A Study of the Integration of Zine-Making withing a Middle School Visual Arts Curriculum

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Material Information

Title:
A Study of the Integration of Zine-Making withing a Middle School Visual Arts Curriculum
Physical Description:
Project in lieu of thesis
Language:
English
Creator:
Brinson, Brittany
Publisher:
College of Fine Arts; University of Florida
Place of Publication:
Gainesville, FL
Publication Date:

Thesis/Dissertation Information

Degree:
Master's ( M.A.)
Degree Grantor:
University of Florida
Committee Chair:
Roland, Craig
Committee Members:
Kushins, Jodi

Notes

Abstract:
The goal of my Capstone Project was to enhance the visual art learning experience of my 8th grade students through the study and production of handmade mini magazines, often referred to as zines, in my middle school art curriculum. I found that, although the zine-making project was challenging to implement, the students enjoyed the opportunity to create something alongside their peers that could potentially benefit others. I also found the students to be especially receptive to the collaged combination of imagery and text most associated with the zine format. My Capstone paper describes my research process, findings, and recommendations. First, I discuss the development of the zine curriculum and the improvement of the classroom environment in order to create a space more conducive to open dialogue and collaboration. Then, I describe the implementation of the zine project as 8th grade students are given the task to create a “Middle School Survival Guide” for future 6th grade students. Finally, I share insights on the zine project. Recommendations include goal-focused conversations with individual students as well as student groups, and opportunities to gain input from other students removed from the project. I conclude this Capstone paper with final insights about the inclusion of zine-making within the visual art classroom as a form of reflective artmaking. The end product of my research will be the printed copies of the zines available in the school library and a digital copy available at http://smsart.weebly.com/uploads/1/4/1/7/14170330/ms_survival_guide.pdf or through smsart.weebly.com.
General Note:
Art Education terminal project

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
Copyright Brittany Brinson. Permission granted to the University of Florida to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
System ID:
AA00025517:00001


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ZINE MAKING WITH MIDDLE SCHOOL ART 1 A S TUDY OF THE INTEGRATION OF ZINE MAKING WITHIN A MIDDLE SCHOOL VISUAL ARTS CURRICULUM By BRITTANY BRINSON 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 May 2014

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ZINE MAKING WITH MIDDLE SCHOOL ART 2 2013 Brittany Brinson

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ZINE MAKING WITH MIDDLE SCHOOL ART 3 Acknowledgements First and foremost, I would like to thank God for instilling me with the gift and ability to touch the lives of others as an educator. I would like to thank my parents, Betty and Fletcher Barnes, for making the importance of education a strong presence in our household. I thank my siblings, Michael, Kourtney, and Brandon, for all of their support over the years and the impact they had on my development and my character. I also thank my Capstone Committee Members, Dr. Craig Roland and Dr. Jodi Kushins, for h elping me expand my knowledge of Art Education. Thank you to Dr. Elizabeth Delacruz and the entire UF Art Education family. Last but not least, thank you to my husband, Tayler.

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ZINE MAKING WITH MIDDLE SCHOOL ART 4 ABSTRACT OF CAPSTONE PROJECT PRESENTED T O THE COLLEGE OF FINE ARTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS A STUDY OF THE INTEGRATION OF ZINE MAKING IN A MIDDLE SCHOOL VISUAL ARTS CURRICULUM By Brittany Brinson May 2014 Chair: Craig Roland Committee Member: Jodi Kushins Major: Art Education Abstract The goal of my Capstone Project was to enhance the visual a rt learning experience of my 8 th grade students through the study and production of handmade mini magazines, often referred to as zines, in my middle school art curriculum. I found that, although the zine making project was challenging to implement, the students enjoyed the opportunity to create something alongside their peers that could potentially benefit others. I also found the students to be especially receptive to the collaged combination of imagery and text most associ ated with the zine format. My Capstone paper describes my research process, findings, and recommendations. First, I discuss the development of the zine curriculum and the improvement of the classroom environment in order to create a space more conducive to open dialogue and collaboration. Then, I describe the implementation of the zine project as 8 th grade students are given the task to create th grade students. Finally, I share insights on the

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ZINE MAKING WITH MIDDLE SCHOOL ART 5 zine project. Reco mmendations include goal focused conversations with individual students as well as student groups and opportunities to gain input from other students removed from the project. I conclude this Capstone paper with final insights about the inclusion of zine making within the visual art classroom as a form of reflective artmaking. The end product of my research will be the printed copies of the zines available in the school library and a digital cop y available at http://smsart.weebly.com/uploads/1/4/1/7/14170330/ms_survival_guide.pdf or through smsart.weebly.com.

