (2) How does it affect be taught effectively in a middle school classroom?
Running Head: CONTEMPORARY ART IN MIDDLE SCHOOL 10 In order to conduct this study, I first needed to understand what my students knew about contemporary art. I also had to con sider how contemporary art might affect my lives today. I tried to make connections to what students thought w as important and then attempted to change the way they think about art I searched to find solutions to why it is important to teach c ontemporary art instead of relying on older or more traditional art projects inspired by long departed artists. Most importantly, I sought to discover how I could teach contemporary art in a manner that was meaningful to my middle school students now and in the future. Significance of the Study My findings indicate that i ncorporating contemporary art into my middle school curriculum enabled my students to learn about current trends and issues in their community as well as around the globe The importanc e of such learning seems self evident. Additionally, introducing contemporary themes and issues into my art classroom allowed my students to use their critical and creative thinking skills in developing new ideas and determining how to articulate those ideas into meaningful artworks using new materials and tools. This study also highlighted the importance of fostering creative exploration about the world and the issues that lives. By incorporating contemporary art into my curriculum I was able to build a foundation of skills that will enable my students to continue to research larger ideas that are pe r sonal to their studies down the road. By i ncluding open ended questions into my current teaching, students were able to learn to formulate more than one solution to their art. In other words, my students were able to answer the questions I posed to them by developing more than one outcome to their artwork. Although these ou tcomes are also possible in art programs that do not incorporate contemporary art, I believe that including contemporary art practices greatly
Running Head: CONTEMPORARY ART IN MIDDLE SCHOOL 11 facilitated this kind of thinking. This became most evident when my students were able to research contemporary a rtists and see the work artists are creating today Assumptions When including contemporary art into my classroom curriculum, I assumed most of my students did not know what contemporary art meant. Having had the same students from 6 th and 7 th grade, I knew exactly what information had been taught to them previously. After quizzing my students on their background know ledge about contemp orary art, my assumption was correct, they had no idea what contemporary art meant or what it looked like. Contemp orary art was a new term for my students to hear and learn about. Looking back at the methods and practices of my teaching it is not clear to me that I had not adequately allowed my students to develop their pe rsonal ideas and artwork independently. I had assumed all along that students were creating their art based on perso nal memories or experiences. However, through this Capstone Research Project, I found I was teaching my students to create their artwork based on what I wanted their artwork to ref lect. For example, I ing my students the opportunities to expand on their ideas regardless of the knowledge of art skills they possessed. It was difficult for me to accept a variety of end results in their art when directed by my instructional prompt s My mind was closed to thinking there was more than one idea my students were capable of developing when I was instructing them in class. Through this research, I found that my prior assumption s about teaching were wrong. My students were all c apable of independently developing many new ideas of their own in their art making, and choosing their own ideas as inspiration for their final artworks.
Running Head: CONTEMPORARY ART IN MIDDLE SCHOOL 12 Definition of Terms Contemporary Art Contemporary art is a range of art objects and practices in different styles and media dating from the recent past to the present. It differs fr om modern art in that the term does not carry the implication of a non traditional style, but instead refers only to the time period in which the work was created ( The J. Paul Getty Trust online dictionary 2000 ) Modern and Contemporary are sometimes fluid terms used interchangeably. The term Contemporary is sometimes more narrowly used to refer to art from ca. 19 60 or 1970 up to the present or to refer to the current time period without reference to a style of art ( The J. Paul Getty Trust online dictionary 2000 ). Modern A rt. The term r efers to painting, sculpture, graphic arts, and architecture dating from the late 19th century to the present which is characterized by a rejection of traditional artistic forms and conventions. It typically reflects changing social, economic, and intellectual conditions ( The J. Paul Getty Trust online dictionary 2000 ). Modern art includes numerous 20 th century movements and theories. It differs from contemporary art, which does not carry the implication of a non traditional style, but instead refers only to the time period in which the work was creat ed ( The J. Paul Getty Trust online dictionary 2000 ). The term Modernism sometimes more narrowly refers to art made from the early 1900s until the 1960s or 1970s ( The J. Paul Getty Trust online dictionary 2000 ). Postmodern. The term postmodern refers to the style and period of art and architecture that developed in the 1960s and after, when there was a clear challenge to the dominance of Modernism ( The J. Paul Getty Trust online dictionary 2000 ).
Running Head: CONTEMPORARY ART IN MIDDLE SCHOOL 13 Aesthetics. The term aesthetics refers to a branch of Western philosophy concerned primarily with the fine arts, although it may also be used in the context of the appreciation of natural beauty ( The J. Paul Getty Trust online dictionary 2000 ). Usage of the term dates from the 18th century, although his torical discussio ns regarding issues now called aesthetics date from Antiquity ( The J. Paul Getty Trust online dictionary 2000 ). Aesthetics also refers generally to theories of art or the experience of art and other natural forms. Constructivist. In the context of this paper, constructivist refers to the t eaching philosophy based on the concept students construct their own understanding by reflecting on their personal experiences, and by relating the new knowledge with what they already know (Business Di ctionary online, 2012). Each student creates his or her own mental models to make sense of the world (Business Dictionary online, 2012). One of its main principles is that learning is search for meaning, therefore, to be effective a teacher must help th e student in discovering his or her own meaning. Although based on cognitive psychology research its history goes back to the ancient Greece, the Socratic method (Business Dictionary online, 2012). Limitations of the Study My findings are limited by time. In my first project, my students were unable to finish their first project within the 5 to 6 days I had planned to continue the unit of study Due to the scheduled time with my students, which was every day at the same time for 40 minutes, they needed 10 11 days to complete their first project. Extended class time had to be allowed for my students to finish their projects. I had not anticipated working on such a project for mo re than 2 weeks. Because of 25 students and only myself to supervise it was extremely difficult to have one on one conversations with individual students during the process of creating their work.
