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ENGAGING SOCIAL MEDIA 1 ENGAGING SOCIAL MEDIA AS A COMPONENT OF 21 ST CENTURY SKILL S IN A HIGH SCHOOL CERAMICS COURSE By MELINDA L. MONTGOMERY A CAPSTONE PROJECT PRESENTED TO THE COLLEGE OF FINE ARTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FO R THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA May 2014
ENGAGING SOCIAL MEDIA 2 2014 MELINDA L. MONTGOMERY
ENGAGING SOCIAL MEDIA 3 Acknowledgements First and fore most, I would like to thank my mother, Francie Dean, for her undying support. Without her constant words of enco uragement I would not be the educator I am today. I would also like to thank the amazing students in my 5 th period Ceramics class, whose support has meant the world to me throughout my research (and everyday!) W ithout each and every one of you this would not be possible. Students like you make coming to work each day so much fun. Elizabeth Delacruz, thank you for encouraging me to try something new in my research and all of the positive words throughout. Finally, my three children, Z achary, Mya and Cash yo u are my everything. Thank you for putting up with me when I was stressed to the max, thank you for your patience, and thank you for being who you are.
ENGAGING SOCIAL MEDIA 4 ABSTRACT OF CAPSTONE PROJECT PRESENTED TO THE COLLEGE OF FINE ARTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PA RTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS ENGAGING SOCIAL MEDIA AS A COMPONENT OF 21 ST CENTURY SKILLS IN A HIGH SCHOOL CERAMICS COURSE By MELINDA L. MONTGOMERY May 2014 Chair: Elizabeth Delacruz Committee Member: Jody Kushin s Major: Art Education Abstract The purpose of this study was to create a ceramic arts curriculum rich in 21 st century skills and facilitated through educative use of social media in high school art students Students created personal webpages and used soc ial media as a vehicle for looking at, sharing, discussing and critiquing artwork, both their own and that of historical and contemporary artists. I created a social media infused curriculum unit, and utilized an action research approach to guide the study how students responded to the curriculum. Field notes from observations, informal discussions within the classroom, online discussions, examination of student artworks, and posts to social media were collected and analyzed as data. Findings suggest that t hrough use of selected social media, encouraging open ended classroom and online discussions and using inquiry based lessons, 21 st
ENGAGING SOCIAL MEDIA 5 century skills were fostered My capstone project consists of my curriculum and documentation of student work, both can be f ound at: www.fhsroom1405.weebly.com This capstone paper accompanies my project and shares the background information and the findings from my study.
!"#$#%"#&'(%)%'$*&)+%",%"# & & 6 & Table of Contents Title Page ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 1 UF Copyright page ................................ ................................ ................................ ........................... 2 Ack nowledgements ................................ ................................ ................................ .......................... 3 UF Formatted Abstract ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 4 Table of Contents ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................. 5 Introduction ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 7 Statement of the Problem ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 8 Purpose of the Study ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 8 Assumptions of the Study ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 9 Definition of Terms ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 9 Study Limitations ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 10 Literature Revie w ................................ ................................ ................................ ........................... 12 Methodology ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 15 Subject Selection, Site, and Description ................................ ................................ ............ 17 Research Methodology ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 17 Data Collection Procedures ................................ ................................ ................................ 17 Data Analysis ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 18 Outcomes and Findings ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 21 My Curriculum ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 21 Observations about Student Behaviors and Learning ................................ ........................ 27 Additional Thoughts about what Happened ................................ ................................ ..... 29 Discussion ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 29
!"#$#%"#&'(%)%'$*&)+%",%"# & & 7 & Conclusi on ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 30 References ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 31 Appendix A ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 34 Appendix B ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 35 List of Figures and Figure Captions ................................ ................................ ............................... 40 Author Biography ................................ ................................ ................................ .......................... 4 1
!"#$#%"#&'(%)%'$*&)+%",%"# & & 8 & The hallways where I teach are filled with drawings, paintings sculptures and murals, all showing the amazing ta lent and hard work our students exhibit These student created artifacts are the end result of student learning that happens within the art rooms. But they do not tell the whole story from within the classroom walls; the planning, the research, the brainstorming, the classroom discussion s and critiques that helped each artist/student develop along the way. The creative, critical, and cognitive processes that each student has engaged are buried within the art hanging on display. The journey of creating art is just as important as the final product. Our world is evolving at an ever faster pace, thus requiring our students to go beyond knowledge and to develop their higher order cognitive skills further than ever before and have the capacity to think critically, problem solve and be good de cision makers. 21 st century skills include the ability to manipulate multiple media(s) (Trilling & Fadel, 2009). I am interested in giving my students every tool I can for them to succeed in my class as well as once they enter the college and or the workfo rce. T his includes developing 21 st century skills through the use of social media and technology based appl ications Social media plays a very prominent role in the lives of most teenagers today, particularly in terms of how they develop skills and acces s knowledge. These young learners now have the ability t o retrieve information in vastly different way s than their parents and teachers ever did. Digital and electronic media and communication venues add new ways in which knowledge and skills are now acqui red (McWilliam & Haukka, 2008). A survey conducted by the Pew Internet & American Life Project showed there is a constant increase in the use of online social network sites (Lenhart et al., 2010). Their study also showed that one of the most popular activi ties within social networking is posting pictures and commenting on friend s pictures Many teens access social media sites via a mobile device, 73 % of teens o wn a cell phone, with 37 % being a smart
