Art as a form of empowerment for middle school adolescents

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Title:
Art as a form of empowerment for middle school adolescents
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Project in lieu of thesis
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English
Creator:
Kennedy, Kimberlee
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College of Fine Arts; University of Florida
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Gainesville, Fla
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Abstract:
The purpose of my study was to examine what happened when I made changes to my own instructional strategies by encouraging students to make decisions and engage self-regulating strategies within my art classroom. I am particularly interested in fostering student empowerment. In order to create an empowering art environment, I implemented a modified Backward Design Curriculum Model, one that was merged with a Choice-Based Model, (also known as Teaching for Artistic Behaviors) in order to design a curriculum unit in which students were asked to take active roles in the decision making process involved in their art making. During this time, I took the role of facilitator instead of the authority-figure or decision maker. I also required my students to use self-regulating skills of goal setting and project planning. My study examines how these approaches (Backward Design, Choice-Based Art Education, and students’ self regulatory strategies) foster empowerment in students. Utilizing an action research approach that included observations of classroom activities, weekly journaling, taking and analyzing photographs of student work, analysis of written reflections from my students and myself, and informal interviews with students, I have both fine-tuned and studied strategies for organizing and facilitating these three approaches in my curriculum. My project consists of my curriculum and my documentation of my student work available at http://kimberleeart.wix.com/choice-based-art-ed. My capstone paper accompanies this project and shares the background for and findings from this study.
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Art Education terminal project

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University of Florida Institutional Repository
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University of Florida
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All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
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AA00017134:00001


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ART AS A FORM OF EMPOWERMENT FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL ADOLESCENTS BY KIMBERLEE KENNEDY 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 2013

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2 ART AS A FORM OF EMPOWERMENT 2013 Kimberlee Kennedy

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3 ART AS A FORM OF EMPOWERMENT Acknowledgements I would like to first and foremost thank my high school art teach er, Mary Hoehn. Without her, I would not be the artist or educator that I am today. I would also like to thank my mother, Elaine Stratton, who has always kept me interested in every craft imaginable and for allowing art to be a part of growing up I also w ant to thank Elizabeth Delacruz, Michelle Tillan der, Jodi Kushins, and Craig Roland for all the additional hours they spent answering my questions and helping me through this online Masters of Art Educational program. Finally, I want to thank my husband Aaron Kennedy for taking up all the slack around our house and supporting me through this journey.

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4 ART AS A FORM OF EMPOWERMENT 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 ART AS A FORM OF EMPOWERMENT FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL ADOLESCENTS By Kimberlee Kennedy May 2013 Chair: Elizabeth M. Delacruz Member: Michelle Tillander Major: Art Education A bstract The purpose of my study was to examine what happen ed when I ma de changes to my own instructional strategies by encouraging students to make decisions and engage self regulating str ategies within my art classroom. I am particularly interested in fostering student empowerment. In order to create an empowering art environ ment, I implemen ted a modified Backward Design Curriculum Model one that was merged with a Choice Based Model (also known as Teaching for Artistic Behaviors) in order to design a curriculum unit in which students were asked to take active roles in the de cision making process involved in their art making. During this time, I took the role of facilitator instead of the authority figure or decision maker. I als o required my students to use self regulating skills of goal setting and project planning. My study examines how these approaches (Backward Design, Choice Based A rt E

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5 ART AS A FORM OF EMPOWERMENT action research approach that include d observations of classroom activities, weekly journali ng, taking and analyzing photographs of student work, analysis of written reflections from my students and myself, and informal interviews with students, I have both fine tuned and studied strategies for organizing and facilitating these th ree approaches i n my curriculum. My pro ject consists of my curriculum and my document ation of my student work available at http://kimberleeart.wix.com/choice based art ed My capstone paper accompanies this p roject and shares the background for and findings from this study.

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6 ART AS A FORM OF EMPOWERMENT Table of Contents Title Page ................................ ................................ ....................... Error! Bookmark not defined. Acknowledgements ................................ ................................ ................................ ......................... 3 Abstract ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 4 Table of Contents Page ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 6 Introduction ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 9 Statement of the Problem ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 9 Goals of the Study ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 10 Research Questions ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 11 Rationale and Significance of the Study ................................ ................................ ................... 12 Assumptions ................................ ................................ ................................ .............................. 13 Literature Review ................................ ................................ ................................ .......................... 13 Adolescents and Empowerment ................................ ................................ ................................ 14 The Nature of Middle School ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 14 A Safe Environment ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 15 Teachers and Peer Relationships ................................ ................................ ......................... 15 Ability to Reflect, Motivate, and Set Goals ................................ ................................ .............. 18 Voice and Decisions ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 19 Choice Based Art Educatio n ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 20 Why is This Relevant ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 21

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7 ART AS A FORM OF EMPOWERMENT Methodology ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ 22 Participates ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ 23 Research Site ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................. 23 Data Collection Procedures ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 24 Data Analysis ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................ 25 Limitations ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ 26 Findings ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 26 The Process ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................... 26 The Students ................................ ................................ ................................ .............................. 28 My Findings ................................ ................................ ................................ .............................. 31 Discussion ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 37 Recommendations ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 39 Conclusion ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 41 References ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 42 Appendix ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 45 List of Figures ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................... 48 Author Biography ................................ ................................ ................................ ......................... 49

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8 ART AS A FORM OF EMPOWERMENT

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9 ART AS A FORM OF EMPOWERMENT Research suggests that the early adolescent years mark the beginning of a downward spiral for some individuals, a spiral that leads some adolescents to academic failure and school dropout Eccles et al., 1993, p. 90 When I was a middle school student, I became very disinterested and unmotivated. The classrooms were typically teacher driven while the concepts were rushed. I struggled at every turn. My parents and teachers decided to have me tested for a learning disability. I observed that the learning disabled classroom's work was not as rigid. When the counselor tested me, I tried to fail the test because I wanted an easy way out. My new label, attention deficit disorder, was a sign of my accompl ishment in failing the test but it was the death of my learning confidence. Later, through my experiences in high school art, I was able t o overcome my diagnosis. My newfound attitude regarding art had soon transcended into other areas of academics. Durin g my final years of high school, I was able to maintain a B average. Although I make no claims that art will similarly provide my students with equally positive benefits, and I have no personal ool, I believe that a self regulated art approach will demonstrate to students that art can be an area of success for them as it has been for me. Statement of the Problem Initially my primary goal was to study how my curriculum strategies could possibly empower adolescence in the art classroom. I learned however, that there are many reasons why middle school years can adversely affect adolescent empowerment. I felt that I n eeded a greater

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10 ART AS A FORM OF EMPOWERMENT awareness of why so many students struggle during these years before I could study curricular strategies used for empowerment in the art classroom. Purpose or Goals of the Study The purpose of this study was to learn how I c ould adjust my current instructional practices in art education to respond to the difficulties adolescents face in middle school My approach was to design a curriculum unit to encourage students to become more invested in their own learning in the art room. T he product of this study was a website where I have included my curriculum and instructional materials at http://kimberlee art.wix.com/choice based art ed. Here, other art teachers can see my strategies and possibly empower their own art students. The goal s for this study include d the following: 1. I will use the Backward Design Curriculum Model (Wiggins & McTighe, 1998) fused with the Choice Based Curriculum Model (defined by TAB) to design a curriculum unit in which students are able to take active roles in the decision making process while I take the role of facilitator instead of decision maker. The Backward Design Curriculum Model is designed to have teachers first focus on what they desire for students to learn. Wiggins & McTighe (2005) explain, Teach ers must t hink a great deal, first, about the specific learnings sought, and the evidence of such learnings, before thinking about we, as the teacher, will do to provide teaching and learning activities... The challenge is to focus first on the desired l earning s from which appropriate teaching will logically follow. (p. 14) 1 1 "The framework outlined in Understanding by Design (Wiggins &McTighe, 1998) offers a three stage, backward design process to assist te achers in centering their curriculum and assessments on big ideas, essential questions, and authentic performances (McTighe& Thomas, 2003, p. 55).