Running Head: CONTEMPORARY ART IN MIDDLE SCHOOL 14 Also with all 25 students working with multiple materials, at times the classroom was very active with all students working an d moving around, which I have not been used to. During the second project, we had limited use of technology in my classroom. I had to plan ahead to check out a computer cart, but because my class is limited to 40 minutes time was limited for the activ ity due to unforeseen issues I had to extend class time for this project as well T he use of the Internet server at the school would go down and some computer s were unable to connect to the Internet. Some computers had glitches, which also slowed the p rocess of my blogging their information onto their classroom blog site during class time. I have learned through the introduction of con temporary art into my classroom that it takes more time to plan and implem ent contemporary art projects in cl ass. Literature Review Many middle school art educators rework their art curriculum content based on daily actions of their classroom s Some middle schools provide art textbooks, such as the textbook, Introducing Art (Mittler, Ragans, Scannell & Unsworth, 2007), to guide teachers in incorporating traditional art content into the curriculum. This textbook promote s the teaching of discipline based art e ducation (DBAE). the DBAE model has encouraged teachers to construct art curri culum and teach art content through four disciplines: art history, art criticism, art making and aesthetics (Stewart & Walker 2005). More recently, art educa tion scholars such as Gude (2000 ) and Woywod (2004) have called on practicing art teachers to cen ter their curriculums on contemporary art and artistic practices. Given this new direction, questions remain on how teachers might come to decide what contemporary art content should be included in their art curriculums
Running Head: CONTEMPORARY ART IN MIDDLE SCHOOL 15 My investigation of how contempor ary art best fits into a middle school art curriculum involved reviewing professional literature related to the following questions: What type (if any) of specific c urricular approach is used in middle school art classes currently ? If there is not a specific contemporary art curriculum, how can contemporary art be incorporated and taught effectively in a middle school classroom? If contemporary art is incorporated into the classroom, how does it relate to the lives of the students? W hat do national and state standards in art say about the content of art taught by middle school art teachers and w hat methodology and pedagogy is recommended for teaching contemporary art in a middle school art classroom? Within this literature review, I will explore th e findings and suggestions in the literature related to each of these areas and then conclude with cons iderations for further study. Current Art Curriculum Models in Middle Schools Teachers today often teach art the way they were taught in school. Such t raditional teaching methods usually stress developing students knowledge of art history, and the elements and principles of art and design, with some attention to technical skills (Gude, 2000). Since the introduction of DBAE in the 1980s, research demons trates that preK 12 students today typically attend art class with curriculum attempting to increase their knowledge of the elements and principles of art and design (Anderson, 2004; Bain, Kuster, Milbrandt & Newton, 2010; Darts, 2006; Gude, 2000; Gude, 20 07; Packard, 1984; Popovich, 2006; Woywod, 2004). In order to satisfy the public school bureaucracy, DBAE pacifies school administrators by evaluating and analyzing for results within the art classroom (Moore, 1991; Packard, 1984). This type of structure has allowed administration. DBAE stressed formal, prescribed, sequential, and systematically assessed art s insofar as DBAE
Running Head: CONTEMPORARY ART IN MIDDLE SCHOOL 16 oriented art teachers may have relied on overly formalistic approaches to teaching, and insofar as art teachers were not well versed in understanding contemporary art practices. Changes in approach es to art curriculum design have taken place throughout the past two decades from a traditional or formalist model of art to a more post modern and contemporary approach. More art teachers today are looking to include less rigidly constructed programs, utilizing contemporary art ap proaches by introducing contemporary artists and visual culture to their classrooms. Gude observes that curriculum that stresses art history, visual elements and principles; and color wheel, technical skills, and other aspects of art production are alread y over half a century old ( Gude, 2000). Others observe that the goal in a contemporary art curriculum is to engage students with current culture, not to re create particular (Mayer 2008). mation about artworks and prompts for students and teachers to interpret meanings found h DBAE stresses (Stewart & Walker, 2005, p. 11). Art educators today are adjusting their teaching to include critical viewing of a s to visual culture. Historically, it was important to show developmental stages and learning styles students experienced in the arts through a DBAE approach Building on this view, Stewart and Walker (2005) explain how the use of enduring ideas and essential questions, also known as the backward design ( Wiggins & McTighe 1998) is foundational for curriculum planning in art education today Using backward design art educators are able to assis t students with the development of their ideas in response to the flood of visual images students encounter daily through visual culture. Time constraints in the classroom and little time for planning is a critical issue art teachers face on a daily basis. In ide ntifying problems teachers face today, Bain et al, (2010)
Running Head: CONTEMPORARY ART IN MIDDLE SCHOOL 1 7 observe ne of the most common problems in developing curriculum was the lack of ) Deasy (2003) gives suggestions for what school administrators can do to help with the overall collaboration between teachers to affectively reinforce ins truction in the art classroom: Allowing core teachers and art teachers opportunities to collaborate through various lessons, students will gain general and specific skills that enhance their learn ing in school. Joint planning enables quality interdisciplinary lessons, which enforces comprehension and understanding that will be useful to each student (p. 17) Although art teachers may have more resources available to them today, the lack of time prevents teachers from engaging in the preparation needed for effective curriculum development for the classroom. Learning Standards in Art Education N ew state standards, also known as the essentia l and common core standards ( National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Ch ief State School Officers 2012 ) adopted by 45 states across the US, promote the idea of integrating subjects as a way to conceptualize academic curriculum. By the use of mandatory tests, student achievement is expected to show common knowledge in which all students have the ability to be successful in life after high school. Common Core standards help students set goals with a high level education a current form of integrating social, political and cultural issues that explore the process of making art (Anderson 2004; Duncum 1997; Knight 2006; Marshall 2005; Popovich issues based
Running Head: CONTEMPORARY ART IN MIDDLE SCHOOL 18 issues. Some examples of real world issues include multiculturalism, personal identity, freedom, heroes, community (social structures), visual cultu re and the environment (Gude 2007; Knight 2006; Popovich 2006). Mayer (2008) observes contemporary art and ideas, rather than with standards, they will produce a curriculum that is accountabl Although standards in education are important, research suggests implementing meaningful experiences into the curriculum as the high est form of learning achievable (Anderson, 2004; Bain et al, 2010; Darts, 2006; Gude, 2000; Gude, 2007; Packard, 1984; Popovich, 2006; Woywod, 2004). With the right knowledge, goals and planning, the arts can be the most powerful and meaningful learning experience students have in a classroom. Art stan dards require lessons to focus on meaning and examine art images as meaning makers and mediums for communications (Marshall, 2006). By including the ideals of DBAE, art teachers are within the so called frameworks of national and state standards. State s tandards differ among each other but have the underlying theme that art education promotes formal qualities of art in which they explore and convey ideas (Marshall, 2006). In other words, a DBAE orientation or formalized standards in art education do not preclude art teachers from including contemporary practices; rather limitations of time for research and planning are limiting factors. Pedag ogy in Contemporary Art Curriculum Some research suggests providing students with stimulated learning opportuniti es where a safe and dynamic space embraces active and engaged learning. Wilson (2008) calls this type site visual cultural pedagogy (p. 8). Other research provi de s examples of similar learning
Running Head: CONTEMPORARY ART IN MIDDLE SCHOOL 19 Spiral Workshop (2000). Spiral Workshop middle and high ture postmodern appr where curriculum is new in content (pp. 77 78). Struggling to make the transition to this type of curriculum and pedagogy, classroom do I teach? (pp. 5 6). T he inclusion of media techniques and technical skills were among key factors when implementing contemporary art into an art curriculum. Several authors such as Gude and Woywod agreed skills needed to express personal thoughts and views as an important component, however the mastery of skills and techniques should not override the focus of the meaning in the work itself (Darts 2006; Gude 2000; Marshall 2005; Woywod 2004). Another pedagogical shift teachers must make when inc luding contemporary art in an art curriculum is a focus of big ideas and learning objectives. Stewart & Walker (2005) explain that such ideas link academic subject matter with life focused issues. The conceptual development of an idea in a given lesson m akes for participants that are more active and in depth understanding r images 7). Marshall (2005) suggest s art teachers 240). A pedagogy for teaching contemporary art shifts the role of the teacher from a master who lecture s and deliver s the content to the students, to giving students a more active role in his or her own learning This view is confirmed by Eric kson & Vil leneuve (2008) who suggest that the incorporation of