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6 Table of Contents Title Page ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 1 UF Copyright Page ................................ ................................ ................................ .......................... 2 Acknowledgements ................................ ................................ ................................ .......................... 3 UF Formatted Abstract ................................ ................................ ................................ .................... 4 Table of Contents ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................. 6 Introduction ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 8 Statement of the Problem ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 8 Purpose of the Study ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 9 Assumptions of the Study ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 10 Definition of Terms ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 10 Study Limitations ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 1 1 Literature Review ................................ ................................ ................................ ........................... 1 2 Methodology ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 1 5 Subject Selection ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 1 7 Research Site and Description ................................ ................................ ........................... 1 7 Data Collection Procedures and Instrumentation ................................ .............................. 1 7 Data Analysis ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 1 8 Limitations ................................ ................................ ................................ ......................... 1 9 Findings ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 20 Four Heads are Better than One ................................ ................................ ......................... 20 Zinesters in the Making ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 2 1 Findings Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 2 2 Discussion and Conclusion ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 2 3

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7 Discussion and Interpretation of Findings ................................ ................................ ......... 2 4 Significance, Implications and Recommendations ................................ ........................... 2 4 W hat s Next? ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 2 5 Conclusion ................................ ................................ ................................ ......................... 2 6 References ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 2 7 Appendix A ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 2 9 Appendix B ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 30 Author Biography ................................ ................................ ................................ .......................... 3 1

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8 I wait, with much anticipation as the bell rings for 8 th grade transition. I have been working for weeks on preparing my papier my students that we would be doing papier mch so earl y in the school year. After a t hirty minute PowerPoint presentation highlighting animals and symbolism in art from the Lascaux I was overcome with excitement when one of my students raised his hand. What could he be The above scenario is a play by play of what I experienced my first year as an art teacher. It was not too long ago that I was sitting in my own middle school art classroom, yet, my excitement and enthusiasm for the content as the art teacher was unmatched by that of my students. The ever changing face of education proves to challenge my educational and instructional practices. Art education is not relieved of such a challenge. Statement of the Problem Only entering my second year of art teaching, th e comp ulsion to connect my students to the curriculum is constant. I currently teach art at a Title I middle school that rests on the outer perimeter of a major urban city in the Southeastern United States My school consists of a predominately Black and Hispani c student body, where it seems to me that visual art education does not take hig h priority within the community. I noticed earlier on as their art teacher, m y students just did not appear to be connected to the art curriculum; they did not identify with it For this reason, I dedicated my Capstone Research Project to making my curriculum more engaging to my students through the implementation of a zine artmaking project.

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9 Purpose of the Study Zines or homemade miniature magazines, have been extremely successful in language arts classrooms, offering students an alternative way of reading and writing (Bott, 2002; Buchanan, 2012; Jacobi, 2007). The purpose of my action research project was to utilize zines as an alternative form of reflective artmaking in my art curriculum creating a more relevant connection for my students (Klein, 2010) Research Questions The motivation for my research was centered on the potential of a zine making project that could instill understanding and ownership in a middle scho ol visual arts course. The questions that informed and guided my research were: (a) what curricular strategies and components are best suited for the design and implementation of a zine project in my middle school classroom, (b) what subject matter, conten t, and methods of zine making are most desirable and doable in this context, (c) what happens in the classroom when I implement a zine project, and (d) how does the integration of a zine based art project enhance the educational experience of my middle sch ool students? Rationale and Significance of the Study As stated previously from the start of my teaching career, I noticed an observable disconnect between my students and my curricul um My lesson plans, although offering a limited assortment in outcomes, were very rigid i n instruction. I was offering my students a choice here and there, but did not grant them full reign on their creations; thus, limiting the pride and ownership they took in their work It is safe to assume that s tudents who perso nally connect with their artmaking tend to produce more meaningful works of art When students can connect themselves to the curriculum, they have an opportunity to engage in their educational experience in more meaningful ways. This is what I remember of my connection to visual art when I was