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11 ART AS A FORM OF EMPOWERMENT 2 I will have student s use self regulating skills by planning out their projects and setting goals for their project's completion. Zimmerman(2002 ), describes goal setting as one form of self regulating stratigies students should use. I will ask students to conceptualize, research, plan, and create a work of art demonstrating their power as a middle school student. Research Questions The following questions guided my investigation. They were as follows: 1. How can art making and student self regulating strategies in the middle school art room, empower the adolescent learner? This question allowed me to look critically at how I create d a safe enviro nment for students to take charge of their own learning, and in doing so, take more risks The Choice Based Art Curricular Approach also helped me to establish this environment for my students. The Choice Based Art Curricular Approach was developed in Massachusetts, and through courses and research at Massachusetts College of Art. 2. What kinds of behaviors were observed when my middle school art students were allowed to make empowering decisions based on a modified Choice Based Art Curricular Approach (defined by TAB) ? This question guided me to observe students' engagement throughout the project. Researchers suggest that the process of youth and adults working together can provide optimal conditions for youth empowerment and positive youth developmen t ( Wong, Zimmerman, & Parker ,2010, p. 108). I want ed to allow my students to have more control over their choices in art so it may empower them I wanted to know how I could establish a framework where students were making decisions that m et my expectation s. 3. In what ways d id the self regulating strategy of student goal setting in art empower students to create their desired outcomes regarding the project's completion and appearance? This question help ed me to un derstand the importance of goal setting may have on art related

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12 ART AS A FORM OF EMPOWERMENT projects. The literature ( Zimmerman 2002 ) stated that self regulated skil ls such as goal setting were important I wan te d to see how this could affect art students and their projects. I also want ed to know how I could teach student s to develop attainable goals. I want ed my students to be able to assess the outcome of their goals at the end of their art projects by describing themselv es as powerful in a work of art Attainable goals had to be addressed prior to starting the project Rationale and Significance of the Study F or many adolescents, middle school is the point in development when one desires independence and to develop ways to express, define, and empower themselves. Eccles et al. (1993) states Earl y adolescent development is characterized by increases in desire for autonomy and self determination, peer orientation, and self focus and self consciousness" (p.94). This study demonstrated how art can address adolescents' desire for autonomy and self determination, p eer orientation, and self focus and self consciousness through the research and discovery of the enduring idea of human power. This study is particularly significant because art education is a method of expression and it can communicate ideas and thinking. Before empowerment in the arts can occur, I feel a safe sociological environment and the use of self regulating strategies must also be established. Adolescents are also immersed in a visual world. They are surrounded by images in media and entertainmen t. If my study is concerned with student decisions in art, the visual side of adolescent life was significant. Hetland, Winner, Vennema, Sheridan, & Perkins (2007) explain, "Students must be given the opportunity to think like artists. The arts are another way of knowing the world" (p. 1). Students in the study were drawn to ideas expressed in media and advertising. When I asked my students in the past to express themselves through images of their

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13 ART AS A FORM OF EMPOWERMENT choice, they often use d symbols such as the Nike swoosh to d efine themselves. This study looked closely at how students regarded images in the media to be powerful. Assumptions I assumed that students would want to set goals and be autonomous during the study. I also assumed that the participants would answer my interview questions truthfully. Furthermore, I assumed the participants would make a sincere effort to complete the necessary tasks throughout the study. I assumed this because the anonymity and confide ntiality of the participants will be preserved. Literature Review The purpose of this literature review is to examine literature on adolescent development, sociological environment, participation and decision making and self regulating strategies to ful ly understand empowerment in a middle school art classroom. My goal is to be informed by studies concerning the active participation of adolescents as it is related to the idea of empowerment 2 Facilitating student e mpowerment in middle school is not an ea sy task due to the nature of middle school life Adolescents face numerous challenges as they transition from elementary school. Many adolescents in junior h igh school find themselves in a confusing adjustment and transitional period in their lives. Eccles et al. (1993) suggest, "C oncurrent timing of the junior high school transition and pubertal development accounts for the declines in the school related measures and self esteem (p. 91). Due to this fact, many students disengage with the school environment showing little to absolutely no effor t. Eccles et al. (1993) argued, "The 2 Publis hed literature on adolescent development, sociological environment, participation, and self regulatory strategies were selected using the University of Florida's George A Smathers Libraries and the One Search engine in November of 2012.

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14 ART AS A FORM OF EMPOWERMENT motivational declines noted in middle school students are often the result of a poor fit between dle schools (p.92) Adolescence and Empowerment This review will explore the idea of empowerment specific to adolescence. Adolescence for this review uses the Merriam Webster dictionary definition which states that adolescence is a stage of development prior to maturity. The terms adolescence and adolescents throughout the review will be used to refer to middle school students. Typically, these students are between the ages of twelve to fourteen years of age. I will also discuss the concept of participation during adolescence. Merriam Webster dictionary defines participation as to have a part or share in something. Empowerment is defined to gain control over their lives (Braithwaite, 2000; Cleary & Zimmerman, 2004). Biathwaite, specifically sites control over personal, social, and political forces in order to improve life situations (p.193). Empowerment is a multidimensional term. It can be established through many different avenues. "It has been used synonymously with such measu res as coping skills, mutual support, social support systems, personal efficacy and competence, locus of control, self esteem, and self sufficiency. Individual empowerment is positively correlated with self efficacy, positive self esteem, and self concept or personal competence" (Braithwaite, 2000, p. 193). In my review of studies relevant to my project empowerment was found to be established through strong teacher relationships, active participation, and teaching/learning strategies used to ensure achieve ment. The Nature of Middle School Studies suggest that the nature of middle school and the timing of adolescent development can negatively impact student performance. Adolescents experience many changes