Running Head: CONTEMPORARY ART IN MIDDLE SCHOOL 20 contemporary art in an art curriculum requires teachers to provide students with opportunities to gain knowledge through investig ating through their art making. When teachers center their curriculum on visual culture, students are able to connect the visual world to the ir identities concepts can help teachers to structure contemporary aesthetic investigations of the stuff of our (p. 13). Visual culture deals with the images from mass media, television, movies, music videos, computer and advertisements in magazines and newspapers. Students in the 21 st century live with a flood of images that stem from visual culture in which stud ents identify and value. Art educators need to use visual culture to reach students in producing meaningful works of art When implementing the use of visual culture studies into an art curriculum, art educators are allowing students to discover and deve lop their own voices Again, this connection between meaningful art and developing ideas with contemporary art allow for success in learning. Conclusion Art educators today face serious budget cuts along with time constraints that put pressure on ade quate planning for classroom instruction. Meanwhile, a rt educators are slowly recognizing the transformative power contemporary art has on the lives of students. Although the res earch gives ample suggestions for how to incorporate contemporary art into a curriculum, the bulk of the work is up to each individual teacher. There are no set guidelines in place that state the exact way of implementing contemporary art into a middle school curriculum. Stewart and Walker (2005) prompt art educators to look to the current curriculum and rethink meaningful instruction. Each state, local and district school system has various reasons or methods for the curriculum used in classro oms. The research reviewed here demonstrates the need for a careful
Running Head: CONTEMPORARY ART IN MIDDLE SCHOOL 21 study of a teache current curriculum and the need to reflect on where and how changes can occur. Each author has various points he or she deemed important when attempting to include contemporary art in an art curriculum. As an art educator, choosing the right method s or strategies to fit into a current classroom will take extensive time and planning. Researching these three areas related to contemporary art in a middle school curric ulum led me to believe there is no specified textbook develo ped for middle school cla ssroom that takes on this task All the research suggests various ideas that art educators have created for themselves when planning to include contemporary art into their curriculum s Creating contemporary art curriculum can become difficult when art ed ucators face local school administrators and policy makers Yes, r esources and strategies art educators can use to gain knowledge in contemporary art include local museums, art galleries, subscribing to magazines, encyclopedic sites online, art websites, and community art programs (Mayer 2008). To gain more insight, research leads me to investigate further studies on how to develop a middle school contemporary art curriculum. In summary, to incorporate contemporary art into a middle scho ol classroom, I need to take a closer look at my current art curriculum, how the curriculum aligns with state and local standards and what the best pedagogical research I can use in my classroom. By resea rching th e se areas, I can evaluate my teaching methods and instr uction which will then enable me to incorporate contemporary art into my middle school curriculum. Methodology I used Participatory Action R esearch methods for my study. As I researched contemporary artists, I noticed that artist today use multiple ma terials and engaged current life experiences and issues in their artwork. I decided to develop a unit of study based around these
Running Head: CONTEMPORARY ART IN MIDDLE SCHOOL 22 idea s which I felt my students would be able to connect to I also opened up my expectations and allowed more free explorat ion and decision making in my students. The student art making became about the ideas and creative processes, rather than a predictable prescribed outcome. I observed my students work ing through two different art activities where they create d art works th at communicate contemporary themes in their art work Some teaching methods and strategie s I implemented were: (1) project based learning where I guided and advised r ather than dictated the project outcome ; (2) the use of different art assessments such as formative and self evaluations ; (3) thematic teaching where students focused on an inquiry based investigation rather than a technique driven lesson or one in which they mimic or copy other artworks or illu strations ; and (4) individual and cooperative work. U sing the backward design model, I create d a unit of art Seeing Art in Different Ways, in which my students viewed contemporary artist s using a wide variety of materials to communicate their i deas The essential questions my students explored were: What materials do contempora Why do contemporary artists choose to use recycled materials and What skills do contemporary artist s need to create personal artworks? T eaching toward an underst anding that contemporary art use s a wide variety of materials, I was able to observe my students engaged in a manner I have not seen before. By incorporating this unit of study in my classroo m curriculum, I was able to reiterate and build upon learning experiences by questioning their ideas throughout the lessons. My intent in this study was to observe and describe ways in which some of the contemporary approaches described above can fit int o my middle school curriculum. Bullock relation to themselves and the needs of their students continues to be critical to art education
Running Head: CONTEMPORARY ART IN MIDDLE SCHOOL 23 curriculum development withi During the process of implementing my project, my focus shifted from attempting to answer my research questions to As a result of this study, I provided descr iptions of what art teaching look ed like within my middle school classroom when contemporary a rt wa s included into the curriculum. Furthermore, I describe d how the development of my lessons using the mes and the backward design model were integrated within the structure of my (now) student center ed art curriculum. Subjects Participants in the project were from a largely middle class community and multi diverse group of students. The site of this research was a middle s chool in a rural area of the Southeast United States that is surrounded by farmland, and is where I currently teach art Approximately 400 sixth through eighth grade students attend the school. The middle school reflects the 87% of the students receive free or reduced priced lunch and breakfast. The community in which this school is housed has a population of over 9,000, is 54.56% White, 41.21% African American and 2.24% Hispanic or Latino (United Sates Census Bureau, 2008). I conducted my research looking primaily at the work of six students: Zachary (8 th grade White Caucasian male), Katie (8 th grade White Caucasian female), Rene (8 th grade White Caucasian female), Slim (8 th grade African American male), Jack (8 th grade Ind onesian male), and Melissa (8 th grade White Caucasian female). All participants have pseudo names to protect their confidentiality. Research Site My research was conducted in the fall semester, between September and November 2012, with one of my eighth g rade classes. I chose one of my two eighth grade classes based on class
Running Head: CONTEMPORARY ART IN MIDDLE SCHOOL 24 size. I chose my morning eighth grade class because it is a smaller class and the majority of my students had art with me in 6 th and 7 th grade. Many of the students in my afternoon eighth grade class had never taken art before. I thought it best to choose participants who had art with me from previous years. My daily classes are set the same everyday. I teach the same classes with the same students every day for two nine week per iods (or 18 weeks). I teach two classes of sixth, seventh, and eighth grades. My m orning eighth grade class has 25 students. My research took place in this morning eighth grade class. My research is based on the information I taught in the art classroo m where my students learn everyday. Data Collection Procedures and Instrumentation Through this study, I wanted to develop a deeper understanding of my role as an art educator in a middle school environment. I look ed for ways to improve my practice by engaging in action research guided by my questions of interest and using refle ctive methods of documentation. Some questions of my inquiry involve d ideas and experi ences about contemporary art that were most worthwhile teaching and learning in a middle school art class. Some examples were specific themes middle school students wou ld find engaging and meaningful, such as using different types of materials to create artworks and using technology as a way to view and creat e art. I wanted to observe my students enga ged in their learning as they worked through creating artwork using recycled materials I wanted to find the best way to include contemporary art into my classroom which could help foster ideas further into the semester. The use of journaling, field notes, qu estionnaires, interviews and photographing student art work were important data gathered for this study.
Running Head: CONTEMPORARY ART IN MIDDLE SCHOOL 25 In order for me to collect data about how I incorporated contemporary art into my curriculum for this e ighth grade class, I use d field notes and questionnaires at the start of my research and again at the end of my study. I use d questionnaires to gain insight from th e beginning of the study when I asked students what they knew about contemporary art. At t he end of my study, I gave another questionnaire to document the information gained by implementing contemporary art into my class I interview ed students to gather feedback about the informati on they learned. I also compile d the photos, and field notes to a public blog site. The data I collect ed reflect ed a contemporary art curriculum where students connect ed on theme based art. The data also reflected the shift in my teaching from a didactic approach to a do it yourself curriculum. By focusing on teac her student interactions, I observe d behaviors and patterns that helped to formulate opinions regarding the best way to implement contemporary art into my classroom curriculum. My primary goal was the integration of contemporary art into my middle sch ool curriculum and to enhance the overall educational experience of my students within the study. Data Analysis Procedures I analyzed my daily activities from my eighth grade class mostly by my reflections each day. I blog ged on a Tu m blr site ( http://dmsart.tumblr.com ) and was able to get a clearer understanding of the conversations and the overall class experience from that specific day. My journaling has become a very important part of my observations as well as my picture taking throughout each c lass period. The photographs I collected during each class were a great way for me to go back and observe what my students had accomplished each day. I could evaluate how each day brought my students closer to their finished project.