!"#$#%"#&'(%)%'$*&)+%",%"# & & 9 & phone (Lenhart et al., 2010). Eight out of 10 teenagers u se some sort of social media site, w h ether it be : Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram Statement of the Problem In conducting a literature review for my study, I began to see there was a fairly new and growing body of literature in the area concerning how social media can be utili zed in an art educational setting A rt education researchers such as Castells (1996) were innovators in making the connection between art education and the use of the Internet for social interactions More recently Castro (2012) investigated the possibilities for using social media to form online discussion groups in art education settings. In my study, I investigated investigate how to use social media to prepare 21 st century learners in a high school ceramics classroom. Purpose or Goals of the Study The purpose of this study was to learn how I could adjust my teaching practice to best serve the needs of my students, as well as to prepare them for life after high school. As an art educator, I strive to establish an environment t hat promotes 21 st century skills My goal was for students to learn how to make the connection between utilization of social media for educative purposes, specifically how their study and creation of art might be share d and discuss ed via social media and t he I nternet Stude nts and myself used Instagram and Tw itter student websites and online discussion forums via a closed Flickr group to develop these skills. Through the findings of this research I hope to reinforce the importance of providing explicit ins truction in using social media to facilitate higher order thinking skills and to allow them to take these skills with them to other classes, to college or into the workforce. I also would like my students to understand that social media has many uses, bes ides sharing the funny meme's The goals of this study include the following:
!"#$#%"#&'(%)%'$*&)+%",%"# & & 10 & 1. Encourage the development of 21 st century skills in my students. I develop ed lessons and strategies (including choice and i nquiry based lessons) to encourage critical thinki ng and problem solving skills, while both my students and myself use d social media to creatively plan, share and discuss works of art. 2. Develop the best way to assess and evaluate 21 st century skil ls in the art classroom. I use d action research to colle ct weekly data of observations (photographs, reflections, j ournaling), analyzing, and planning to enhance the direction of my art curriculum. 3. Develop 21 st century skills in my students to allow them to be lifelong problem solvers, by teaching them skill s they will utilize throughout their lives both in an d out of the classroom. I use d the curriculum model choice based education (Hathaway, 2008) and inquir y based learning as a means to encourage critical thinking. Research Questions The following questio ns will guide my investigation: 1. What is the best way to engage social media in ways that facilitate development of 21 st c entury s kills in art students enrolled in a high school art course? 2. What skills are high school students developing, enhancing or extending through the use of social media ? Rationale and Significance of the Study In traditional art classes all students are often given the same lesson to complete in the same time frame, with all students on the same step at the same time. This d oes not address the needs of students in a diverse classroom with a variety of learners. While completing tasks geared to producing a certain product that may have been valued around the time of the Industrial revolution, these skills are obsolete in the 2 1 st century. Today's classrooms need to be
!"#$#%"#&'(%)%'$*&)+%",%"# & & 11 & reinvented to meet the ever c hanging needs of society. I am interested in helping my students to increase their ability to be more creative, improve communication, and to problem solve, all of which are an outco me of learning to think critically and use 21 st century skills (P21, 2011). Not only is the need for thinking and expressing oneself important for life satisfaction, it is needed to be a productive citizen in today's changing economy (P21, 2011). The signi ficance of this study lies in the addition of social media to foster 21 st century skills. Technology and media were introduced to enable my ceramics students to use social media in a new way. Assumptions The key assumption to this study was that student s would make an effort to complete all tasks in a timely manner. The introduction of social media was assumed to be a motivational tool through which much learning could t ake place. I thought that throu gh the use of tools the students are extremely familia r with that they would be excite d and enthusiastic to complete new projects. Limitations Using social media in the school setting can be a controversial issue, as well as one that is new to the education world. Student pre concep tions about how social med ia were used were a small roadblock at first. Some were taken back at first at the idea of their social life and educational life using the same profile. Several were concerned with what friends might think if they posted images from art class. Some studen ts prefer to use Twitter over Instagram, although my initial idea was to use Instagram exclusively. I allowe d students to make some choices: they had the option to create a profile for this class exclusively. They could also use either Instagram or Twitter to allow students to feel at ease and comfortable to share.
!"#$#%"#&'(%)%'$*&)+%",%"# & & 12 & Definition of Terms 21 st Century Skills 21 st century skills are broken up into 3 categories: learning and innovation skills, life and career skills and technology skills (21 st Century Skills, 2009). Critical Thinking. Critical thinking is a focused thought about how to problem solve when there are multiple solutions to a given problem (Johnson, 2012). Social Media Social media can be defined as the use of digital technologies through which a social inte raction can take place. Castro (2012) defined s ocial media as digital technologies that enables social interaction through a variety of forms and channels. This interaction can take place any where from an Internet browser to a smart phone to a t ablet. Inquiry based learning Inquiry based learni ng is a student centered method of instruction that is teacher guided. Students delve into real world applications and questioning using a thematic approach. Inquiry b ased instruction complements traditi onal instruction by providing a way to apply learning i n a way that connects with student interests Students acquire and analyze new information, develop questions provide solutions, and design technology and arts p roducts that demonstrate the t hinking p rocess and making what learning is taking place visible. Alison King, a n educational psychologist, researches inquiry based learning, to stimulate critical thinking (King, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1995, 2002). E ducatio nal reformers are also asking teachers to alt er the methods used to teach, getting away from textbook based, rote memorization to inquiry based learning. Inquiry based teaching and learning is closely aligned with constructivist educational theories, which also reflect 21 st century goals. "The constr uctivist theory recognizes that students need to be exposed to experiences that enable them to construct their own knowledge and promote their thinking skills" (Bobby, Watson, & Aubusson, 2003).