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15 ART AS A FORM OF EMPOWERMENT during their middle scho ol years. Wigfield (2005) observes "These changes can have a significant impact on a variety of developmental outcomes, including academic achievement, self concept development, and achievement motivation" (p. 112 ). Eccles et al. (1993) notes that "The early adolescent years mar k the beginning of a downward spiral for some individuals, a spiral that leads some adolescents to academic failure and school p. 90). The nature of middle school is quite often difficult for students that transition from elementary to the middl e school. Commonly at the middle school level, teachers are specialized in their content areas and teach a large number of students throughout the day. Eccles et al. (1993) observes that, Junior high school classrooms, as compared with elementary school classrooms, are characterized by less personal and positive teacher student relationships" (p. 93). Teacher relationships are important to establish as adolescents pull away from their paren ts. As Eccles et al. find "There is a temporary increase in family conflict, particularly over issues related to autonomy and control, during the early adolescent years" (Eccles et al., 1993, p. 91). Wigfield (2005) further notes that "Relations with tea chers and counselors can become a very important source of support to many early adolescents, particularly because their relations with their parents often become more distant during this time period" (p.116) Although it is true for all ages, clearly, stu dents at this phase in their life need to feel accepted and safe in the classroom. A Safe Environment The fact that safe, accepting, and welcoming environment is essential for student participation to occur seems self evident What is not so evident are t he means by which t eachers should take an active role in creating a safe environment. Wong, Zimmerman, and Parker (2010) explain, "Adults possess the authority to create safe environments and youth centered conditions

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16 ART AS A FORM OF EMPOWERMENT where young people feel welcomed and, therefore, are willing to share their views" (p. 106). This environment should be welcoming as well as encourage students to share their views openly. "Children must therefore be able to express their views without fear of rebuke or reprisal" (Lundy, 2004, p. 933). Eccles et al. (1993) agrees, Adolescents need a reasonably safe... environment that provides a zone of comfort as well as challenging new opportunities for growth" (p.94). Strong relationships with teachers and peers can also make an environmen t feel safe. Teachers and Peer Relationships Studies of adolescents in the classroom stress the impact of teacher and peer relationships on the overall feeling of safety in a classroom environment. Cummings (2010) explains, "Art educators must understand the role of the classroom environment and socialization on students' learning, and must take steps in developing classroom environments that promote care and acceptance" (p. 65). Patrick, Ryan, and Kaplan (2007) elaborate "Feelings of support, caring, an d encouragement from peers facilitate participation in academic tasks by increasing confidence and ameliorating distracting anxieties" (p. 84). Although peer relations are important, quite often the transition from elementary to middle school can harm thes e relationships. Wigfield (2005) explains, Unfortunately, the middle scho ol transition often disrupts early adolescents' friendships, as they go to a new school and may not have much contact with their friends from elementary school, a nd as children from the same elementary school often are split into many different classes and groups in middle school. (p. 116). The nature of middle school also a ffects teacher relationships with students. Although relationships with peers were valuable to the overall environment, teacher relationships seemed to carry particular significance. Eccles et al. (1993) explains, "Junior high school classrooms, as

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17 ART AS A FORM OF EMPOWERMENT compared with elementary school classrooms, are characterized by less personal and positive teache r student relationships" (p. 93). This was thought to be an effect of departmentalized tea ching and large student loads. This makes it difficult for teachers and students to form close relationships. Wigfield (2005) also explains the negative side of spend ing less time with students in middle school, The explanations frequently given for su ch negative changes are the differences in the amount of time that elementar y and middle school teachers spend with their students and the number of students that middl e school teachers teach. Middle school teachers only see students o ne period per day, making it more difficult to get to know them, an d also teach many more students (p.116) "Caring relationships, however, are not a priority in the hierarchy of curricular and policy concerns in our schools" (Noblit, 1995, p. 680). Therefore, middle school teachers need to be aware of these factors and make a conscious effort to build relationships with s tudents. Bondy, Ross (2008) suggest a simple set of strategies Day to day interactions are important ... a smile, a hand on the shoulder, and the use of a student's name" (p.55). Self Regulation: A bility to Reflect, Motivate, and Set Goals There is a large body of research showing that students who have been trained in s elf regulation processes during learning such as goal setting, self monitoring, and self reflection processes display high levels of motivation and achievement" (Cleary & Zimmerman, 2004, p. 539). Students that use self regulatory strategies reflect on th eir performance and are motivated to achieve. Cleary & Zimmerman (2004) explain t he power of reflection and self evaluation, "Self evaluation allows a person to judge how well he or she performs by systematically

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18 ART AS A FORM OF EMPOWERMENT behavior, or against the performance of others" (p. 539). Zimmerman (2002) also explains, "These learners monitor their behavior in terms of their goals and self reflect on their increasing effectiveness. This enhances their self satisfaction and motivation to continue to improve their methods of learning" (p. 66). Self regulating students monitor and reflect their learning by setting goals in a mindful manner. "Self regulation involves learners who proactive ly direct their behavior or strategies to achieve self set goals. They also rely on affective, cognitive, motivational, and behavioral feedback to modify or adjust their strategies and behaviors when unable to initially attain their goals" (Cleary & Zimmer man, 2004, p. 538). Although goal setting and self regulatory skills are important, teachers rarely ask students to reflect on their performances. Zimmerman (2002) explains, "Few teachers encourage students to establish specific goals for their academic wo rk or teach explicit study strategies. Also students are rarely asked to self evaluate their work or estimate their competence on new tasks. Teachers seldom assess students' beliefs about (p.69). Many mi ddle school students lack self regulatory strategies but are able to learn the necessary skills. Zimmerman (2002) explains, "Recent research shows that self regulatory processes are teachable and can lead to increases in students' motivation and achievement" (p. 69). One way teachers ca n teach sel f regulatory strategies is through goal setting and creating a plan for achieving goals. Also, students can self record their own performance outcomes. "In an era when these essential qualities for life long learning are distressingly absent in many studen ts, teaching self regulated learning processes is especially relevant" (Zimmerman, 2002, p. 70)

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19 ART AS A FORM OF EMPOWERMENT Voice and Decision Making in Developing Self Regulation Skills Within the last decade, a child's voice and the opportunities afforded her/ him to make decision s has been a global concern. Graham & Fitzgerald (2011) state, "Encouraging children's participation, should both be considered as a basic right, and as a precondition for promotion of health and well being" (p. 447). "A development which is often attribut ed to the ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child" (Lundy, 2007, p. 927). The United Nations established Article 12, which gave children the right to make decisions and it communicated the importance of children having oppo rtunity to have a voice. Adolescents need to feel as if they have a voice and are able to make decisions in the classroom. Stuart (2002) explains, The adolescent's values, explorations and declarations must be listened to, acknowledged, constructively cr iticized and debated, and encouraged if he is to develop and attend to the evolving voice of universal principles within himself" (as cited in Kohlberg 1984). Art is a central place for students to communicate their voice. Hope (1994) states, "It is essential to engage students in activities where power from art is used to shape their opinions" (p. 8). The nature of middle school can however affect the possibili ties for students to make decisions in the classroom. Eccles et al. (1993) also explains, "Junior high school classrooms, as compared with elementary school classrooms, are characterized by a greater emphasis on teacher control and discipline, and fewer op portunities for student decision making, choice, and self management" (p. 93). An optimal learning environment is one that allows students to make decisions while the teacher assists in the decision making process. "A field examining the empowerment and wellness potential of youth adult partnerships is emerging ( as cited in Jennings et al. 2006). suggest that the process of youth and adults working together can provide optimal