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10 It was something I was able to be passionate about art and found it enjoyable because I was able to meaningfully connect with the curriculum in Zines offer students limitless possibilities to create in meaningful ways. Assumptions I based my research on the assumption that some mi ddle school aged students seem to be overly preoccupied with their personal lives and peer relationships. In other words, pre adolescent students are very aware of themselves and things that directly impact their lives. Based on this assumption, it was my belief that the student s would respond positively to a zine making project as they typically respond to topics most identifiable to their age group. My research als o operated on the assumption that students respond better to art if engaged in a way that encouraged them to solve their own problems ; in this case, how to survive middle school Middle school aged children are exploring their identities and boundaries at a very crucial time of their development They not only want to distance themselves from the role of being mere children, but want to experience some of the rights and powers associated with adulthood. It is when a student is met with opposition to these w ants that the child becomes discontent. Zines are often used to illustrate such d iscontent (Buchanan, 2012) which can offer students a way they can connect themselves and their identities to the artmaking process. Therefore I assumed the students would en joy being able to use zines to s hare their personal or collective voice as they illustrated the ups and downs of the middle school years. Definition of Terms Title I. P art of the Elementary and Seconda ry Education Act of 1965, the foundation of the federal commitment to closing the achievement gap betwee n low income and other students (U .S. Department of Education, 2011 ).

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11 8A Students who are enrolled in my 8 th grade visual arts class that attend art first. My 8A class meets every day from 9:20am to 10:05am. 8B Students who are enrolled in my 8 th grade visual arts class that attend art second. My 8B class meets every day from 3:10pm to 4:00pm. ESOL An acronym for English to Speakers of Other Language s which is a program designed to help students whose native language is not English (Catoggio, n.d.). Zine. A small circulation self published work of original or appropriated text s and images (Brent & Biel, 2008) Zinesters Creators of zines (Congdon & Blandy, 2003). Study Limitations Although zines offer limitless opportunities for freedom of expression, the use of zines in my classroom was restricted by certain parameters The idea of the zine is that the author is given ultimate freedom of expression while using the familiar format of imagery and text to entice potential viewers ( Guzzetti & Gamboa, 2004) However, within the public school setting as my research site, I could only offer freedom to the s tudents with in the limitations imposed by school images and text the students selected. The limitations within public education might have hindered the creativ e possibilities of some of the groups. For some students, it was challenging to adjust the language of their zine topic for the anticipated 6 th grade audience so they omitted information that they would have otherwise included. Participation in the zine project was also limited to students who were randomly placed in my third quarter 8 th grade classes. Although participation in the research was voluntary, all students had to cooperate in their groups as part of my visual arts curriculum. Students selected

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12 for the research project were not necessarily for or against zine making prior to enrollment in my course. T he project was a graded assignment as opposed to a worksh op done before or after school, so students were expected to participate on some level The study was also limited in time span due to unforeseeable inclement weather. The anticipated five week project was condensed to three weeks due to snow day interruptions. The gaps in instruction not only made it difficult for students to complete their zines before the end of the nine week course, but numerous students failed to return their parental consent forms (see Appendix B) making their individual contributions impossible to document. Literature Review Most art education programs encourage and support student reflection (Andrews, 2005). Art is itself a process and educators can gain a lot through student reflections. Most commonly documented as an artist statement, within an informal class discussion, or written in a spiral making their artwork meaningful (Andrews, 2005; Cummings, 2010). Gray and Malins (1993) and May (1993) also support utilizing student reflect ions as invaluable information throughout the action research process. In my research, I was able to explore the enhancement of my curriculum through the integration of zines as a form of reflective artmaking. Zines as Artmaking Zines are short, self publi shed magazines usually handmade by one person or a collaborative group of people which illustrate personal, political, themed, or social issues, concerns, or celebrations through a combination of text and imagery (Bott, 2002; Buchanan, 2012; Congdon & Blan dy, 2003; Jacobi, 2007; Klein, 2010). With roots in the United States as far back as the colonial Revolutionary War and pamphlets, the zines as they are known today are