!"#$#%"#&'(%)%'$*&)+%",%"# & & 13 & Choice Based Art Education Choice based art education is an educational pedagogy that allows students choices within the art room. This concept supports multiple modes of learning and teaching for diverse needs of students" (TAB, 2011). A choi ce based classroom is set up in a different way than the traditional art cl assroom. In a choice based art room, "the teacher designs the lessons gathers supplies, gives motivational demonstrations and examples, and then coaches students to be able to make the preconceived end product" (Dougla s & Gaspardi, 2010 ). Literature R eview The goals of my study were to make connection s between 21 st century skill s critical thinking, and social media use. The Partne rship for 21 Century Skills (P21) is a national organization that advocates for the 21 st century readiness of every student P21 defines 21 st c entury s kills as a blend ing of knowledge, s kills, that one must posses to succeed in work place and life 21 st century learning puts an emphasis on digital age literacy, diverge nt thinking, effective communication, and high productivity 21 st century s kills are much more than technical skills, they also i nclude the ability to communicate, to be creative, inventive and to also work well with others. Learning for the 21 st C entury, published by P21 (2002) expresses concerns over the state of education today and the effects on businesses and surrounding communities. The report sites the key elements the partnership believes should be essential to 21 st century learning. They include: Emphasize core subjects Emphasize learning skills Use 21 st c entury tools to develop learning skills Teach and learn in a 21 st century context
!"#$#%"#&'(%)%'$*&)+%",%"# & & 14 & Teach and learn 21 st century content Use 21 st century assessments that measure 21 st century skills (p. 4) For my study I looked at the second and third elements, emphasizin g learning skills and using 21 st century tools to develop learning skills. The Partnership for 21 st Century skills (2002) has also developed a list of learning skills they feel are essential for 21 st century students They are placed into three groups: In formation and communication skills, problem solving skills and interpersonal skills and self directional skills. Table 1 shows definitions, as defined by The Partnership for 21 st Century Skills (2002) for each of these skill sets. Information and Communic ation Skills Information and Media Skills: Analyzing, accessing, managing, integrating, evaluating and creating information in a variety of forms and media. Understanding the role of media in society. Communication Skills: Understanding, managing creatin g e ffective oral written and multim edia communication in a variety of forms and contexts Thinking and Problem Solving Skills Critical Thinking and Systems Thinking: Exercising sound reasoning in understanding and making complex choices, understanding and making complex choices, understanding
!"#$#%"#&'(%)%'$*&)+%",%"# & & 15 & the interconnections among systems. Problem identification, formulation and solution: Ability to frame, analyze and solve problems. Creativity and intellectual curiosity: Developing, implementing and communicating n ew ideas to others, staying open and responsive to new and diverse perspectives. Interpersonal and Self Directional Skills Interpersonal and Collaborative Skills: Demonstrating teamwork and leadership; adapting to varied roles and responsibilities; workin g productively with others; exercising empathy; respecting diverse perspectives. Self direction: Monitoring one's own understanding and learning needs, locating appropriate resources, transferring learning from one domain to another. Social Responsibil ity: Acting responsibly with the interests of the larger community in mind,
!"#$#%"#&'(%)%'$*&)+%",%"# & & 16 & demonstrating ethnical behavior in personal workplace and community contexts. Figure 1: Definitions of 21 st Century Skills ( Pa rtnership for 21 st Century Skills, 2002. p. 9) What is Critical T hinking? There are a multitude of defin itions for critical thinking. Critical thinking is a focused thought about how to problem solve when there are multiple solutions to a given problem (Johnson, 2012). Critical thinking is also a key compo nent of 21 st century skills; in order to be a 21 st century learner students need to be critical thinkers and problem solvers. Nancy Lampert (2006) has shown how critical thinking can be used within the art room. She observed that students with visual arts instruction have a stronger disposition to think critically. Having a disposition to think critically means that if an occasion comes up in which a stu dent needs to use that skill the y a re more likely to be able to use that skill. A study by Champions for Change, Learning in and Through the Arts found that students exposed to art regularly are more likely to engage in and process tho ughts in ways that are akin to critical thinking (Abeles, Burton, Horowitz 1999) "Thinking creatively and flexibly, imagin ing ideas and problems from different perspectives, taking imaginative leaps, and layering one thought on top of another as part of a process of problem solving (p. 51). Methodology My study utilized an action research approach. May (1993) defined actio n research a s always field based, in site, lending itself to ethnographic methods such as keeping field notes or journals, participant observation, intervi ewing, engaging in dialogue, audi o taping, and collecting and analyzing documents and student work" (p. 118). The goals of my study include d developing
!"#$#%"#&'(%)%'$*&)+%",%"# & & 17 & my students 21 st century skill set This i nvolved developing a curricul u m, incorporating critical thinking skills problem solving and other 21 st century skills in these lessons as well as introducing s tudents to specific critical thinking skills and how to apply them. Action research methodology is an approach in teaching and learning that seeks to put the teacher in role of producer of educational theory, and user of the theory. This is both produced k nowledge about higher order thinking and teaching, and a way of improving learning for students and teaching practice. I complete d the following cycle during my action research: Identify objectives for my students f or each lesson to allow them to take own ership of their learning. Plan the curriculum with appropriate materials and activities. Students were involved in posting and sharing ideas and artwork via social media a key feature in my curriculum model is for my students' to become engaged in the us e of social media to encourage critical thinking and the use of 21 st century skills Place curriculum into practice through the introduction of using social media in the classroom Make observations on the practices and evaluation of the effects of the cu rriculum on students S trategi es include a range of on going self/s tudent reflections. Reflect upon the results of the observations and discussions in order to make modifications when appropriate. My study aimed for deeper understanding of 21 st century s kills so that I can enact
!"#$#%"#&'(%)%'$*&)+%",%"# & & 18 & changes for improving my art curriculum. I used action research to collect data of weekly observations (photographs, reflections, journaling via social media ), analyzing, planning and acting upon it to enhance the d irection of my art curriculum. I recorded my findings in a daily journal. My study was done with my high school c eramics class over a four week period. The students participate d in a multi part project. For the first pa rt of the project, students complete d art making les sons involving critical thinking /problem solving strategies I created lessons using both choice based and inquiry based approach es For the second part of the project, students utilized personal webpages to create digital portfolios to show all processes of social media and to have online discussions a bout relevant images and media. I then observe how each of these activities affect student and project outcome I used a sample of students as following critical case sampling defined by Patton (2002) as "The existen ce of a critical case sampling that is if it happens there, it will happen anywhere (p. 236) Observations of my selected group of students were recorded in my journal. Students completed ceramic art lessons that developed 21 st century skills, social media challenges, and online portfolios via student created website s. I observed student growth in the area of 21 st century skills as defined by the Partnership for 21 st Century Skills (2002 ). Subjects The study group for this research project is a group of high school students in grades 11 and 12. These students have attended school for 20 weeks, and are currently in the 3 rd 9 week grading period. I studied the same strategies used within one advanced art class, consisting of approximately 21 stude nts. There were 7 boys and 14 girls that participated in the study. This class contained students of different academic abilities, students on I ndividual E ducation P lan 's, and E nglish L anguage L earners Student participation was voluntary; if any student w ished to