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20 ART AS A FORM OF EMPOWERMENT conditions for youth empowerment and positive youth development" (Wong, Zimmerman, & Parker 2010, p. 108). Stuart (2002) also explains, Educators who seek the opinions of students, who promote learning that deals with issues of relevance to students' present lives, who remove the fear of humiliation and failure for expressions of divergent thinking, and who display respect for the opinions of all children and adults in the school strengthen the child's confidence to voice opinions. (p.255) If students are able to make decisions, they will become naturally more inter ested in what they are learning. "The benefits of interest extended beyond comprehension too. When interested in a topic, students are likely to earn higher grades and test more successfully (Hunter &Csikszentmihalyi, 2003, p. 28) Choice Based Art Educati on Choice based art education is a pedagogy that offers students choices in the art classroom. Douglas and Gaspardi (2010) explain "Choice based art education provides both philosophy and practical structure for instruction to be given in the context of work chosen by students" (p. 1). Students become the artist and are challenged to create art that reflects their ideas and interests. "This concept supports multiple modes of learning and teaching for diverse needs of students" (TAB, 2011). It allows stu dents to work from their strengths and draw from prior experiences. A choice based art classroom is structured very different from most art classrooms. Traditionally art classrooms are instructed in a whole group setting where all students are asked to c omplete the same project. "The teacher designs the lesson, gathers the supplies, gives motivational demonstrations and examples, and then coaches students to be able to make the preconceived end product" (Douglas & Gaspardi, 2010, p. 1). In a choice based classroom

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21 ART AS A FORM OF EMPOWERMENT however, students are free to express themselves in different ways and work at their own speed. The studio is arranged in centers for exploration, inquiry, and learning. "These centers function as mini art studios, complete with instructional inf ormation, menus, resources, materials and tools" (TAB, 2011). Students move throughout the centers to create works of art. Students can work in dependently or within a group. Hathaway (2008) explains, "Students can persist wi th one project over many weeks o r a variety of activities during a single class period" (p. 36). The choice based classroom starts with a short mini lesson and demonstration of a new material or technique. "The lesson addresses concerns of interest or importance for the whole class, but is kept short to allow maximum studio work time" (Hathaway, 2008, p. 36). A fter the mini lesson, students may move onto their center of choice or stay behind with the instructor to elaborate more on information provided during the mini lesson. At the end of class, students are asked to discuss and reflect the work being done in class. Hathaway (2008) explains, "This is the time to highlight the day's work and to celebrate innovation, craftsmanship and ideas" (p. 37). Students then leave a choice based classroom with a greater understanding of what other students strengt hs are and learn from peers. Why is This Relevant? This literature review provided me with the in depth knowledge regarding adolescent development, sociological envir onment, participation, and self regulatory strategies. It was interesting to see how everything was correlated. Each element had an effect on the other For instance, students that had strong relationships with their teachers would participate more. These students would also establish ba sic self regulatory strategies to please the teacher. However, the aspects ca n negatively affect the other. A disconnected student is less likely to participate or use self regulatory strategies.

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22 ART AS A FORM OF EMPOWERMENT Methodology The methodology for my study follow ed the qualitative action research method. Patton (2002) explains "Action research aims at solving specific problems within a program, organization, or community" (p. 221). definition further informs my methodology, "Action research is always f ield based, in situ, lending itself to ethnographic methods such as keeping field notes or journals, participant observation, interviewing, engaging in dialogue, auto taping, and collecting and analyzing documents and student work" (p. 118). The goals of my study were to increase my students participation in art, while possibly empowering them To understand more about student participation, I establish ed a modified Choice Based Art Curriculum fused with the Backward Design Curricular model and studi ed ho w my students react ed in order to improve my own curriculum. The sampling for my research followed the critical case sampling. Patton (2002) describes critical case sampling as, "The existence of a critical case is a statement to the effect that "if it ha ppens there, it will happen anywhere," or vice versa, "if it doesn't happen there, it won't happen any where" (p. 236). I chose two of my art classes to yield the information I needed for my research. I generalized that if my instructional strategies incr ease participation in these classes, then it would most likely work in other art classes or classrooms. Through qualitative action research and critical case sampling, I collected and analyzed evidence, and discovered findings to answer my research questio ns. My method was to study the effects of my instructional strategies used during a lesson on power symbolism and the effects of allowing students to make more decisions in art. The project was a three part project. For the first part of the project, stu dents learned about power symbolism through researching artists and their works. The instruction here was based on the Backward

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23 ART AS A FORM OF EMPOWERMENT Design Curricular Model. Then students were asked to discuss and plan how they would express themselves as powerful in their own artwork For the final part of the lesson, students developed goals for their art regarding its appearance and a time of completion. I observed how these strategies a ff outcome. Participants The s tudents in this study were in the seventh and eighth grade and were between the ages of twelve to fourteen. I asked the students in two of my drawing art class es to volunteer and participate in the study. The first drawing class ha d 25 students enrolled. I n this class 20 students had participated in the study. Thirteen students were female and six were male The second drawing class also had 25 students enrolled. In this class 21 students had participated in the study. Eleven were female and ten were male There were a total of thirty one eighth graders and ten seventh graders that participated in the study. Forty six percent of the entire middle school population qualified for free and reduced lunch (a measure of poverty or at risk) M ore than 95% of the entire middle school population was Caucasian I received IRB approval for this study through the University of Florida (See Appendix). I have also obtained written permission from my school principal in order to conduct research with the parti cipants. As required by the UF IRB office, the parents consented for their children to participate in this study, and students agreed to participate through their assent. Research Site Farmington is a mid western town in St. Francois County located 60 mi les south of St. Louis in the Lead Belt region in Missouri in the United States. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, the population was 16,240. Farmington is both rural and an agricultural region. The area is ho me to several wineries and farm lands. The research to ok place in the public Farmington M iddle

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24 ART AS A FORM OF EMPOWERMENT S chool. During the time of the study, the s chool service d 607 students. It is the only public middle school within the district. The research was conducted inside the art classroom within this building. Data Col lection and Instrumentation Data collection included a mix of interviewing, observation, and student journal analysis. The practice consist ed of naturalistic inquiry, qualitative data, and content analysis. Interviews were conducted with students after class Patton (2002) explains the goal of interviewing "Qualitative researchers seek to understand the perceptions, feeling, and knowledge of people is through in depth, intensive interviewing" (p. 21). I conducted in depth interviews with participants to find out how they view ed the choice based art classroom and what experiences they were having. May (1993) explains why this is important "Teachers try to become more conscious of what they are thinking and feeling as they plan for and engage in practice, and pay closer attention to what students say and do in class in an effort to understand what sense students are making of their learning" (p. 118). Toward the end of my study, additional in depth interviews were conducted to determine if student behavior s had changed and how students view ed our modified Choice Based Curriculum approach. I also observed classroom activities, collected data about student participation and conversations, and student reactions. These observations were kept in my journal and mainly descriptive. Patton (2002) explains the value of descriptive data, "The data must be sufficiently descriptive such that the reader can understand what occurred and how it occurred. The observer's notes become the eyes, ears, and perceptual senses f or the reader" (p. 23). My data collected through observations was to simply describe what had occurred in my art room. It