Running Head: CONTEMPORARY ART IN MIDDLE SCHOOL 26 The conversations I had with my students throughout the class periods have also been a very important part of my analysis. Gathering the opi nions of the students who have participated in this study has been key to understanding their i deas about their artwork and their opinion of contemporary art. Each day, at the end of the class period, I was able to speak to each participant. I was able to help those who needed m or e direction the following day because I asked the six students speci went. Having had the students previously, I was able to look back through the projects the six outcome previously, I was able to draw my conclusions based on answers gathered from my students in the interviews and questionnaires. I was able to observe a change or shift in my engaged students who were just going through the motions. Limitations I was limited in this study by the time span of my research. Because of the use of suc h an individualized project with only 40 minutes each day, my students hardly had time to really get into their artwork. Several students revealed to me that as soon as their ideas started flowing into their artwork, it was time to clean up and move to their next class. Time limitation was a big factor in this research study. I had very limited time when introducing and discussing the project. I wanted to make sure my students had time to develop their ideas by actually working on their pr ojects. I found it extremely difficult to meet with eac h of my six students when I was responsible for the other 19 students who had to develop their ideas as well (see F igures 1 and 2).
Running Head: CONTEMPORARY ART IN MIDDLE SCHOOL 27 Figure 2: Working on technical issues on blog site Figure 1: Setting up classroom blog site
Running Head: CONTEMPORARY ART IN MIDDLE SCHOOL 28 The technical ability my students lacked in w orking a glue gun, drill, screw driver, pliers and wire also made it difficult and time consuming considering I had to show and demonstrate thos e students how to use those tools. This took time awa y from my observations in class (see F igures 3 and 4). Figure 3: Learning how to use a wood burning tool
Running Head: CONTEMPORARY ART IN MIDDLE SCHOOL 29 Another hurdle that was difficult to overcome involved the use of computers and the Internet in my class. This was the first classroom experience I had with the computer cart and logging an entire class onto the school server. Although I set up a classroom blog site for my students to blog their ideas about art and activities in troduced in class, they did not have enough time each to get online and post to the blog each d ay because of the 40 minutes allowed for class. Using a computer cart each day, there were certain procedures that must be followed and this took at least ten minutes of class time each day Such procedures were passing out and assigning Figure 4: Showing a student how to use a drill
Running Head: CONTEMPORARY ART IN MIDDLE SCHOOL 30 specific laptop computers to each student. Once studen ts received their laptop, logging into it from getting right into the activity. There were times that our Internet server w as down, which caused even more delays. There were some students who had been absent during the days set aside for blogging, which added another frustration trying to allow other class times for their blogging to be completed. Because of the time spent o n both these research projects, age of my students and the type of students I teach, I was unable to impleme nt a third project in my unit. Findings During my research, I wanted to find answers to t hese important questions: (1) What is teach? and (4) How can it be taught effectively in a middle school classroom? As I journeyed through my study, hat contemporary art is or what it looked like. I found I had to allow time at the beginning of the art activity to explain and discuss contemporary art. Using that time at the beginning of class allowed my students to make c onnections to our first proje ct; making art using recycled materials. As students were designing and creating their recycled artwork, I observed them engaged in art making. I questioned my students about the relevance of this activi ty to their personal lives and four of my six stude nts shared with me that this art project allowed them the choice to create what they feel Although I had certain criteria for my students to work within, I still allo wed each student to expand his or her thinking and work outside my normal didactic instruction This observation allowed me to see why contemporary art is important to teach in my classroom. By a llowing my students the room to explore on their own, I have gained new insight into how my
Running Head: CONTEMPORARY ART IN MIDDLE SCHOOL 31 students want to e xpress themselves artistically. I also found teaching contemporary art effectively takes time. Although I set out to answer my four research questions, I found that my research shifted learn ing, I followed their lead in questioning many aspects about contemporary art. I found my own personal teaching methods had changed and thus was difficult in finding answers to my original research questions. I discovered my students need ed time to explo re their ideas with tools. In the following sections, I describe in more detail how incorporating contemporary art into my existing curriculum has changed my way of teaching. Finding #1 : A Shift in my Teaching I first interviewed my students to find out any previous knowledge about contemporary art. I used a simple questionnaire and collected their answers. We then proceeded to speak out loud in class about th e questions that had been on the questionnaire. What I found was that no one in the class had My students had a difficult time image s of contemporary art by current artists such as Ai Wei w ei, Red, Andrew Meyers and Haroshi, which I had found when I was researching contemporary art. During this class period, I about contemporary art. In fact, as I was showing my students images of these specific artists work, they started to make connections about a specific t heme. They pieced together that all artworks were made from various materials. This was exciting to hear from my students, as there was a
Running Head: CONTEMPORARY ART IN MIDDLE SCHOOL 32 constant flow of questions throughout our discussion. I too had made the same connection when I was learning about contemporary art prior to my Capstone Project. The next day I started to use more questioning in our discussion. I again showed images I had found on an image rich social media site called Pinterest (see F igures 5, 6 and 7 ). Figure 5: Smashed bottle caps Figure 6 : Recycled plastic bottle art
Running Head: CONTEMPORARY ART IN MIDDLE SCHOOL 33 Pinterest as a means to view pictures about a vast amount of topics. The images we discussed were of specifi c contemporary artists who use recycled material s or non traditional art materials in their work. I found that my shift in teaching has moved from an instructor to a guide or facilitator. I found that I too was learning with my students. I too had questions. As I was instructing during the course of our discussions I realized I was answering their questions with questions as we all became engaged in the topic of recycled and mixed media art. My students were going as far as gathering ideas for projects and artwork they themselves would love to try, based off of looking at images of contemporary art. The learning goal for my students was to find out what exactly contemporary art encompasses The majority of my students believed that contemporary art was the use of any material in a new way, which is happening now in this specific realm of time. Throughout our Figure 7: Recycled CD
Running Head: CONTEMPORARY ART IN MIDDLE SCHOOL 34 discussions, I came to the conclusio n that my students did understand one aspect of contemporary art S tarting our discussions with questions is also a new way of teaching for me. I found once again that my students are more eager to learn and discuss their own personal ideas because I had used extensive questioning. I felt I was asking question after question and allowing my students to come up wi th their own ideas and answers I felt my students had a more engaged art learning expe rience through this new way of teaching than my previous way of delivering an art lesson or discussion. The firs t art pr oject was to create an artwork using recycled materials in a way that resonates meaning in their life. Five out of the six participants finished their projec ts, e ach with a valued meaning (see F igures 8, 9 and 10). Figure 8: Melissa cutting outside of softballs
Running Head: CONTEMPORARY ART IN MIDDLE SCHOOL 35 Figure: 9: Katie working on her sculpture Figure 10:
Running Head: CONTEMPORARY ART IN MIDDLE SCHOOL 36 After each class period, I would ask each student how he or she thought the class went as they were constructing their artwork and working out their own ideas. I had positive fee dback, and also could hear and reflect on some of the stude in developing their ideas. Some students found out quickly how mu ch more difficult it was to create an artwork using non traditional art materials but loved how it was going so far (see Figures 11, 12 and 13). Figure 11: Jack working with wood burner
Running Head: CONTEMPORARY ART IN MIDDLE SCHOOL 37 Figure 12: Katie connecting her cups to form a sculpture Figure 13: Slim applying gesso