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13 derived from science fiction fanzines of the 1920s and 1930s (Buchanan, 2012; Congdon & Blandy, 2003). Today, the concept of zines is widely used in language arts and literature classes as well as in the visual arts. Zines offer a venue for free expression that fosters a positive learning environment where all perspectives may be valued (Courtland & Paddington, 2008; Jacobi, 2007). As students explore different themes or ideas that are rele vant to them, they navigate the zine creation process like problem solvers, attempting to identify problems, suggest solutions, or illustrate disconten t (Klein, 2010). Many teachers have adopted and advocate zine creation in their classrooms through the zine based projects to allow students an alternate way of developing literacy skills (Bott, 2002; Buchanan, 2012, Jacobi, 2007). Klein (2010) even embrac ed the use of zines in pre service art educat ion courses as reflective journals illustrating the issues and anxieties of teaching art Guzzetti and Gamboa (2004) have also documented the utilization of zines created by a group of adolescent girls adamant o n producing literature that confronts gender roles and stereotypes. In this case, t he zines serve as a form of activism and leadership as students are given the opportunity to find their voice (Guzzett i & Gamboa, 2004; Jacobi, 2007) voice long lost to pee r pressure and the desire to please others (Gilligan, 2005). Young students enjoy the f orm adolescent writers mostly girls who feel disenfranchised by peer pressures and societal expec tations to conform to physical, emotional, and linguistic soci 44). Students are also attracted to the visual appeal of zines, their portability, manipulability, and a ccessibility (Buchanan, 2012). In zine making, s tudents are en gaged in the process of researching, revie wing, and producing mini magazines that can serve as a window into their lives and what they find most important (Buchanan, 2012). Art courses offer opportunities throughout

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14 reativity, and free self expression are encouraged and valued. These aspects may be further enhanced in zine making. As students challenge or embrace age specific themes through zines, identity formation takes place (Bott, 2002). Utilizing the alternate l iteracy format of zines and establishing a foundation of visual literacy through art, students can create astonishing compositions that marry text and imagery in meaningful ways. Congdon and Blandy (2003) observe the increasing impact of visual culture and how students utilize images to form new meanings through zines Zines lay the groundwork for new meanings to be explored and communicated. Although zines are nothing new to modern society, gaining popularity since the 1970s and 1980s (Buchanan, 2012; Guzzetti & Gamboa, 2004), the use of zines in the art classroom remain s relatively new territory. A concealed gem, zines can be the gateway t o bolstering student self confidence within the art classroom as they evaluate and reconsider their own priorities, goals, and assumptions. Working independently and as groups, students are offered an opportunity to voice issues or concerns that the students find important and relevant. For my overarching theme of the zine making project. Student led and student driven artmaking has shown to be empowering, especially for students exploring the concept of self identity and community involvement (Andrews, 2005). Coupling this des ire for identity development with in a free form and intuitive manner (Congdon & Blandy, 2003, p. 45). Using zines in the context of a reflective art piece, the 8 th grade students will be able to find the curriculum personally relevant while developing an artwork that ha s the potential to help others.

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15 Methodology The goa l of my action research project was to enhance my middles school art curriculum through the use of zines. Through the zine project I facilitated with 61 middle school students I attempted to provide a positive learning environment for students to explore and investigate societal is sues specific to their lives. The students were able to identify and select topics that had the greatest impact o n the school community, and work together in illustrating ideas, concerns, and solutions in a collaborative zine project that will later be distribute d to future s ixth grade s tudents of the school. A n atmosphere of open dialog ue was emphasized and encouraged as student s work ed collaboratively to solve the problems directly impacting their lives and the lives of others Students worked simultaneously on teams of four as zine writer s, illustrators, and editors. Periodically, students were asked to respond independently in the form zine action research project, digital tools and resources were explored to e xtend the accessibility of the zine project outside of my classroom. M y project began with a urvey students to rank a list of issues and topics found to be relevant to their age group (i.e. drug abuse, teen pregna ncy, good grades, physical appearance, death, etc.). Utilizing the United States Centers for Disease and Control 2013 Middle School Youth Risk Behavior Survey, I developed an anonymous online survey for my 8 th graders to complete at the beginning of the pr oject. I created a list of topics, issues, and concerns for the project that aligned with the concept of enduring ideas (Stewart & Walker, 2005). I also used my prior experience with my students to generate