!"#$#%"#&'(%)%'$*&)+%",%"# & & 19 & not participate there was no penalty. Students were able to withdraw from the study at anytime. University of Florida IRB and school district approvals were needed to conduct this research and has been submitted. Research Site The research took p lace in Fairfield High School, a suburban high school in Southwest Ohio. The school is one of the largest high schools in the state of Ohio, with over 2500 students in grades 10, 11 and 12. The research was conducted within 1 of 4 art classrooms in the bu ilding. The building operates on a 7 period day with 45 minute class periods. Permission to conduct research has been approved by the assistant superintendent and building administration. Data Collection Procedures While looking for the answers to the re search questions I posed, I observed and an notated my findings in a journal and discussed with my students the outcomes of projects and online discussions. Data collection consisted of an introduction of new curriculum strategies, classroom observations a nd discussions, as well as journal logs from me, and website and Flickr discussion posts from my students. The data was collected within daily 45 minute class periods during the cour se of a four week period. I collect ed the data insid e my own art classroom I conduct ed and recorded observations to aid in data collection as students work ed on projects within the curriculum designed to elicit critical thi nking. These observations were what students said details of body language and attitude, and descriptions of the environment during th e observation. These notes help ed provide clarity to the questions that are given throughout the study. I also used screen shots of student's posts to Instagram and/or Twitter, discussions in our closed Flickr group and stud ent created webpages as evidence of my findings I store d all
!"#$#%"#&'(%)%'$*&)+%",%"# & & 20 & images/screen shots on a flash drive for analysis. Images of student's work and the process to ge t to the final product are also included. Data Analysis Procedures According to Patton (2002) "Teac hers 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. 453). I analyzed student sketchbooks, my own teacher reflection notes/journal, my own classroom observational notes, and project outcomes. As I analyzed my data, I looked for patterns and themes and an evidence of student 21 st century skills use. I also looked at the progression of how students shared images and what discussions were brought about from the images I documented particular behaviors observed in th e art classroom and then tried to find a commonality among t hese student behaviors. I informally l ook ed for an increase in the following dispositions which show critical thinking: reasoning, evaluating, decision making, analyzing, and evaluating (Bailin, Case, Coombs & Daniels, 1999). I also looked for an increase in the use 21 st century skills withi n the classroom. To enable each of my students to master the 21 st century skills I looked for, I ensure d that my assessme nts and my learning outcomes were aligned with each other Performance based assessments allow ed my students to show that they had mast ery of a specific skill, and thus showing higher order thinking is happening Performance assessments were a per fect match for a ceramic s class where skills are to be mastered. "P erformance assessments can measure students' cognitive thinking and reasoni ng skills and their ability to apply knowledge to solve realistic, meaningful problems" (Hammond & Adamson, 2007).
!"#$#%"#&'(%)%'$*&)+%",%"# & & 21 & Outcomes and Findings My outcomes include the curriculum I created for this research project, along with what students said and did as the cu rriculum unfolded. Throughout my curriculum unit, I observed how students reacted to lessons taught which incorporated 21 st century social media skills. What happened? Did students notice a difference in the type of lesson introduced? Will my students cont inue to use these skills in other tasks? I integrated 21 st century skills into art lesson content by using choice and Inquiry based approaches. The following paragraphs share my curriculum as it unfolded and how the students responded. My Curriculum The sc hool district I am in is very progressive with its use of technology. I discussed the idea of using social media in the classroom with my administrators. Administration showed support and offered that as long as it is used for educational purposes it would be permitted. The district office and all administrators regularly use Facebook and Twitter to share information with parents and students. The administrators see the advantage to teaching 21 st century skills to our students as to give them every tool to succeed. Students are permitted to have cell phones, and once they enter a classroom, cell phone use is at the discretion of the teacher. During week one of research, we began with class discussions. I wanted to make sure that they were on board with the ideas I was going to be presenting. I wondered how they would Feel about using social media within the classroom. From class discussions I felt confident that students would be engaged and whole heartedly proceed. Students did a great job of setting up th eir webpages. They began with the assignment of creating their personal webpage using the website hosting service provided by Weebly (http://www. weebly.com ) Students had the option to customize their site to show me something about their identity if they wished. Students had
!"#$#%"#&'(%)%'$*&)+%",%"# & & 22 & creative freedom within their webpages, how personalized they made the ir site was up to them. They were permitted to use pre created templates that can be found on Weebly or start from scratch and add their own photographs to create a template. It was up to the individual as to how f ar they customized. One student lov es cats, and has shown that on each and every page of her site. W ithin their own web pages, students were asked to set up several tabs including: a biography, inspiration /i deas for projects my projects, and my QR code They had the option to add links to their own social media accounts if desired. The main goal of the webpage is to serve as a digital portfolio. Students are to share the creative process from start to finish This included brainstorming, sketches/plans, images of the project and an artist statement that serves as a reflection piece, offering information about how the project changed/evolved, and what worked and what coul d use improvement. Students were asked to be honest and give thoughtful reflections, to think critically about their own work. Students eac h visited the website: http://www.qrstuff.com to create QR code. Their codes link back to the website they have cre ated. Each student print ed out their code and place d it next to their projects during our district wide art show on May 4, 2014. This allow s viewers to see other work that student has created this school year. Images were an important part of this stage. S tudents were asked to take photos of their work along the way to include the entire process of their projects from sketch to finished product. Websites were an ongoing project that would take until the end of the year to fully complete. They will serve as a digital portfolio and be used as a final exam grade for the course. In an effort to get students to think about each other s art work and to offer quality criticism t hat will benefit one another, w e completed a discussion in F lickr about the images each student have posted t o their webpages. Students uploaded screenshots of their website to be used for this discussion.