Running Head: CONTEMPORARY ART IN MIDDLE SCHOOL 38 I found through this study that my own approaches to teaching have changed due to the introduction of contemporary art. Teaching as a facilitator has made me a better educator who enables my studen ts to create ideas that may have more than one outcome. This has been a large part of my findings in t his research. By teaching with inquiry, I am able to see a positive difference in my s personal art to communicate. Through my research, I was able to reflect back upon my teaching methods and how I introduce d each lesson to my class. I found that through implementing my own curriculum, based on a DBAE approach, I was able to include contemporary themes and ideas to my old teaching methods. I students to connect to contemporary art. I found I was successful by introducing my students to current teaching methods and strategies. I was able to include the idea of contemporary art and art making, however, my research truly reflected the positive change in my teaching, rather than how to effectively t each about contemporary art. Finding #2: Technical Skills are Still Important Through this study, my students were able to work with non tr aditional materials to create artwork. As they worked on their own projects, i t came apparent my students never piec ed together and constructed objects with their hands before using non traditional materials Having had the se students in previous years, I was aware of what they had experienced using traditional materials such as tempra, watercolor and acrylic paints, c lay, oil and chalk pastels, simple printmaking techniques and the use of markers, crayons, colored pencils and graphite pencils. But, m y students had never had a chance to investigate the use of power tools such as a
Running Head: CONTEMPORARY ART IN MIDDLE SCHOOL 39 power drill, screwdrivers pliers, wir e, hot glue guns wood and a wood burning tool (see F igures 14 and 15). Figure 14: Melissa working with a hot glue gun Figure 15 : Rene working with multiple materials
Running Head: CONTEMPORARY ART IN MIDDLE SCHOOL 40 My students were able to come up with ideas and execute their ideas by exploring how those ideas would come together to form their artwork. It was my hope that through this process my students would be ab le to explore in a new learning environment one that provokes curiosity by using othe r materials to communicate ideas in art. I found that this new learning environment did foster creativity in my students. Using different materials together and be com ing acquainted with how new materials worked together also opened up intense dialogue between my students and I as well as with each other. Some of our discussions in class were based on what other artworks my students could create by using a glue gun or by using a drill. My revealed to me that by knowing how t o use these tools, each w ould be able to build on those skills to make their next project even better. Brainstorming on this topic, I started to ask my students further questions such as, useful could a textbook All six participants agreed that the hands on experience s out weighed y number of power tools, do you Rene, Katie, Slim and Jack answered, read and understand what any textbook is Not only did all six of my focus students experience a new tool in constructing their artwork, I saw they all helped each other with their knowledge of using other tools. Each participant helped other students who were struggling with the use of the same tools. This enabled all my students more experience in using other types of materials and tools I found that my students became inspired to cre ate more works of art using the topic of recycled and mixed media materials. On the last day, the cl ass discussion was about wha t had
Running Head: CONTEMPORARY ART IN MIDDLE SCHOOL 41 been the most important aspect (or part) each had learned throughout the introduction of this unit? All six students were in agreement that the use of new materials and tools were the most beneficial to them. I asked the Slim When you and I talked about using screws, I had never used a power screwdriver before. I f ound over again, I know my artwork would look a hundred times better because I now know how to Rene d create my art now. I never I saw how important it was for my students to have a foundation in lear ning technical skills in using other mediums and tools. Without thei r own exploration in using tools to create their art, they would not have the foundation of information to build upon. My students now feel more confident in their ability to construct o ther types of art. Katie told me that she is now open to repurposing her artworks or using other materials to start recreating her art. All but one student completed his or her finished recycled art piece (see Figures 16, 17 and 18).
Running Head: CONTEMPORARY ART IN MIDDLE SCHOOL 42 Figure 16: Figure 17:
Running Head: CONTEMPORARY ART IN MIDDLE SCHOOL 43 Finding #3: Implementing Contemporary Art Takes Time Through the introduction of contemporary art into my classroom, I realized it takes time to plan out my units of study. Not knowing exactly what my students would understand about contemporary art and what background information I would have to teach, I f ound a properly planned out lesson had to be in place. Also, not ever doing projects such as these, I had no prior knowledge of what outcome to expect. I realiz ed, after the fact, planning the entire unit on paper e I had anticipated. For example, the time frame for my students to complete their recycled artwork was much longer than I originally anticipated I had not thought about their unskilled use of power tools as I was planning the unit. I also found usi n g computers in my art class had positive and negative outcomes. I realized I had to research first the contemporary artist and artwork I wanted my students to see, which took many hours prior to art class. I also had to set up my class blog site and beco me Figure 18:
Running Head: CONTEMPORARY ART IN MIDDLE SCHOOL 44 accustomed to the site itself. This took many hours to learn how to navigate through the site so I was able to instruct my students on how to create their own blog s in class. Even though I spent countless hours on the blog site, I still struggled thro ugh some parts of introducing it into the class. This was one drawback to using computers in my class. One positive outcome to using co mputers in my classroom was my students realized how important it is to research and look at other artists and their w ork. As my students were researching contemporary artists, all six students had asked many questions about their work. The days we worked in class researching contempora ry artists, my students wanted to find more contemporary artists who se work they found interesting. By incorporating the use of computers into the classroom environment, this unit opened up many possibilities in learning about art. Although time was needed to research my unit, I felt I learned as much as my students. Even though I started the discussions in class, my students posed great questions; I felt I could use those ideas as future units in contemporary art. Summary Across All Findings Looking back at my findings, the main commonality is the shift in my teaching from a didactic approach to an inquiry and project based teaching structure using themes and units. I change In trying to find the answers to my two main questions : h ow can I teach my middle school s tudents about contemporary art and why is it important for my students t o learn about contemporary art, I realized several key points. First, introducing contemporary art in my middle school classroom needs to be slow a nd built into my lessons from 6 th grade through 8 th grade. Second, i t is important to teach in middle school because it challenges students to use a wide
Running Head: CONTEMPORARY ART IN MIDDLE SCHOOL 45 variety of art media to help achieve a greater understanding about viewing art and art making. Third c ontemporary a rt actively involves students look ing at art in a new way and encourages them to gather ideas in which to explore and investigate art further. Discussion and Conclusion From the shift in my current curriculum to teaching art from a contemporary perspective, I was able to challenge and encourage my students to engage and reflect upon their own works of art in new ways. Instead of specifically focusing on the elements and principl es of art and design, the use of big ideas and themed based art provi ded meaningful opportunities of inquiry in my classroom. In this C apstone Project, I wanted to find how I could incorporate contemporary art into my current middle school curriculum. I wanted to research reasons why it is important to my students to learn about contemporary art today. Scholars suggest that tea chers should see themselves as facilitator s who encourage students to have a more active role in his or her own learning. By pro viding a learning environment where investigation by asking questions lead to further research, my students gain ed confidence in their ability to create meaningful art. Throughout their research, Erickson & Villeneuve (2008) suggest that the incorporation of contemporary art in an art curriculum requires teachers to provide students with opportunities to gain knowledge through investigating through their own art making. I have seen my students actively engaged in their art making during the introduction o f this research. Allowing my students to investigate contemporary themes, each student was able to create a piece of art, which resonates meaning to him or her. What I found in my students through the introduction of contemporary art into my classroom w as more enthusiasm for learning and making art. All the participants in my study