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25 ART AS A FORM OF EMPOWERMENT described students, activities, interactions, and the setting. My descriptions also included direct quotations from the participants. The data in this study was collected within two drawing classes. The classes are held every other day during a fifty minute period. The study was conducted over a five week period. The data was collect ed inside my own middle school art classroom. I also analyzed student work through photographs I had taken. Data Analysis Procedures My data analysis procedures were to follow the methods of inductive analysis. Patton (2002) explains, "Inductive analysis involves discovering patterns, themes, and categories in one's data" (p. 453). These patterns, themes, or categories emerged from observations throughout the investigation. Patton (2002) further explains this process, "D ata is content analyzed to identify the patterns of experiences participants br ing to the program, what patterns characterize their participation in the program, and what patterns of change are reported by and observed in the participants (p. 250) Once I had identified the patterns, I placed the patterns into meaningful categories and themes. The first step of my analysis was to develop a coding scheme. I did this by reading through my descriptive field notes and interviews, and organizing the data into topics. These topics were wrote in shorthand on the margins of the data that I collected. After coding was done, I looked for notable themes throughout the data. "Once the themes were constructed, using either participant generated constructions or analyst generated constructions, it was sometimes useful to cross classify different dimensions to generate new insights about how the data c ould be organized" (Patton, 2002, p. 468). After the data had been coded, analyzed, and categorized, I interpreted emergent findings in relation to my research questions. This step also involved

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26 ART AS A FORM OF EMPOWERMENT inter preting the beliefs and the behaviors of my participants along with the programs' outcomes and impact. Limitations The limitations of this study restricted my area of study regarding what I was able to study in a limited time frame, and with a limited population (Midwest, middle school age, small town, Caucasian, mixed income). Areas outside my scope of study also include adolescents empowered through their community, physical environment, and personal m otivation. Findings My study's purpose was to introduce a modified Choice Based Art Curriculum fused wi th a Backward D esign Curricular M odel (Wiggins &McTighe, 1998) into my middle school art classroom and ob serve how choices and the self regulating stra tegy of student goal setting could empower the adolescent learner. I first established the concept of power as a big idea for my curriculum unit, using the Backward Design Curricular M odel I then observed how choices affected student behaviors and the ove rall outcome of the artwork. The following six sections detail my process of setting up my curriculum, what the students did, what my findings were, and discussions, recommendations and conclusions I made about the study. The Process Developing and getting the necessary approval for my study was the primary goal before implementing the curriculum. I informed my administration and received approval to begin the development for my unit. I also presented all the information to the IRB board at the Unive rsity of Florida. After approval from the board, I discussed the study with my students' parents by phone and prepared them for the IRB forms that they would be receiving. Once I received and collect ed all the necessary IRB forms (see Appendix), I began to implement my curriculum.

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27 ART AS A FORM OF EMPOWERMENT To create my unit based on the Backward D esign M odel I first had to decide on an empowering idea. While researching for an empowering idea, I came across the artist, Laylah Ali, whose art concerns power. I thought that if my st udy's goal was to empower my students the n the topic of human power in art would be an interesting combination. Hope (1994) states, "It is essential to engage students in activities where power from art is used to shape their opinions" (p. 8). However, de veloping the unit was very difficult. Much of what I saw in Laylah Ali's work concerned the negative side of human power. I wanted my students to remain positive, but I was unsure how to go about doing so. I noticed that some of her pen and ink drawings co uld be perceived as positive depictions of power Then I thought what if students developed a piece of art that displayed their own power. It was complicated to find other artists and works that demonstrated human power. After watching the PBS's (Public Br oadcasting Station) Art21 video on Laylah Ali, I noticed that her work had several different examples of power symbolism. Her characters had distinctive characteristics of power in their facial expressions, hand gestures, and clothing. I then began to sear ch for other artists' work that had those same characteristics. I decided on the artists Diego Velzques, George Littlechild, Faith Ringgold, Howard Miller, Norman Rockwell, and Shepard Fairey. To establish the C hoice B ased aspect of the curriculum for my study, I had to organize the art room so that the materials were easily accessible for the different art media I put supplies for each center in containers so students could easily find their art materials. I also made menus (a s trategy suggested by Choice B ased advocates) so students could use them to examine resource artists, find art examples, and refer to steps they could use to establish their designs and plans This type of Choice Based Art Curriculum is known as "modified c hoice" defined by TAB Continuum of Choice Based Learning and Teaching website. It is defined as modified choice

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28 ART AS A FORM OF EMPOWERMENT because I chose the content (theme) of the students' work and limited their choices to certain materials. The Students The first week of the c urriculum was designed to have students identify and make predictions about pow erful people Using the Backward Design A pproach t he essential questions for this part of the unit were :( 1 ) What subconscious impressions can people get from people of power ; (2) Why do people in power adorn themselves ; and (3) How are people of power distingui shed? To answer these questions students worked in groups, searched through magazines and created posters within their groups to display people they thought had power an d people they thought did not display power. The students then individual ly drew rough sketches of people that displayed power and they identified characteristics of power in their work. The second and third week of the curriculum w ere designed to have st udents explore how huma n power was expressed in art. They were to make connections between iconic symbols of power and observe how body language, color, and text in art can affect the perception of power The essential questions fo r this part of the unit w ere: (1) What techniques are used to create different types of art that portray powerful people ; and ( 2 ) Why are artists concerned with power? To answer these questions students resear ched and read information (see : http://kimberleeart.wix.com/choice based art ed ) about the artists. Students viewed several video clips regarding the artists and their works. Students also reflected and discussed the artists' works in their journals.