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16 topics that, as an educator, appeared to be impor tant to my students. The survey asked students to respond to questions about bullying, relationships, peer pressure, identity, stress, family problems, physical appearance, drugs, academic pressure, depression, suicide, and fighting. After answering speci fic questions about the twelve topics, students were asked to rank all twelve words with 1 being most important to them as middle school students and 12 being least important to them as middle school students. The top eight highly ranked words were then us class, the top eight words chosen were identity, bullying, peer pressure, relationships, stress, family problems, fighting, and physical appearance. My 8B class iden tified identity, bullying, peer pressure, academic pressure, stress, family problems, fighting, and physical appearance as their highly ranked topics. The fact that 7 out of 8 topics were identical between the two classes suggests an appropriate assumption of beliefs and values of my 8 th grade students. Based on student response, I create d a plan of action that incorporated both trad itional and contemporary art making techniques while connecting to the overarching theme of zine production. Students were ab le to read and analyze an assortment of zines I was able to find online (See Appendix A) It was critical that students became well versed in the zine format to ensure clear expectations of the project. I introduced student s to various collaging, photography, and d igital art techniques most associated with zine creation. Ul t imately, I had planned to publish the zines as a series where each topic would function as an independent zine. However, due to time constraints, the top ics were altered into page spreads that would compile a single publication distributed throughout the school in print and digital formats.

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17 Subject Selection The main subjects of the study are 61 students enrolled in my visual art 8 th grade class. I teach at a predo minately Black and Hispanic Title I school where 86% of students receive free or reduced lunch (need reference). My study group consisted of 61 students from two separate classes where 26 students are female, 35 are male, 7 are identified as English to Spe akers of Other Langu ag es (ESOL) students, 2 are Special Education, 51% Hispanic, 30% Black, 10% Asian, 8% White (Non Hispanic), and 1% multi racial. Research Site and Description The site of the research was my middle school art classroom. Student schedules are computer generated based on enrollment requirements, credits needed to graduate, and maximum class size. Students enrolled in art attend the course daily for 50 minutes a day for a nine week period. Within the public school setting, my classroom was subject to plan ned interruptions in the school day due to assemblies, testing, fire drills, and the like as well unforeseen interruptions like late buses, inclement weather, and false alarms. Data Collection Procedures and Instrumentation Action research was my main rese arch methodology where I approached written and verbal student responses through thematic analysis, adjusting my curriculum when necessary to align with my research questions and goals. The student survey (see Appendix A) was the first piece of collected d ata that set the stage for the zine project. Art Note Book entries would later be used to gauge student understanding of the curriculum while supporting the use of zines are reflective artmaking. Over the course of the project, data was collected in the form of student responses and student work. I also collected data in form of field notes from informal classroom discussions and student interactions, observations of student collaboration, teacher resources and handouts,

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18 and the completed zine project. St udents were asked to respond to an interim prompt in an know now that you wish you had known as a 6 th their respon se did not have to relate to their specific topic. I used member checking during class and group discussions by restating student responses for clarity to ensure that my observations w ere congruent with participant responses and discussions (Doyle, 2007). Students were also encouraged to record any thoughts, feelings, images, and text that are stimulated through the zine making process Some students would later use their thoughts in their zine illustrations in the form of poems or creative writing. Indivi dual student responses were recorded in an excel document for reference and analysis. Data Analysis According to the Middle School Student Experience Survey, 93% of my 8A class ranked The oth er six words with highest percentages of rankings were bullying, peer pressure, relationships, family issues, conflict, and physical priority. The other words highly r anked were physical appearance, stress, peer pressure, bullying, family issues, conflict, and academic pressure in no specific order. It was noted that both classes identified the 7 out of 8 of the same topics to be highly important. I was able to gather the Art Note Book responses in my hand written teacher research journal. I used the thematic analysis (Boyatzis, 1998) approach to analyze the data through Commonaliti es were noted and recorded. I used an excel spreadsheet to document individual student responses to note patterns, as well as identify any areas of the project that require re

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19 teaching or adjustments. As an outsider of the youth culture, analyzing the Art Note Book entries both confirmed and contested my assumptions of the zine curriculum. I used member checking with independent students as well as during class discussions for clarity. Figure 1. Middle School Student Experience Survey Analysis for 8B Respondents Limitations A s mentioned earlier, a major limitation in regard to data analysis was the severe time constraint created by school closing due to inclement weather. At the end of the course, students were asked to answer three questions about the project: what did you enjoy about the project? What was most challenging? And what would you do differently? For the last question an overwhelming a mount of students responded that they wish they had more time on the project or that they had worked harder or faster. I wanted to ensure my students were able to finish the project, so some of the pre planned discussions and activities had to be cut short or omitted to maximize production time. Students confirmed that they would have appreciated additional time