!"#$#%"#&'(%)%'$*&)+%",%"# & & 23 & During the second week, I noticed that a few of the students were hesitant to post images. They had Instagram and/or Twitter accounts, but still were not excited about posting. After some discussion, I discovered they were concerned with what friends would think about their art posts. This supports the findings of the Pew Internet Survey (2013), while teens are still using social media sites like Facebook, they find the increasing adult presen ce to be overbearing. Taking this into consideration, I began a closed Flickr group to accommodate everyone. Within our group we then had discussion threads prompted by some sort of artifact. I began our first discussion with an image from ceramic artist Robe rt Arneson and his comical self portraits Each student chose an image of his or her favorite ceramic work created by Arneson to post in our closed Flickr group, and discussed why he or she liked that particular sculpture. One student wrote, "I like Robert Arneson's sculptures because they are funny, and down to eart h. They look like a three dimensional selfie." Making connections to current trends in social media was an outcome I didn't expect, one I thought I wo uld have to point out to them. I began the discussion, and then asked students to check in daily for a week. Student s each needed to make at least two comments within a thread. All students actively participated here without the hesitation brou ght on by peer pressure. In speaking with th e class, students felt more com fortable knowing only the class would see their comments versus anyone who searched our hashtag (#myartteacheriscrazy) or that they were friends with on Instagram. This is an ongoin g group that will continue through the end of year. During the four weeks I allotted to complete my research, th ere were six snow days and many two hour delays due to inclement weather. This shortened the time with this group of students greatly and pus hed my research into about five weeks. This also allowed for different opportunities that I had not expected. Several students took ceramic projects home to work on to
!"#$#%"#&'(%)%'$*&)+%",%"# & & 24 & ensure that they did not dry out and could be finished in a timely manner. This created a new opportunity, if students ran into problems they were able to communicate with me via Twitter, an instant response was able to be given. This was not an outcome I expected. One question that is Figure 2. Student post to Twitter int eresting, had we not started sharing ideas and information via social media would this student have reached out to me s till? Her ability to contact me created a unique opportunity for us to communicate and share ideas. If she had chosen to email me perhap s it would have been twelve
!"#$#%"#&'(%)%'$*&)+%",%"# & & 25 & hours before I was able to respond. Since she chose to communicate via Twitter, I was able to respond immediately. I have notifications for both my Twitter and my Instagram accounts set on Figure 3. Screen shot of one of m y post s to Instagram my phone. This gave me the chance to respond in real time giving fast feedback that just is not possible through email. Through posts to Instagram, I gave my students challenges C hallenge #1, was given during week 1: Go home walk arou nd your house and find a ceramic object. Take note of it, pick it up, touch it, look at it closely, photograph it and post that photo to Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag: #myartteacheriscrazy or tag # fhsart in the photo. This simple assignment allow ed students to share something from home that may be f ragile or valuable that they previously would not have been able to be shared with the class. This also allowed students to make the connection between everyday life and what we are doing within the cla ssroom. These behaviors utilized the 21 st century skill o f utilizing thinking and problem solving skills.
!"#$#%"#&'(%)%'$*&)+%",%"# & & 26 & In Challenge #2 I asked students to find a contemporary ceramic artist on Instagram to follow and to share the link with classmates I was able to s hare the artist I chose by pulling up my Instagram account on my Smart Board at school. The group of artists that I found regularly shared videos of wheel throwing and the process of creating work. Seeing professional ceramicist at work was r eally inspirin g as the class is currently learning to wheel throw This challenge utilized the 21 st century skill of understanding intent. Students were able to look at an artist as a real person and see the intent that per son puts forth in their work. They were able to contemplate the question: w hat is the message that this particular artist is trying to convey to the viewer? Students shared the artist they f ound under my Instagram post for the assignment. Students also worked on personal webpages. These served as doc umentation of their time in my classroom. Students could customize their websites to suit their own individual style, while also including all required information. Each student documented their projects from start to finish by using the cameras on their p hones. Sketches/planning/brainstorming could either be photographed or scanned in. Seeing the process, laid out step by step allowed students to then be able to give an honest reflection upon the entire process. Questions I asked them to consider: Did you r project turn out like you thought it would? Why did or didn't it? Explain how you came up with your original idea. Explain why you made the choices you did in the creation of your art. Tell me what you like about your project. What is your favorite par t? Why? Take a second to honestly reflect on your work, what could you improve? How can you use this on the next project? Asking the students to explain and defend their decisi ons in the art making process gave them time to reflect and to think critically about the entire process.