Running Head: CONTEMPORARY ART IN MIDDLE SCHOOL 46 started with an idea and explored ways to convey their idea using recycled materials and learned much more along the way. Each learned how to use a variety of power tools in which they had never used before. My students continuously brainstormed on future ideas for artwork each would like to create. I found my students asking more questions and finding ways to research the answers. In the remaining sections of this paper I will further describe my interpretations and the significance of this research. I will also make recommendations for further study. contemporary work of art, they fe lt the introduction of contemporary themes to the classroom had helped them become more engaged in art. It has also helped them want to research more contemporary artists and other ways they could communicate their ideas by using other non traditional mat erials. My students have shared with me how their ideas have grown by using non traditional materials. My students want to collaborate with one another to create a school sculpture using recycled materials. They have begged me everyday to continue on th is path fo r the duration of the semester. Discussion and Interpretation of Findings Through this C apstone Project I discovered several key factors about incorporating contemporary art into my curriculum. Introducing contemporary art and themes into my cu was convinced that my old way of teaching, which was to deliver a lesson where all outcomes were nearly all similar, had always been exciting for my students. How ever, I realized during this research, my students were much more engaged in their art making because their art became more personal. By using a contemporary theme and introducing my students to the awareness of to speak. My students found a way to
Running Head: CONTEMPORARY ART IN MIDDLE SCHOOL 47 creatively construct an idea by using materials they had never used before. My students were All of my participants were constantly thinking of new ways to use recycled materials. Each day, my students were coming up with new ideas that they were sharing between each other. This new excitement was a positive change in my classroom. Katie and Rene both decided to repurpose other art projects into something new based on the inspiration of their learning through this unit (see Figures 19 and 20). Figure 19: Katie with a repurposed tie dye pillowcase turned into a handbag
Running Head: CONTEMPORARY ART IN MIDDLE SCHOOL 48 I learned that as I implemented contemporary themes into my classroom, my approach to teaching changed; I guided students and offered suggestions rather than dictated the outcome of my I allowed each student the time to ask questions every day. As I observed student s working on their projects, I allowed them to investigate their own ideas. I took the role of asking my students questions instead of sharing my personal o pinion s about their work. I wanted to know what each of my students thought along the way. I chose to remain neutral and allow each student t o work through his or her own idea. Figure 20: tie dye T shirt repurposed into another fashion
Running Head: CONTEMPORARY ART IN MIDDLE SCHOOL 49 I also learned my students craved learning how to build and construct usin g non conventional materials and tools. This was a key learning experience for me as well as my students. S tudent s were hesitant to first learn how to use many of the power tools needed to construct most of their artwork. It was interesting to see the fear of using a power tool for the first time and how the fear subsided with each experience. My students were very excit ed and eager to try new tools or to help another student who was unsur e. It was interesting that each student was achieving foundational skills that will be beneficial to him or her in the future. By introducing contemporary art into my curriculum, I was able to experience. Significance, Implications, and Recommendations For me, t he most significant thing that occurred through my research was the shift in my teaching. Because of the introduction to contemporary art into my c urriculum, I was able to achieve a better quality of teaching for my students. I was able to create a learning environment where my students felt safe and enthusiastic about learning something completely new. I was able to change simple teaching methods that allowed my students to create more meaningful artworks. Using contemporary themes and ideas have allowed me to want to create further units of study for other grade levels I teach. My findings will be helpful to other middle school art educators w ho are willing to try something new. This research will enable other art educators to look at their own curriculum s and try to find ways to incorporate contemporary ideas and themes into their classrooms. Not only is this information valuable to art educ ators, but also other educators who want to try th eme based units in teaching their content material.
Running Head: CONTEMPORARY ART IN MIDDLE SCHOOL 50 I would recommend art educators who would like to incorporate contemporary art and ideas into their curriculum to develop a unit based on a theme. I wo uld recommend allotting time to research the unit and ideas beforehand. There are many wonderful websites that encourage the inclusion of contemporary art into an educated learning environmen t. Two such websites are Art 21 ( http://www.pbs.org/art21/learning with art21/on contemporary art ) and Art Today (http :// schools.walkerart.org) If technology is part of the lesson or activity, planning ahead is a great way to ensure adequate working time. I would also recommend asking outside professionals who have specific skills that pertain to the unit or theme, to come to the classroom and demo nstrate for the students. This could enhance student inquiry and open up great discussions and future lesson s. Through this study, I was able to look at my current teaching practices and shift to inclu de more contemporary themes in my classrooms. Not o nly will I continue to explore ways to add to my current curriculum in 8 th grade, I will develop new units for my 6 th and 7 th grade classes. I will research further ways to include more inquiry into each lesson. I will also s hare is C apstone Project with other middle school art educators in my county I and investigating. Because it is important to help keep my students up to date in t heir thinking, I will also continue to use a varie ty of resources in my classroom for my own learning.
Running Head: CONTEMPORARY ART IN MIDDLE SCHOOL 51 References Adams, J. (2005). Room 13 and the contemporary practice of artist learners. Studies in Art Education, 47 (1), 23 33. Anderson, T. (2004). Why and how we make art, with implications for art education. Arts Education Policy Review, 105 (5), 31 38. Bain, C., Kuster, D., Milbrandt, M., & Newton, C. (2010). How do novice art teachers define and implement meaningful curriculum? Studies i n Art Education, 51 (3), 233 47. Bullock, A. L., & Galbraith, L. (1992). Images of art teaching: comparing the beliefs and practices of two secondary art teachers. Studies in Art Education, 33 (2), 86 97. Business Dictionary (2012). WebFinance Inc. [Online Dictionary]. Retrieved from http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/constructivism.html#ixzz2DfHIXizn Darts, D. (2006). Art education for a change: contemporary issues and the visual arts. Art Education, 59 (5), 6 12. Principal, 82 (3), 14 18. Duncum, P. (2003). The theories and practices of visual culture in art edu cation. Arts Education Policy Review, 105 (2), 19 25. Getty, J. P. (2000). The J. Paul Getty Trust. [Online Dictionary and Thesaurus]. Retrieved from http://www.getty.edu/research/t ools/vocabularies/aat Gude, O. (2000). Investigating the culture of curriculum. Real World Readings in Art
Running Head: CONTEMPORARY ART IN MIDDLE SCHOOL 52 Education: Things Your Professor Never Told You. (p 75 81), United Kingdom: Falmer Press. Gude, O. (2007). Principles of possibility: C onsiderations for a 21 st century art & culture curriculum. Art Education, 60 (1), 6 17. Knight, W. B. (2006). Using contemporary art to challenge cultural values, beliefs, and assumptions. Art Education, 59 (4), 39 45 Luehrman, M. (2002). Art experie nces and attitude toward art education: A descriptive study of Missouri public school principals. Studies in Art Education, 43 (3), 197 218. Marshall, J. (2005). Connecting art, learning, and creativity: A case for curriculum integration. Studies in Art Education, 46 (3), 227 241. Marshall, J. (2006). Substantive art integration = exemplary art education, Art Education, 59 (6), 17 24. May, H. (2011). Shifting the curriculum: decentralization in the art education experience. Art Education, 64 (3), 33 40. as re hat is it, and what good is it for art education? Studies in Art Education, 34 (2), 114 126. Mayer, M. M. (2008). Considerations for a contemporary art curriculum. Art Education, 61 (2), 77 79. Moore, J. (1991). Post modern and DBAE: A contextual analysis. Art Education, 44 (6), 34 39. National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers (2012). Common Core and Essential Standards. [Online Information Site].