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20 on their projects, but getting more than one student per group to come before or after school was difficult. The zine format consist ed of each group developing a two page spread consisting of two 8 x 11 sheets of paper. The final pages were copied front and back revealing a new to pic once the pages were turned. This format possessed certain boundaries as students could only use two pages that would always be seen together for the conte nts of their topic as opposed to each group creating their own mini zines. The emphasis on the use of the digital and photographic images and handwritten elements contributed t o the overall look of the zines My research only considers the student responses to this particular zine format. Give n a different f ormat it is expected the students would respond differently to the artmaking. Thus, the students would create something t hat looked much different. Findings The goal of my Capstone P roject was to implement a zine based art project with my 8 th grade classes, and document student engagement and interaction. What exactly happens in the classroom when I implement a zine project in an attempt to enhance the educational experience of my middle school students through a relevant and doable curriculum ? Although challenging, the students enjoyed the opportunity to create something alongside their peers that could potentially benefit others. I also found the students to be especially receptive to the collaged combination of imagery and text most associat ed with the zine style. Four Heads are Better t han One By placing students in groups of four, students were able to communicate and share their perspectives and individual research findings about the selected topic Of the eight words chosen per class, each student selected their top five and wrote the words on an index card. I made a conscious effort to place the students within their top three choices to ensure personal interest

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21 and engagement throu ghout the course of the project. It also rev ealed the different ways different students assigned meaning to the same word different ideas of what was considered identity The group was able to combine their thoughts into one cohesive illustration, usi ng a poem to motivate 6 th graders as they navigate through their newfou nd identities as middle school ers Group roles and responsibilities were also discussed in detail at the onset of the project to ensure every member was prepared to play a contributing role in their group. It was important for the roles to rotate so students felt the workload was shared amongst all studen ts. It also allowed every student to take ownership in what the group was creating. Students took on the role of negotiator as they att views valid for the good of the group. On the exit survey, s everal students commented that they enjoyed being able to create something with their peers. Many students also commented that they found enjoyment in the proje ct due to the fact that their work had the potential to help others. The zines offered the students a voice as well as in si ght to their own perspective which helped them build the connect ion between themselves and their artmaking. Zinesters in the Making Another critical finding was the receptiveness to the zine format of combined imagery and text. The students enjoyed collaging and appropriating images from magazines and the Internet to make their zine page spreads. To familiari ze the students with collage I pre sented them with a postcard activity with advertisements from magazines. Each student received an advertisement page from a magazine and was given the task of creating new meaning using only the images and text on either side of their advertisement. Only v ery few students were familiar with collaging. Others e xpressed frustration in determining which text or images to choose as if there was one correct way to utilize the images available I showed them images of Romare

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22 typography. Appropriation of text and imagery is a critical component of zine making, so the postcard activity assisted students in thinking in these terms Stu dents also became well versed in utilizing technology to copy, cut, crop, and paste digital images. This was especially challenging for my students who lacked basic computer skills. Much time was spent familiarizing students with the technological tools w hich took away from time they could have used on the creation of their zines. Findings Summary All in all, the zine project proved to be qui te successful. Students most desired collaborating with their peers to cre ate something that could in essence, tell their story to others. By reflecting on their own experience as middle school students to inform their artmaking, students were able to make a relevant connection to their artwork. Students also found the collaging tech nique most associated with zine maki ng to be enjoyable and doable On the exit survey, students commented that they found the collaging to be challenging because they pictures from magazines, a nd, given another chance, they would have selected different pictures, included more pictures, or arranged their illustrations differently. Condensing their project from an eight page mini magazine to a two page spread required students to include only the most useful images and text about their topic. Even so, the students were still drawn to the project and the seemingly limitless possibilities to create freely withi n the context of the classroom. A couple students would later share with me their own mini zines they created once they were no longer in my class (See Figures 2 and 3).

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23 Figure 2. Student work: Relationships Figure 3. Student work : Family Issues Discussion and Conclusion The purpose of my research was to connect my students to an engaging and relevant art curriculum through the use of zines. Zines are creative gateways to self expression made printed forms of expression on any subject (Todd & Wat son, 2006, p. 12) Students are naturally drawn to zines and, with endless possibilities, zines are easily adapted to suite any explore the dialogue and happenings of my classroom w ith the implementation of the zine project. I found students to enjoy the collaboration. The students were highly receptive to the combination of imagery and text I will continue this paper with a more detailed discussion and interpretation of the finding s, as well as provide the significance and implications of the study along with recommendations.