!"#$#%"#&'(%)%'$*&)+%",%"# & & 27 & Student websites were an ongoing project that we will continue use to document the entire school year in ceramics class. They will serve as the student s final exam for the course. Figure 4. Student webpage Observations abou t Students' Behaviors and L earning The challenges given to students were in a quest to furth er develop the way in which we think about art Harvard s Project Zero developed Artful Thinking (2006) a report that explains how viewing art can promote critical thinking skills a 21 st century skill The program goes into depth about how to develop routines within the art classroom through viewing and discussing art. Included in these routines are reasoning, perspective taking, questioning, investigating, observi ng and describing and comparing and connecting. Each of the challenges I gave to students used one or more of these attributes to promote critical thinking
!"#$#%"#&'(%)%'$*&)+%",%"# & & 28 & Social Media In speaking with students during informal classroom discussions, I was able to under sta nd how and why the students in my class use social media. My students use social medi a to connect with friends vie wing others profiles and or pictures, sharing their own pictures, playing games, watching videos, and listening to music. My students saw the disconnect between these uses of social media and using social media for learning new skills in an educational setting I realized that to my students social media was all about the social time. As we enter into a new digital age, however, the uses o f social media are changing. Facebook and Twitter now offer many options for businesses to connect with consumers. Using Social Media in the School Environment The students in my class had a preconceived notion that social media should not be used in sch ool. Despite being in a progressive school district that allows students to have cell phones on them through out the day they still held onto the notion that they are for social use only When the cell phone use policy was adopted in 2010, administrators challenged teachers to find ways to use cell phones as an educational tool. This has been a slow process. Using ap p s such as Instagram, Twitter and Flickr students in my class have been able to have communication instantaneously with each other, with othe r followers and with myself that was previously not poss ible. The tools we are using have brought about thoughtful communication and sharing ideas I found in during discussions with students, that they do enjoy using technology in the classroom, as wel l as trying new ways to approach assignments. They are still very uncertain about using social media in the classroom. After seeing how professionals use social media, some students did begin to see the connection as well as the many possibilities that soc ial media has to offer
!"#$#%"#&'(%)%'$*&)+%",%"# & & 29 & Additional Thoughts about what Happened My study's purpose was to facilitate development of 21 st century skills in my students while utilizing social media. I fi r st presented smal l challenges using social media. I built upon these challenges to increase critical thinking in the classroom. As well as the social media challenges, students worke d on projects that were i nquiry based and or choice based to increase their critical thinking skills and using the 21 st century skill set. Stu dent's attitudes changed toward using social media in the classroom with after I offered some additional direction and altered assignments. Despite these successes, I had hoped for more interaction among students. It has been very slow to develop. I do no t think that it is impossible, but something that will grow over time as students become accustomed to sharing their work and inspiration via social media. This form of communication is changing how and why students use social media. Discussion Based on m y findings I now have a better understanding of student s attitudes towards social media and their ability to be 21 st century learners. The significance of this study lies in the use of social media. This is unknown territory that is changing on a daily b asis. While there are some educators that are delving into this world, it seems to me that at present we are in a minority To bridge the gap between our students and ourselves we must find every avenue we can. If I were able to complete this study again, there are several areas that I would change. I now know that it would have been beneficial to encourage the use of Instagram and Twitter for classroom communication before I actually started my study. It took students several weeks to get used to using soc ial media in the classroom and to really warm up to the idea. This caused the beginnings of my research to move a little slowly. Once they go t the idea of my expectations for
!"#$#%"#&'(%)%'$*&)+%",%"# & & 30 & social media use and how this could benefit us all, we have started to have reall y good communication. Further investigation into ways that I can use social media to encourage growth in my students would be useful. In a few short weeks I will be giving my course post assessment to this group of students, according to the Ohio Tea cher Evaluation System (OTES). I am looking at new ways to review to make sure that my students know and understand the vocabulary words, and have not just memorized them to take the test I will be using Robert Marzano's (2007) 6 steps to vocabulary learning, allowing my students to think about talk about, and apply new words. We are going to try using social media to play and learn. In t he future, I would like to develop an app where I can give my students assignments or challenges. I found one in the app sto re called CC Challenges that has a calendar for photography prompts and tells the user what to do on particular days. I would like to come up with one that I could create my own challenges and assignments and put in the information myself for classroom use Conclusion Allowing time for practice, making mistakes and learning from them, and taking risks without first knowing how something might come out are among the ways my students gre w and explored and developed 21 st century skills during my research. Thes e experiences are unique to the art classroom and are authentic learning opportunities. My hope is that from what I have learned during this study that, I have become better prepared and aware of how to give my students the 21 st century thinking skills nee ded to better serve them in their future learning I have developed lessons rich in critical thinking strategies that will impact student learning for years to come.
!"#$#%"#&'(%)%'$*&)+%",%"# & & 31 & Getting students to learn and think in new ways, gett ing away from rote memorization and g iving them the time to attempt and to try new things were amazing outcomes of this research project When students have technology in front of them they tend to be engaged T h is time of year, in a yearlong class engagement has been an issue in the past. Any tool that I can use to keep my students interested and exc ited about my subject is a valuable tool. This research has already become an important part of my own teaching practice. I have started to take a more active role in creating lessons which illi cit 21 st century skills in all of my students. Utilizing digital a nd social media to share, creating and comment ing about artwork allows students to make connec tions with their everyday life.