Running Head: CONTEMPORARY ART IN MIDDLE SCHOOL 53 Retrieved from http://www.corestandards.org Packard, S. (1984). Contemporary reform and the contents of curricula. Studies in Art Education, 25 (4), 265 270. Pitri, E. (2006). Teacher research in the socioconstructivist art classroom. Art Education, 59 (5) 40 45. Popovich, K. (2006). Designing and implementing exemplary content, curriculum, and assessment in art education. Art Education, 59 (6), 33 39. Raudenbush, S. W. (2005). Learning from attempts to improve schooling: The contribution of methodological diversity. Edcational Researcher, 34 (6) 25 31. Roland, C. (2010). Preparing art teachers to teach in a new digital landscape. Art Education 63 (1), 17 24. Short, G. (1998). The high school studio cur riculum and art understanding: A n examination, Studies in Art Education, 40 (1), 46 65. Stewart, M. & Walker S. (2005). Rethinking curriculum in art Worcester, MA: Davis Publications. Taylor, P.G., & Ballengee Morris, C. (2003). Using visual culture to put a Art Education, 56 (2), 20 24. Villenueve, P. & Erickson, M. (2008). The trouble with contemporary art is. Art Education, 61 (2), 92 97. Wiggins, G., & McTighe, J. (1998). Understanding by design Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Wilson, B. site pedagogy. Art Education, 61 (2), 6 9.
Running Head: CONTEMPORARY ART IN MIDDLE SCHOOL 54 Wittrock, M. (Ed.). (1986). Handbook of research on teaching: A project of the American Educational Research Association. New York: Macmillan. Wolfe, P. (1997). A really good art teacher would be like you, Mrs. C: A qualitative study of a teacher and her artistically gifted middle school students. Studies in Art Education, 38 (4), 232 245. Woywod, C. (2004). A postmode rn visual culture art teacher: F inding peace in my opposing roles. In Smith Shank, Deborah L., (Eds.), Semiotics and Visual Culture: Sights, Signs, and Significance (pp. 5 9). Reston, VA: National Art Education Association.
Running Head: CONTEMPORARY ART IN MIDDLE SCHOOL 55 Appendix A UFIRB 02 Social & Behavioral Research Protocol Submission Form This form must be typed. Send this form and the supporting documents to IRB02, PO Box 112250, Gainesville, FL 32611. Should you have questions about completing this form, call 352 392 0433. Title of Protocol: How does Contemporary Art fit into a Middle School Curriculum ? Principal Investigator: Nicole Kirkpatrick UFID #: 1 419 5749 Degree / Title: MA in Art Education Mailing Address: ( If on campus include PO Box address ): Rd. Erwin, NC 28339 Email : Department: School of Art and Art History Telephone #: Co Investigator(s): UFID#: Email: Supervisor (If PI is student) : Craig Roland UFID# : Degree / Title: PhD Mailing Address: ( If on campus include PO Box address ): Norman Hall 1221 SW 5 th Avenue Gainesville, FL 32611 Email: Department: School of Art and Art History Telephone #: Date of Proposed Research: Fall, 2012 Source of Funding (A copy of the grant proposal must be submitted with this protocol if funding is involved): None
Running Head: CONTEMPORARY ART IN MIDDLE SCHOOL 56 Scientific Purpose of the Study: To develop an intergraded curriculum involving contemporary art into a middle school art classroom through a unit of study involving three art activities. Describe the Research Methodology in Non Technical Language: ( Explain what will be done with or to the research participant. ) I will observe student participants actively engaged in an intergraded curriculum where contemporary artists and their work will be viewed, studied and used as a way for students to gain knowledge in the current art world. Participants will work through three different art activities where each will be able to create works of art that communicate contemporary themes in their art work. Participants will be introduced to a female contemporary artist, a male contemporary artis t and a collaborative community artwork. Participants will be able to choose a variety of art materials to convey their ideas directed by a simple prompt. Students will be able to gain knowledge of contemporary art practices by real world artists and the teaching methods. The use of different teaching strategies such as individual and coopera tive work will help identify easily adaptable ways to incorporate contemporary art into a middle school curriculum. Participatory Action Research methods will be used for this specific study. Each aspect of the art activities will be monitored and recor ded through the use of field notes, journaling, basic questionnaires, simple written interviews, and a photographic collection of student artwork on a blog. I will observe students working individually and within group activities. I will keep a journal o f field notes and document these observations. I will have informal from the beginning idea to the finished artwork. There will be no par ticipant who will be identified throughout this study. No participant will be identified or recognized through photographs in this study. I will write up my findings and dissertations are housed. No participant will be pressured to participate in this study. All participants will have options to withdraw from this study at any point, from beginning to the end. All student participation w ill be completely voluntary. All participants will be treated fairly, justly and treated the same as other students not participating in this study. At any point throughout this study, participants will be allowed to withdraw from the study without preju dice and judgment. Describe Potential Benefits: Benefits include increased knowledge of contemporary artists, contemporary approaches to current life issues and knowledge about a variety of materials to use in communicating and expressing ideas in art. Benefits also include new approaches to art making and multiple solutions to one problem. Knowledge learned through this study can be applied to everyday life outside the art classroom. Describe Potential Risks: ( If risk of physical, psychological or economic harm may be involved, describe the steps taken to protect participant.) None Describe How Participant(s) Will Be Recruited : Students will be already enrolled in my class.