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24 Discussion and Interpretation of Findings Despite the interruptions due to inclement weather during the process of my Capstone Project, my students found zi ne making to be an interesting and relevant way to produce art. Meaningful artmaking was made possible through the use of zines. Collaboration amongst students and the pressure to create something that would be left for 6 th graders, as if leaving a legacy for the school to remember them by, pushe d students beyond their limits. The limitless possibilities challenged students to create some extraordinary for others to see. Groups that particularly excelled during this project are groups where all four members were placed in their 1 st topic choice. However, I feel the other students were still motivated because of the overarching theme that something they create could and would help others. Students also enjoyed using multi medi a for their illustrations; I even had a group that made additional effort to put their hand in their creation by having every member create an original drawing or write statements by hand. Significance, Implications, and Recommendations As a 21 st century art educator, it concerns me to see that my students fe l t disconnected with a subject that I enjoye d so much at their age. It concerns me even more to see that my art curriculum, a curriculum that I consider to be fresh and new, wa s not quite holding their interest the way I had hoped. Zines are easy to make, easily accessible, and naturally appealing to young viewers. Zines are also adaptable, proving they can be just as bene ficial in the art classroom as they have been in other content areas. As an a rtist and educator I v alue documentatio n and personal reflection of my work. Zines can offer students the same possibilities. The implications of this study suggest that an y art teacher can connect his or her students to art in meaningful ways by assigning a zine project. The classroom environment must be

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25 shaped to encourage and support open dialogue. It is critical to foste r this exchange with your students so they will feel invested in the classroom and with a zine based project I recommend gauging the maturity level and personal interests of your students before introducing them to zines Also, familiarize the students with the techniques you will be us ing in the projects leading up to the zine making. My students have limited proficiency in Microsoft Word, so I planned a project to familiarize them with the tools so they would feel more comfortable manipulating th eir zi ne spreads on the computer Also explore the visual imagery most available to students in the form of magazines, advertisements, flyers, and websites as a gateway to instruction. The mini postcard was great practice for students who never created a collage magazine images or require the students to photograph and then re work the compositions will help students in understanding how the meaning of their work can change As I previously mentioned, my project was drastically cut short due to the amount of school closings due to inclement weather. Due to this, I had to reduce the amount of t ime spent on the assignment s that prefaced the zine making. Again, I wanted my students to become familiar with utilizing the tools on the computer to assist in the creation of their zine. I was limited in the amount of magazine illustrations available to my students, so having the cropping and altering capabilities with digital imagery allowed students to appropriate images from the Internet they might have not otherwise had acce ss to. In the future, I plan on having students work simultaneously on a collaborative zine project while working on an individual zine. The group zine, similar to th

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26 insight or provide solutions. The individual zine would be documentation of the zine making and student thoughts about zines. Artist exemplars include Romare Bearden, Guerrilla Girls, Barbara Kruger and Jenny Holzer Although I am fond of the two page spread, I am also considering allowing students to select the format of the ir own z ine s. This will require students to create and explore the different formats to see which ones are best suitab le for their concept or design. Conclusion From researching their zine topics to creating their zine spreads, I observed a noticeable increase in the level of en gagement of my 8 th ( http://smsart.weebly.com/uploads/1/4/1/7/14170330/ms_survival_guide.pdf ) extended students a voice and ownership of the artmaking process. This project is easily adaptable to the other grade levels or themes. I plan on using mini zines in my other classes to replace the Art Note Book. Like an Altered Book or Art Journal, the zi ne can be a personal account of the visual art experience, making viable connections between the student and artmaking in a context that students enjoy. Requiring the use of text with the images also encourage students to utilize meaningful imagery; imager y in which they identify or connect.