!"#$#%"#&'(%)%'$*&)+%",%"# & & 32 & References Abeles, H., Burton, J., & Horowitz, R., (1999) L earning in and through the arts: Curricu lar implications, in E. Fiske (E d ), Champions of c hange: The impact of the arts of Learning, Washington, DC: Arts Education Partnership, 35 46. Bailin, S. (2002). Critical thinking and science education. Science & E ducation, 11 (4), 361 375. Bailin, S., Case, R., Coombs, J. R., & Daniels, L. B. (1999). Conceptualizing critical thinking. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 31 (3), 285 302. Boddy, N., Watson, K., & Aubus son, P. (2003). A trial of the f ive Es: A referent model for constructivist teaching and learning. Research in Science Education, 33 27 42. Caine, R., & Caine, G. (1991). Making connections: Teaching and the human brain. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Castro, J. C. (201 2). Learning and Teaching Art Through Social Media Studies in Art Education, 53 ( 2 ) 152 169 Castells, M., (1996). The rise of the network society Cambridge, MA: Blackwell Publishers. Catterall, J. S. (2002). Research on drama and theater in education. I n R. J. Deasy (Ed.), Critical links: Learning in the arts and student academic and social development (pp. 58 63) Washington, DC: Arts Education Partnership. Common Core Standards (2012). R etrieved from: http:// www.corestandards.org Darling Hammond, L. & Adamson, F. (2010). Beyond basic skills: The role of performance assessment in achieving 21 st century standards of learning Stanford, CA: Stanford University, Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education Efland, A. D. (2002). Art and cognition New York, NY: Teachers College Press. Eisenhart, M., & DeHaan, R. (2005). Doctoral preparation of scientifically based educational
!"#$#%"#&'(%)%'$*&)+%",%"# & & 33 & researchers Ed ucational Researcher, 34 (4), 3 13. Ennis, R. H. (1985). A logical basis for measuring critical thinking skills. Educational Leadership, 43 (2), 44 48. Facione, P. A. (2000). The disposition toward critical thinking: Its character, measurement, and relation to critical thinking skill. Informal Logic, 20 (1), 61 84. Gaspardi, E., & Douglas, K. (2010). Art education for the 21 st century. Retrieved February 2014 from: http://www.kennedycenter.org /education/vsa/recourc es/Gaspardi_Ellyn_Arts_Educatio n_for_the_21st_Century.pdf Greenfield, P. M. (2009). Technology and informal education: What is taught, what is learned. Science, 10 (2), 69 71. Halpern, D. F. (1998). Teaching critical thinking for transfer across domains: Di spositions, skills, structure training, and metacognitive monitoring. American Psychologist, 53 (4), 449 455. Hetland, L., Winner, E., Veenema, S., & Sheridan, K. (2007). Studio t hinking: The real benefits of visual arts education. New York, NY: Teachers Co llege Press. Jensen, E. (2001). Arts with the brain in mind Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Jenson, E. (2005). Teaching with the brain in mind. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Kaplan, A., & Haenlein, M. (2010). Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of social media. Business Horizons 53 (1). 61. King, A. (1994). Inquiry as a tool in critical thinking. D.F. Halpern and Associates (Eds.),
!"#$#%"#&'(%)%'$*&)+%",%"# & & 34 & Changing college cla ssrooms: New teaching strategies for an increasingly complex world (pp. 13 38). San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass. Kowalchuck, E. (1999). Recognizing and using higher order approaches to teaching art, Art Education 52(6) 13 18. Krathwohl, D. R. (2002). A re vision of Bloom's Taxonomy: An overview. Theory Into Practice 41 (4), 212 218. Lampert, N., (2011). A study of an afterschool art program and critical thinking. International Journal of Education through Art 7 (1), 55 67. Marzano, R. (2007), The a rt and sc ience of teaching: A comprehensive framework for effective i nstruction. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. May, W. (1993). "Teachers as researchers" or action research: What is it, and what good is it for art education? Studies in Art Education. 34 (2), 114 126. Partnership for 21 st Century Skills (2011). Retrieved January 2014 from: http://www.p21.org/storage/documents/1.__p21_framework_2 p ager.pdf Patton, Q. M. (2002). Qualitative research & evaluation methods Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications. Paul, R. W., & Elder, L. (2006). Critical thinking: The nature of critical and creative thought. Journal of Developmental Education, 30 (2), 34 35. Perkins, D. (1994). The i ntelligent eye: Learning to think by looking at art. Los Angeles, CA : Getty Publications. Pew Internet Survey (2013) R etrieved from: http:// www.pewinternet.org/2013/09/16/cell internet use 2013/
!"#$#%"#&'(%)%'$*&)+%",%"# & & 35 & Project Zero (2006, November). Artful t hinking : Stronger thinking and teaming through the power of art [ Electronic document] Ret r ieved from http :// pzweb.harvard edu/Research/ArtfuiThinkingFina i Repo rt pdf Silva, E. (2008). Measuring skills for the 21st c entury [ Online Report]. Washington, DC: Education Sector. Retrieved from http://www.educationsector.org/usr_doc/MeasuringSkills.pdf. Thayer Bacon, B. J. (2000). Transforming critical thinking: Thinkin g constructively New York, NY: Teachers College Press. Trilling, B. (2012) 21st century skills: learning for life in our times San Francisco, Calif.: Jossey Bass.
!"#$#%"#&'(%)%'$*&)+%",%"# & & 36 & Appendix A UFIRB 02 Social & Behavioral Research Protocol Submission Form This fo rm must be typed. Send this form and the supporting documents to IRB02, PO Box 112250, Gainesville, FL 32611. Should you have questions about completing this form, call 352 392 0433. Title of Protocol: Your Brain on Art: Critical Thinking in the Art Room Principal Investigator: Melinda (Mindy) L. Montgomery UFID #: 65144842 Degree / Title: Masters of Art Mailing Address: (If on campus include PO Box address): 3875 Fenton Road Hamilton, Ohio 45013 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Department: College of Fine Arts Telephone #: 513 256 6400 Co Investigator(s): n/a UFID#: Email: Supervisor (If PI is student) : UFID#:
!"#$#%"#&'(%)%'$*&)+%",%"# & & 37 & Degree / Title: Mailing Address: (If on campus include PO Box address): Email : Department: Telephone #: Date of Proposed Res earch: January/February 2014 Source of Funding (A copy of the grant proposal must be submitted with this protocol if funding is involved): n/a Scientific Purpose of the Study: The goal of my research will be to develop an art curriculum that encou rages critical thinking and 21 st century skills in the art room. Critical thinking skills are one of the many learning goals that students can take into other classes out of the art room, the value of quality art education in our schools will be made appar ent to both students and parents. Learners will be provided with a personally meaningful, authentic art education/curriculum. By
!"#$#%"#&'(%)%'$*&)+%",%"# & & 38 & asking (and answering) the question, "What do artists do?" Students will explore art and the art world through the eyes, hands, hearts and minds of artists. In my studio/classroom, students will be introduced to the tools, materials, techniques and styles of many historical and contemporary artists and art movements, through brief, whole group lessons. Later, lessons will be tar geted to the observed needs and interests of students and provide differentiated learning opportunities for my diverse classroom. Lessons will be kept short to maximize studio time and to allow students to delve deeply into their artwork and interests. Tim e will be set aside for evaluation and assessment through a variety of formats including; group sharing, written artist statements, self and peer evaluations, and the selection and preparation of artwork for display. Each student that is participating, wil l be creating an online portfolio/website to share their individual artwork. Websites will serve as a platform for discussion about the artistic process will occur. Students will also post their own artwork to Instagram using a unique hashtag to encourage artistic conversations. Student will post their own artwork, sketches and ideas for future work as well as other works of art they find interesting. Instagram will serve as an archive of the experiences, work and ideas created within my classroom during th is time. Students who choose to not participate in the study for any reason will be given an alternative assignment. Parents and or students will have the right to withdraw consent for participation at any time without consequence. Student ID's will be p laced on artwork and assessments for matching purposes, the student's identity will be kept confidential to the extent provided by law. Results will only be reported in the form of group data. Participation or non participation in this study will not affe ct any student's grades.