Running Head: CONTEMPORARY ART IN MIDDLE SCHOOL 57 Maximum Number of Participants (to be approached with consent) 5 Age Range of Participants: 12 13 years old Amount of Compensation/ course credit: N/A Describe the Informed Consent Process. (Attach a Copy of the Informed Consent Document See http://irb.ufl.edu/irb02/samples.html for examples of consent.) I will ask volunteers from one of my 8 th grade classes. I will use a parental consent form. (SIGNATURE SECTION) Principal Investigator(s) Signature: Date: Co Investigator(s) Signature(s): Date: Date: Department Chair Signature: Date:
Running Head: CONTEMPORARY ART IN MIDDLE SCHOOL 58 Appendix B SEEING ART IN DIFFERENT WAYS Desired Results Goals: This goal will address how students will view contemporary art and artist today. Students will create a personal art piece by using a variety of tools and recycled materials by investigating different ways to construct and create a meaningful art piece. Students will be able to use a classroom blog site in order to research and answer questions about contemporary artist and their work. Standards: 8.V.2. Apply creative and critical thinking skills to artistic expression. (8.V.2.3.) Create original art t hat conveys one or more ideas or feelings. 8.V.3. Create art using a variety of tools, media, and processes, safely and appropriately. (8.V.3.2.) Use a variety of media to create art. 8.CX.2. Understand the interdisciplinary connections and life app lications of the visual arts. (8. CX.2.4.) Exemplify the use of visual images from media sources and technological products to communicate in artistic contexts. Understandings: Contemporary artists create art from a variety of materials Contemporary artists use their art to communicate personal meaning Contemporary artists use a variety of technical skills in creating their art Some art conveys meaning better than others Using resources help with idea generating Essential Questions: What materials do contemporary artists use in creating art? (How is art made today?) Why do contemporary artists choose to use recycled materials and what are they trying to say? What are the statements contemporary artists are saying with th eir artwork? (Does it have meaning to you?) (Is it confusing to you?) What skills do contemporary artists need to create personal artworks? How contemporary art is made by viewing a variety of contemporary art How contemporary artis ts use their skills and knowledge about a specific topic What topics or themes contemporary artists are creating art to communicate How to use a variety of recycled material to communicate their idea How to research artists to gather ideas about own art
Running Head: CONTEMPORARY ART IN MIDDLE SCHOOL 59 View a variety of contemporary art to gain insight and ideas to investigate their own personal ideas Gather information through investigation Design and create one of their ideas into a final personal art piece Investigate contemporary artists to gather personal information Use a classroom blog site to record individual findings Assessments Performance Tasks: View connections students make by viewing contemporary art made by artists today Document ideas students have in search of their own art View students designs of their artwork on paper Evaluate skills students use when using specific tools Critique final piece Record findings on class blog site Other Evidence: One on one feedback between art teacher and student Observations throughout each design process Note taking and documenting through photographic images Questionnaire Discussion on final critique Blog site share and discuss Learning Plan Students will look at a variety of contemporary art by contemporary artists such as, Ai Weiwei, Red, Andrew Meyers and Haroshi. Discuss the variations in artwork, what students see, what students like/dislike. This can be in a form of written questions g iven to the students as images are being shown. (handout 1) Discuss what materials the artists are using in their artwork and take note of those materials. Make a list with the students of all possible materials art could be made from. Example: old to art materials such as broken rulers and crayons, old shoes and clothing. This list gets pretty exciting when students really start thinking about items they may have l ying around at home. Explain students should come up with an idea that resonates meaning to them, such as a memory or a special place they visited. For example: Creating a picture based on an event such as movie tickets, or concert tickets. The list is endless. Students should at least brainstorm 3 5 different ideas along with the materials they could possibly use and choose the best one out of those ideas. Once students have chosen their idea, they will need to write in detail what the idea is, what ma terials they will use, what tools (power tools) they will need to construct it and why they chose this idea. In other words, how does this idea relate to them?
Running Head: CONTEMPORARY ART IN MIDDLE SCHOOL 60 Allow students time to collect materials and tools and designate time for students to construct their ideas. Manage and evaluate student progress along the way. Pose questions and encourage inquiry as students work through their ideas. Present (handout 2) questionnaire paper to students. Allow students several days to research artists and gather information on one artist of choice (from listed artists in handout). Students will answer questions on handout and transfer new knowledge about artist to their classroom blog site. Discuss with students how the class blog site can be used as a ways to t rack their personal interests in the art world. Ask questions to generate future ideas for students to blog about.
Running Head: CONTEMPORARY ART IN MIDDLE SCHOOL 61 Appendix C Informed Consent for Parents and Students Title of Protocol: How to Incorporate Contemporary Art Into a Middle School Curriculum Principle Investigator: Nicole Kirkpatrick In order to make an informed decision, please read this consent document carefully before you or your child decides to participate in this study. Purpose of the research study: To develop an intergraded curriculum involving contemporary art into a middle school art classroom through a unit of study involving three art activities. What you will be asked to do in the study: All participant s will be introduced to three different contemporary artists and their style of work. Participants will learn about a variety of art material that is used to communicate and express ideas in their artwork. Students will be given opportunities to create a work of art by the use of a directed prompt where investigation and inquiry will take place. Participants will be able to create multiple solutions and narrow down their ideas to one to create a final artwork. Activities will include individual investig ation through research, group collaboration, informal conversations, sketchbook drawing and planning. These activities are not different than other activities students experience in their art class, but are expressed with a deeper and more personal meanin g in their outcome. The goal is for students to develop a better understanding of what contemporary art is and how contemporary art can be included into their current art curriculum today. Time required for study: One class period for one semester Risk s and Benefits: There are no risks expected with this study. Benefits from this study would be knowledge about contemporary artist and art and approaches to current life issues. Students will benefit from learning about alternative materials to communic ating through their art. I hope this study improves current art curriculum by including contemporary art. Compensation: No student will be compensated for this study. Confidentiality: ded by law. Participant information will be assigned a code number. The list connecting his or her name to this number will be kept in a locked file in my office. When the study is complete and data analyzed, the list will be destroyed. Participant nam es will not be used in any report. Voluntary participation: There is no penalty for not participating.
Running Head: CONTEMPORARY ART IN MIDDLE SCHOOL 62 Right to withdraw from the study: You or your child has the right to withdraw from the study at anytime without consequence. You or your child has the right to withdraw your consent after the study is complete, through the end of the year and after final grades are posted. Whom to contact if you have questions about the study: At tention Dr. Craig Roland School of Art and Art History University of Florida 101 FAC P.O. Box 115801 Gainesville, Fl 32611 5801 (352) 392 9165 firstname.lastname@example.org Whom to contact about your rights as a research participant in the study: IRB02 Office, Box 112250, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611 2250; phone (352) 392 0433. Agreement: I have read the procedure described above. I understand that as a student in this class, participation in this study is not required. I voluntarily agree to participate in the project and I have received a copy of this description. I understand that the project is to be completed in class just the same as all other normal daily activities. If you would be willing to participate in this study, please sign and date your assent below. Participant: ________________________________________________ Date: ___________________________ I agree to the above terms and allow my child to participate in this research project. I allow my capstone paper. Parent/Guardian: __________________________________________ Date: _________________________ Principal Investigator: _______________ ______________________ Date: _________________________
Running Head: CONTEMPORARY ART IN MIDDLE SCHOOL 63 List of Figures with Figure Captions Figure 1: Setting up classroom blog site Figure 2: Working on technical issues on blog site Figure 3: Learning how to use a wood burning tool Figure 4: Showing a student how to use a drill Figure 5: Smashed bottle caps Figure 6 : Recycled plastic bottle art Figure 7: Recycled CD Figure 8: Melissa cutting outside of softballs Figure: 9: Katie working on her sculpture Figure 10: Figure 11: Jack working with wood burner Figure 12: Katie connecting her cups to form a sculpture Figure 13: Slim applying gesso Figure 14: Melissa working with a hot glue gun Figure 15 : Rene working with multiple material s Figure 16: Figure 17: Figure 18: Figure 19: Katie with a repurposed tie dye pillowcase turned into a handbag Figure 20: dye T shirt repurposed into another fashion
Running Head: CONTEMPORARY ART IN MIDDLE SCHOOL 64 Author Biography The author of this Capstone paper is currently an art educator at a middle school in North Carolina. She has been teaching art in the middle school for eight consecutive years. She taught studio pottery briefly at a local college in North Carolina prior to working in the public school system. Nicole Kirkpatrick holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Studio Art from the University of Campbell. She plans to graduate from The University of Florida with a Masters degree in Art Education, which wi ll allow her to follow her life long dream of becoming a college professor. Nicole regularly heads a collaborative meeting with all area middle school art teachers. She attends many workshops in a wide range of art mediums all over North Carolina. She al so teaches a pottery class to adults several times a week Mrs. Kirkpatrick lives with her husband and two children in North Carolina, but hopes to move back to her home state of Ohio.