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27 References Andrews, B. H. (2005). Art, reflection, and creativity in the cl assroom: The student driven art course. Art Education, 58 (4), 35 40. Bott, C. (2002). Zines -the ultimate creative writing project. The English Journal 92 (2), 27 33. Boyatzis R (1998). Transforming qualitative information: Thematic analysis and code d evelopment Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Brent, B., & Biel, J. (2008). Make a Zine!: When words and graphics collide Bloomington, IN: Microcosm Publishing. Buchanan, R. (2012). Zines in the classroom: Reading culture. The English Journal 102 (2), 71 77. Catoggio, K. (n.d.). What is ESOL? ESOL: English to Speakers of Other Languages. Retrieved from http://www.gwinnet t.k12.ga.us/AnnistownES/Title%201%20Documentation/ppt /ESOL%20Presentation_%20AnnistownElementary_Kim%20Catoggio.pdf Congdon, K. G., & Blandy, D. (2003). Zinesters in the classroom: Using zines to teach about Postmodernism and the communication of ideas. Art Education, 56 (3), 44 52. Courtland, M. C., & Paddington, D. (2008). Digital litera cy in a grade 8 classroom: An e zine webquest. Language and Literacy: A Canadian E Journal, 10 (1). Retrieved from http://ejournals.library.ualberta.ca/index.php/langandlit/article/view/9773 attitudes in the art classroom. Visual Arts Research, 36 (1), 55 67. Doyle S. (2007 .) Member ch ecking with older women: A framework f or negotiating meaning. Health Care for Women International, 28 (10) 888 908 Gilligan, C. (2005). From in a different voice to the birth of pleasure: An intellectual journey. North Dakota Law Review, 81 (4), 729 737.

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28 Gray, C., & Malins, J. (1993). Research procedures/methodology for artists & designers Retrieved November 15, 2013, from https://openair.rgu.ac.uk/bitstream/10059/640/1/Malins%20CRiAD%201993.pdf Guzzetti, B. J., & Gamboa, M. (2004). Zines for soc ial justice: Adolescent girls writing on their own. Reading Research Quarterly, 39 (4), 408 436. Henning, J. E., Nielsen, L. E., Henning, M. C., & Schulz, E. U. (2008). Designing discussions: Four ways to open up a dialogue. The Social Studies 99 (3), 122 126. Jacobi, T. (2007). The zine project: Innovation or oxymoron? The English Journal, 96 (4), 43 49. Klein, S. (2010). Creating zines in preservice art teacher education. Art Education 63 (1), 40 46. May, W. ( as or action research: What is it, and what good is it for art education? Studies in Art Education, 34 (2), 114 126. U.S. Department of Education, Student Achievement and School Accountability Programs. (2011). Improving basic programs operated by local edu cational agencies (Title I, Part A). Retrieved from http://www2.ed.gov/programs/titleiparta/index.html Subramaniam, K. (2010). Understanding changes in teacher roles through collaborative action research. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 21 (6), 937 951. Todd, M., & Watson, E. (2006). Whatcha mean, what's a zine?: The art of making zines and m ini comics Boston, MA : Graphia.

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29 Appendix A A1 Sample of Online Survey Questions retrievable at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/S66FGV9 Note. The questions from the student survey are an adaptation of the CDC Middle School Youth Risk Behavior Survey (2013) accessed at http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/yrbs/pdf/questionnaire/2013_ms_questionnaire.pdf A2 List of Zine Resources Zine Author Date URL 30 Zine Ideas Gracie Sparkles February 2013 https://www.etsy.com/listing/111672475/30 zine ideas how to make a zine zine How to Make A Zine Brittany Brinson January 2014 NA In Between Aijung Kim October 2011 https://www.etsy.com/listing/101105928/zine in between travel zine perzine?ref=shop_home_active_8 Letter to my Younger Self #2 Erin Leslie N .D. https://www.etsy.com/listing/180290992/letter to my younger self zine issue 2?ref=shop_home_active_3 We Carry Each Other Aijung Kim Novembe r / Decembe r 2007 http://bit.ly/wecarryeachother Zine on Z ines Christina Loise October 2012 https://www.etsy.com/transaction/178407954?ref=fb2_tnx_im age

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30 Appendix B B1 Sample of IRB Letter B2 Sample of IRB Parental Consent Form

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31 Author Biography Brittany Brinson is a visual arts educator currently teaching at a Title I school near a major urban city in Georgia. University of Georgia in 2011 and is currently enrolled in the University of F Masters of Art in Education program. As the youngest of four children, Brittany made a conscious effort to set herself apart from her siblings. Brittany claimed art as her own. The process of creating an ity to grant that idea life on a sheet of p aper was inspiring, drawing Brittany towards a career in Art Education. in the process, and Brittany emphasizes the importance of the process to her students as their skills emerge and develop every day. Although Brittany has been faced with numerous challenges she finds her position to be just as rewarding. When she is not working on grad uate school assignments or preparing for her own students Brittany enjoys painting and using mixed media to explore new modes of expression. She hopes to continue to develop herself and her curriculum to benefit her current and future students. Her rese arch interest s include u sing visual arts as a form of self expression, incorporating cultural awareness in artmaking, and the development of professional learning communities for art educators.