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29 ART AS A FORM OF EMPOWERMENT Figure 1. Students predicting about human by drawing p ower smilies

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30 ART AS A FORM OF EMPOWERMENT Figure 2. Student journals about Faith Ringgold and George Littlechild. At the end o f third week, students viewed a dry erase animation video that I created about my own power as an adolescent. This video was used to transition students into thinking about their own power and to reflect on being more powerful themselves. The essential questions for t his part of the unit were: ( 1 ) In what admirable ways do mi ddle school stu dents have power? ( 2 ) What do middle school st udents have the power to change? ( 3 ) What gives you your power? (4) What will you change in order to have more power? After each of thes e questions were explored students used their responses to create a work of art that represented their own power. The work had to have two or m ore of the power symbols students learned about in class. They had a choice

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31 ART AS A FORM OF EMPOWERMENT between the media of paint, pen and ink, colored pencil, and collage. Students were asked to do a pencil drawi ng that demonstrated their ideas for their work. This part of the curriculum unit is still underway as I complete this paper M ore information regarding the students progress and artwork is found on my website: http://kimberleeart.wix.com/choice based art ed Figure 3. Image illustrates my C hoice Based Website. My Findings Throughout the beginning of my curriculum unit, I found a common theme in the students choices and descriptions of power. Most students thought of power and described power in a materialistic way. During class and group discussions, I heard students say, "He is rich, so he has power," or "She has nice clothes that display her power Most of the images that students chose to demonstrate human power were photographs of famous people in the entertainment industry or adults that were well dressed When I prompted students to explain why they thought of power in terms of money, clo thes, houses, and cars, the responses I received

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32 ART AS A FORM OF EMPOWERMENT were insightful. One student replied by saying, "I think students think that way from our own experiences at school and other things. When you see a popular person, they always have brands like North Face, Nike, and other big brands." Another said, "That is what we w ere taught. It's what's advertis ed. It's what we want." Other students attributed this to television. They said, "Students use these terms to think of power because it's what they normally see on T.V. When a commercial comes on for something, it's usually a celebrity talking about it. When we think of power, we automatically think of rich people." While another explained it as, "Students think of it like that because that's all they have ever know n, like seen on T.V." It was clear to me the majority of my students thought that advertising and media had influenced what they thought about powerful people. Figure 4. Images illustrate how students had a materialistic view of human power. I was hoping that my students' artwork would have more depth and character rather than merely conveying materialistic depictions of power. I wanted them to see other aspects of power confid ence, honesty, empathy, humility, caring for others, authority, e t c

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33 ART AS A FORM OF EMPOWERMENT In order to help students refine their view s about power I thought that my life story might help them shift their focus to themselves. It was not my intention in the beginning of this project to share my life story. My intention was for students to see themselves as powerful. One night at home, I just felt the drive to include it into the lesson. I wanted students to know that I have been there (where they are now) that life is sometimes hard, and they have the power to get through it by working hard. Before the viewing of the video, I asked students to look for and identify fifteen examples of power in the video I was about to show them I told them that we would play a game af ter trying to find the fifteen examples. I never told them beforehand that the video was about my past. I'm a firm believer in letting my students find their own meaning and understanding without telling them what I want them to know. Students were very qu iet throughout the movie. I only got a few glances in my direction when the video said, "Learn from Mrs. Kennedy." Both classes in the study we re very quiet when I turned the lights on. Then I announced, "That was my story and how I became who I am today." Then to lighten the mood, I had them work diligently in groups to find the fifteen examples of power. The data that I received from that day was very significant to my study and to me as an educator. I discovered that I might have influenced their work in art but also their work ethic in the future. Braithwaite (2000) defines empowerment as, "In a very general sense, the term refers to one's capacity to acquire understanding and control over personal, social, and political forces in order to improve life s ituations (p. 193). My informal interviews with students were significant to this piece of the study. One response that I received from a student regarding their work ethic was, "I will, next year, pay more attention in class and not talk as much as I al ways do." Another student explained, "You inspired me to always try my best in my work." While someone else responded, "What I took

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34 ART AS A FORM OF EMPOWERMENT from your video is that I should not give up when things get hard and that I am capable of more. I should push myself to be better." That same student also said, "I don't always behave as best as I should. I talk a lot and don't get the best grades. By seeing your video, inspires me to push more to get better grades because if you can go through all that, I can raise a C to an A." I also found that the video had changed my students views about power which was my intention. One student explained, "I learned that everyone has power even if you're rich or poor." Whereas another student said, "Everybody can have power and everyone has a purpose in life. We may just not know it." One student spoke about the power to change, "My power is to be able to change myself. If I feel like I do something wrong, that I have the power to change that and not do it again." After studying the dat a, I wanted to be sure that there was no coercion in the questioning. I found that all my questions were very general. The questions I asked were: W hat did you learn from the lesson today ? W hat do you feel is your power ? H ow does this lesson relate to your life? Although my intention was to empower my students through their choices, my life story video and the lesson on power seemed to have more of a n immediate outcome. There was one particular girl that had shown considerable impact from my story and the lesson. She is currently enrolled in two different art classes this semester and I have had her several times in the past. She also comes to my room whenever her work is done in other classes. Some days, she arrives in a good mood but most days she lo oks sad. She seldom sits up straight and rarely smiles. Her face usually displays some type of grimace. After the day that her class saw the video of my story, she came to me during her lunch hour. She presented me with her rough draft drawing on power. Sh e says, "Because of you, I'm starting to believe that dreams really come true. I never used to believe in those things." Her work displayed herself in a light

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35 ART AS A FORM OF EMPOWERMENT completely opposite from her work in the past. She says in her journal, "I will be happier. I wil l have more faith and hope. I will believe in myself." I believe that this student was empowered by the lesson. Braithwaite (2000) explains this phenomenon "Individual empowerment is positively correlated with self efficacy, positive self esteem, and self concept or personal competence" (p. 193). My student began the work for her design before the rest of her classmates. She also decided to buy her own canvas and began painting at home. Regarding her art, she states, "I want my work to show I believe in my self and try harder that the impossible is possible." Her thought processes and imagery far exceeded my expectations. The final activity of the study was to create a work of art displaying the student's power as an adolescent. Students were allowed to choose from four different me dias Their choices were painting, pen and ink, colored pencil, and collage. A large number of stud ents ch ose to paint or use colored pencil. The images they used to describe their powers most often related to areas they cu rrently excel in. Most students used sports to describe their powers. Although they added depth to their pieces by adding academics, art, music, friends or family. The majority of the students drew themselves in a powerful pose displaying their hand in a c lenched fist or with both hands on their hips. One student developed her idea from researching the artist Faith Ringgold. Ringgold illustrates characters flying over buildings. By flying over the building, the character is claiming the building to become m ore powerful over it. The student drew herself flying over a softball field, claiming it so that she can have more power over her sport. One interesting thing about this piece was h ow the student wrote power. T he top of the page read P W R and a t the b o ttom of the page, rested the O and E. If one would visually raise the O and E it would spell POWER. At first, this was not clear to me. I asked her what the letters represented. She said, "It spells power. I did that because power is not something easily found." I told her that

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36 ART AS A FORM OF EMPOWERMENT I thought she was brilliant and I loved her idea. Another student drew herself cheering at a boys basketball game. At first glance, I thought the piece lacked depth. When I asked her to describe how her piece displayed her power, s he said, "The game is tied, which means hope for the future. The team's seats on the sidelines are all empty. This demonstrates how I feel that everyone should be included in the game. Finally, the microphone and music notes display my power to sing." I wa s amaze d at the amount of thought this student had put into the imagery in her work. These descriptions above only begin to describe the work that came out of this study since students were allowed the freedom to e xpress their powers how they ch ose. Refer to my website to see all the students' finished works http://kimberleeart.wix.com/choice based art ed In the data that I collected, students responded to the choices by saying that it gave them more power and freedom. A couple of these responses were, "I like having more choices in art because it gives me more freedom," and "Having choices gives me freedom and gives me power over what I want." Also another student responded by saying, "Having more choices lets us have more power." I observed that s tudents were more attentive to their work than I had seen in the past. I saw students that were known as talker s to work for longer periods of time without talking. Students that often did not complete tasks were working attentively in class every day. Students also supported these observations. One student stated, "My art work is better because I would rather do s omething I like to do than something I don't." This student said, "Choices make me work a lot harder. If I enjoy the project, then I want it to look good. If I don't enjoy it, I probably won't try near as hard." Another stated, "Choices gives us the feelin g of freedom. If we feel like we're being controlled, we won't work as hard." The possible empowerment that I witnessed was that students worked more attentively than in the past. Cleary & Zimmerman (2004) similarly observe "Middle school students can be empowered to exert greater control

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37 ART AS A FORM OF EMPOWERMENT over their learning so that they become more proactive, self motivated learners" (p. 538). One question that I still hope to answer is whether that drive came from the choices part of the curriculum or the lesson on power I would assume that both had a considerable effect. Discussion My goal for this study was to modify my current instructional practices so that students were able to take active roles in the decision making process I will continue to adjust my instructional practices to allow students more choices in the future. In the past, I always had students create the same art project using the same medi a I did this because that was how I was taught in art. It was also because lessons were easily managed while students were creating. I now see the importance of allowing more choices in art. Students in this study worked harder and they preferred having more choices. I now see the benefits of allowing choices. It offers students more opportunities to think about their own creativity rather than forcing them to create what I want. One aspect of the study I did not expect was that the students would be empowered by a single lesson and my story about power more so than the choices they were allowed to ma ke. Although the choices allowed them the freedom they so often seek, I felt that they attached more to the reality of my story and struggles that I encountered at their age. My students learned that I related to their life and the struggles they face ever y day. They experienced firsthand the empathy that I have for their situation in life. Sharing my story was very difficult. Although I have shared it with a few colleagues, I kept the knowledge of my past a secret from most. I kept it from others not bec ause I was worried about their opinions, but because it would mean that I would have to admit to myself that I had struggled t hat I don't have to prove to myself anymore and that I am smart and fully

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38 ART AS A FORM OF EMPOWERMENT aware of my intelligence. Through the work completed i n this study and sharing my life story, I am now confident in what I have become. I fully expected students to have their projects completed when I created the plan for this study. Although, I had to take the lesson in a different di rection by adding my life story, I also added other artists to the lesson which took a bit more time. Since the study was intended to take place in short length of time, I could not force my students to work at a pace that was not conducive to their own thought processes. F u rther outcomes of this study a nd the students' finished work are available on my website: http://kimberleeart.wix.com/choice based art ed Throughout the study several things went well in this curriculum unit and my study of it I thought that the lesson's transition from my students' materialistic ideas of power to deeper understandings of power had a considerable affect on the students' work and their ideas of power. The activities wh ere I had students work tog ether and move around the room had aided in their engagement and motivation to learn the material. I also felt that allowing my students more choices had a positive effect on the work. Having students use self regulating strategi es by planning out their projects and setting goals helped to put the project into the hands of the students. Students took ownership of their projects and this aided in the development of the study. If I were to do the study over, there would be several things that I would change. For one, I would have students read less. Although, I feel that reading is important in art, I had numerous materials for students to read. Students did not seem to enjoy this aspect of the study. I still would have them read t he material, however I would limit the reading to the key ideas I wanted students to understand. I also would have students move around more to work with other

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39 ART AS A FORM OF EMPOWERMENT students. When I had students work in pairs and switch every few minutes, the engagement was hig her than normal. Recommendations Before I started the study, I had previously i mplemented a full Choice B ased A rt C urriculum unit. My study involved a modified Choice Based Curriculum where I chose the concept that the students would learn and express in their art. Though I do not have much experience with this type of curriculum, I did find some aspects of the full Choice Based Curriculum problematic. The thing that I observed in the Choice Based M odel was that most of the students' art lacked focus. They would change centers quite regularly. The work that came from those weeks of art making lacked depth. In my modified Choice B ased curriculum study, students were expected to establis h a goal for the project's completion and a plan for their work. If I were to recommend one thing to other art teachers planning to implement a Choice Based Curriculum it would be to also have students develop their ideas by creating a plan for each proje ct. Wong, Zimmerman, & Parker (2010) confirm this finding "Young people, may have plenty of creative ideas for programming, but may lack expertise on how to develop and implement a strategic plan" (p. 110). I would also recommend having students set a goa l for when the project would be completed. I felt that in the study, students work displayed power, which had more meaning and depth than before. Students were empowered to create and to complete the work that they had started. I believe empowerment can come from many different directions as my research and the literature indicated. The literature that I read on adolescents expressed the importance of adolescent participation. I found in the l iterature that adolescents responded to having more choices. W ong, Zimmerman and Parker (2010) explain Shared control between youth and

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40 ART AS A FORM OF EMPOWERMENT adults provides a social arrangement that is ideal for positive youth development. (p. 109). My study confirmed this claim. I saw the positive effect first hand by allowing my students more choices in art. Students in my study reported to me that they had more control over their work. I had observed students working harde r than I had seen in the past. Moreover, th is study will affect how I will c reate curricula in the future. I will continue to offer my middle school students more choices. I would recommend to other art teachers to also allow more choices in art and observe how their students respond. With allowing students more choices, I would also recommend that art teachers relate more to their students on a personal level Some students may view teachers as being unreal remote, or without their own daily worries or faults So often I hear students say that it was weird and uncomfortable to s ee a teacher in public. Do teachers seem so unreal that students assume they don't have to buy groceries like the rest of the world? Why is it that students don't relate to most teachers? I feel it is because most teachers are mission oriented. It could al so be that teachers rarely relax and don't speak with students on their level about things that matter to students "When students perceive support..., they tend to also feel confident about their academic skills" (Patrick, Ryan, & Kaplan, 2007, p.85). If teachers intentionally tried to relate more with students on a personal level (while still maintaining appropriate boundaries and professionalism) they may empower their students in unpredictable ways I know that my students now see me in a different light. They see me as a fellow classmate that was made fun of, failed, and still overcame the odds. They now see me as a human with faults and flaws and a past riddled with insecurities

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41 ART AS A FORM OF EMPOWERMENT Conclusion I believe that learning about the concept of power was significant to the empowerment students demonstrated in this study. Prior to the study, I predicted that a student choice approach would empower middle school students. Choices were important to my students but not as important as discovering that they were more powerful than they had previously thought. Before students were aware of their powers, the majority of them thought of power in a materialistic way. Students are now more aware of their powers. Students are now saying things like "It gives me power," or "It gives me power over what I want." I believe my findings apply to the field of art education in a major way. In conclusion, a rt is a special subject that can communicate the essential concept of power. In art, students le arn to imagine, interpret, and reflect. Art should be a place where students can imagine their powers, interpret their powers, and reflect on their powers. Therefore, the inner power of students can become the outer power displayed in a work of art and pos sibly within their future realities.

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42 ART AS A FORM OF EMPOWERMENT References Bondy, E., Ross, D. R. (2008). The Teacher as a warm demander. Educational Leadership, 66 (1), 54 58. Braithwaite, R. L. (2000). Empowerment. [Encyclopedia]. Encyclopedia of Psychology, 3 Cleary, T. J., & Zimmerman, B. J. (2004). Self regulation empowerment program: A school based program to enhance self regulated and self motivated cycles of student learning. Psychology in the Schools, 41 (5), 537 550. Cummings, K. L. (2010). "So what" "who cares?" "whatever." Changing adolescents' attitudes in the art classroom. Visual Arts Research, 36 (1), 54 64. Dick, B. (1999). What is ac tion research? Retrieved from http://www.aral.com.au/resources/arphome.html Douglas, K. (2004). Welcome to the choice stud io. Arts & Activities Magazine 136 (1), 50 53. Eccles, J. S., Midgley, C., Wigfield, A., Buchanan, C. M., Reuman, D., Flanagan, C., & Iver, D. M. (1993). Development during adolescence: The impact of stage environment fit on young adolescents' experiences in schools and in families. American Psychological Association, 48 (2), 90 101. Gaspardi, E., & Douglas, K. (2010). Art educ ation for the 21st century. Retrieved from http://www.kennedy center.org/education/vsa/resources/Gaspardi_E llyn_Arts_ Education_for_the_21st_Century.pd f Graham, A., & being: Does Children & Society, 25 (6), 447 457.

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43 ART AS A FORM OF EMPOWERMENT Hathaway, N., (2008). 10 teaching and learning strategies in a choice based art program. Arts and Activities, 44 (1), 36 37, 5 3. Hope, S. (1994). Art, power, and arts education. Arts Education Policy Review 95 (6), 2 14 Hunter, J. P., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2003). The positive psychology of interested adolescents. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 32 (1), 27 35. Lundy, L. (2007). 'Voice' is not enough: Conceptualising article 12 of the united nations convention on the rights of the child. British Educational Research Journal 33 (6), 927 942. as art education? Studies in Art Education 34 ( 2 ), 1 1 4 1 26 McTighe, J., & Thomas, R. S. (2003). Backward design for forward action. Educational Leadership, 60 ( 5), 52 55 Noblit, G. L. (1995). In the meantime. Phi Delta Kappan 76 (9), 680 685. Patton, Q. M. (202). Qualitative research & evaluation methods. Thousand Oaks, California : Sage Publications. Patrick, H., Ryan, A. M. & Kaplan, A. (2007). 16. Early adolescents' perceptions of the classroom social environment, motivational beliefs, and engagement. Journal of Educational Psychology, 99 (1), 83 98. Stuart, N. H. (2002). Making sure the child's voice is heard. International Review of Education, 48 (3), 251 258. TAB. (2011). Teaching for artistic behavior. Retrieved from http://teachingforartisticbehavior.org/ Wigfield, A. (2005). Early adolescents development across the middle school years:

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44 ART AS A FORM OF EMPOWERMENT Implications for school counsel or. Professional School Counseling, 9 (2), 112 119. Wiggins, G. & McTighe, J. (2005). Understanding by Design Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Wong, N. T., Zimmerman, M. A., & Parker, E. A. (2010). A typology of you th participation and empowerment for child and adolescent health promotion. [Research Support, Non U.S. Gov't Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.]. Am J Community Psychol, 46 (1 2), 100 114. Zimmerman, B. J. (1996). Acquisition of self regulatory skill: From theory and research to academic practice. In R. Berhardt, C.N. Hedley, G. Cattaro, & V. Svolopoulus, (Eds.), Zimmerman, B. J. (2002). Becoming a self regulated learner: An overview. Theory into Practice 41 (2), 64 70. Zimmerman B. J. (1986) Becoming a self regulated learner: What are the key sub processes? Contemporary Educational Psychology, 11, 370 404. Zimmerman, B. J., Bonner, S., & Kovach, R. (1996). Developing self regulated learners: Beyond achievement to self efficacy. Washington, D C: American Psychological Association.

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45 ART AS A FORM OF EMPOWERMENT Append ix

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46 ART AS A FORM OF EMPOWERMENT

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47 ART AS A FORM OF EMPOWERMENT

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48 ART AS A FORM OF EMPOWERMENT List of Figures Figure 1. Students predicting about human by drawing p Figure 2. Student journals about Faith Ringgold and Figure 3. Image illustrates my Figure 4. Images illustrates how students had a materialistic view of human power ............32

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49 ART AS A FORM OF EMPOWERMENT Author Biography From an early age, art has been my pas sion. My earliest memory is painting on ceramics creativity. This love of art h as st ayed with me and developed as I've grown. Throughout my early education, I struggled but the subject of art was always a pleasure. During high school, I became more sure of myself as my confidence grew with my newfound abilities in art. During this time, I was inspired by an influential art teacher. She took notice of my talent and pushed me to further my art education in college. After high school, I stu died graphic design for a year at the Denver, Colorado Institute of Art. I was passionate and va lued the experience. After moving back to Missouri, I wanted to continue my education, so I attended Mineral Area College near my home. During my experiences at the Institute of Art and Mineral Area College, I completed many college level art courses. I ex tremely enjoyed every art class. I found the courses in art history particularly interesting, and I still desire to learn more about the artists who lived before me. I am particularly Guernica is one particular painting that I studied and found interesting. Even though every art course was challenging, I felt rewarded, as I had grown in my understanding of the discipline. After my course work at Mineral Area College, I was stuck at a crossroad I desired to be an art teacher more than anything. However, I questioned whether I would be able to acquire a job in the area where I live. Living in a small town, there were not many opportunities for art teachers. I spoke with advisers, teachers, and r elatives about my future. Finally, I decided to

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50 ART AS A FORM OF EMPOWERMENT Upon graduation, I took the certification exam for art. I passed the exam that certified me to teach art in kinderg arten through twelfth grade. As I had feared, I was unable to find a job as an art teacher after graduation but I was blessed with an opportunity to teach elementary education in a fourth grade classroom. I worked as an elementary fourth grade teacher fo r four years. I took pleasure in the job. In my classroom, I worked at creating a community conducive to reaching the learning styles of every child. I was able to create this environment through my background in art and the integration of art in all subje ct matter. I was very successful as a fourth grade teacher. On ed as one of the highest in Missouri. Our school received gold ribbon and blue ribbon status N ow that I teach art for my district I feel privil eged to teach my passion. I enjoy art and being creative. It is a way for me to convey myself and capture the way I see the wo rld. I particularly enjoy drawing and trying to capture detail. I love to be meticulous about every shade, line, and texture I particularly enjoy portraiture work and using friends and family members as the subject matter. I enjoy visiting art museums, art galleries, and exhibitions. My love for art burns deep and drive s me to inspire, create, and motivate.