!"#$#%"#&'(%)%'$*&)+%",%"# & & 39 & Working as artists would in a community studio, students will assume the role of an artist, exploring their own ideas, interests and passions. Creative play, discovery learning, whole group, small group and individual instruction, research, and practice are valued methods used by artists and students in the making of art that will be explored. A standards based, media rich, student directed, constructivist learning environment providing rich, authentic art experiences for learners at all levels and abilities is the ultimate goal. This practice capitalizes on emergent curriculum instruction initiated by students' knowledge, interests or questions, providing critical thinking and learning opportunities, prescribed for 21st Century Learners. New social media will be used creatively. Sharing and discussing their own artwork and the artwork of others through the use of social media outlets will be explored. Social Media will be used with approval from Fairfield City Schools in accordan ce with board policy EDE E 3 as long as it is for educational purposes. Describe the Research Methodology in Non Technical Language: ( Explain what will be done with or to the research participant. ) I will be using action research to create a curricul um, including sample lesson plans and supporting materials that encourage critical thinking and problem solving in the high school art classroom.
!"#$#%"#&'(%)%'$*&)+%",%"# & & 40 & Describe Potential Benefits: Time for practice, making mistakes and learning from them, taking risks witho ut first knowing how something might come out are among the ways students will grow, explore and develop critical thinking/problem solving skills during my research. These experiences are unique to the art classroom and are authentic learning opportunities Critical thinking skills have been identified as a skill needed by 21 st century learners. Students will need to develop these skills throughout their education to be prepared for the future. The art room(s) is a natural fit for this type of learning. Thi s research benefits students by allowing them to develop problem solving skills through self guided experiences that can be utilized in all subject areas. Additional benefits for students include: Visual art standards are covered in instruction. Teaching and learning addresses studio practice, art history, art concepts and aesthetics. Assessment supports both student and teacher growth. Higher order thinking skills become the norm for independent work. Differentiation addresses diverse learners' needs. Hig h engagement results in more student's on task, fewer discipline issues and success for at r isk learners. Technology is imbedded in art making, research and assessment practices. Describe Potential Risks: ( If risk of physical, psychological or economic harm may be involved, describe the steps taken to protect participant.) n/a
!"#$#%"#&'(%)%'$*&)+%",%"# & & 41 & Describe How Participant(s) Will Be Recruited: Students in my Painting and Ceramics classes will be asked to participate via parent and student consent letters. Maximum Number of Participants (to be approached with consent) 50 Age Range of Participants: 16 18 Amount of Compensation/ course credit: None Course credit: 1 fine art credit State of Ohio Describe the Informed Consent Process. (Attach a Copy of the Informed Consent Document. See http://irb.ufl.edu/irb02/ samples.html for examples of consent.) (SIGNATURE SECTION) Principal Investigator(s) Signature: Date: Co Investigator(s) Signature(s): Date: Supervisor's Signature (if PI is a student): Date: Department Chair Signature: Date:
!"#$#%"#&'(%)%'$*&)+%",%"# & & 42 & Appendix B De ar Students, As well as teaching here at Fairfield High School, I am a graduate student in the Department of Art Education at the University of Florida. I am conducting research on the development of creativity, problem solving and critical thinking skills within an art curriculum. The purpose of this study is to develop a curriculum that promotes 21 st century skills within the art classroom. The results of the study may help other teachers better understand the amount of knowledge gained when critical thin king strategies are engaged and allow them to design instructional practices accordingly. These results may or may not directly help you today, but may benefit future students. With permission from you and your parents, I would like to ask you to volunteer for this research. The procedure for my research will be presented to you, by me during the Painting/Ceramics class period(s) in the month of January/February for 3 weeks. You will participate in art lessons that encourage critical thinking using social m edia. With your permission, you may be videotaped during the instructional period. The video will be accessible only to my research team for verification purposes. At the end of the study, the tape will be erased. I will also be taking notes while observin g your class. Your artwork and self assessments will also be used as a form of data. Although you will be asked to write your name on all artwork/self assessments for matching purposes, your identity will be kept confidential to the extent provided by law. I will replace your names with code numbers. Results will only be reported in the form of group data. Participation or non participation in this study will not affect your grades. All data will be kept in a locked filing cabinet only assessable by me, an d will be destroyed after 2 years. You have the right to withdraw consent for your participation at any time without consequence.
!"#$#%"#&'(%)%'$*&)+%",%"# & & 43 & There are no known risks or immediate benefits to the participants. No compensation is offered for participation. Group result s of this study will be available in March 2014 upon request. If you have any questions about this research protocol, please contact me at 513 942 2999 or my faculty supervisor, Dr. Craig Roland, at 111 111 1111. Questions or concerns about your child's ri ghts as research participant may be directed to the IRB02 office, University of Florida, Box 112250, Gainesville, FL 32611, (352) 392 0433. Mindy Montgomery I have read the procedure described above. I voluntarily give my consent, _________________, to par ticipate in Mindy Montgomery's study of the development of adolescent critical thinking skills. I have received a copy of this description. ____________________________ ___________ Student Signature Date __________________________ __ ___________ Parent / Witness Date
!"#$#%"#&'(%)%'$*&)+%",%"# & & 44 & Appendix C Dear Parent/Guardian, As well as teaching here at Fairfield High School, I am a graduate student in the Department of Art Education at the University of Florida. I am conducting research on the developme nt of creativity, problem solving and critical thinking skills within an art curriculum. The purpose of this study is to develop a curriculum that promotes 21 st century skills within the art classroom. The results of the study may help other teachers bette r understand the amount of knowledge gained and allow them to design instructional practices accordingly. These results may or may not directly help your child today, but may benefit future students. With your permission, I would like to ask your child to volunteer for this research. The procedure for my research will be presented to your child, by myself during the Painting/Ceramics class period(s) in the month(s) of January/February for 3 weeks. Students will participate in lessons that encourage critical thinking through use of technology. With your permission, your child may be videotaped during the instructional period. The video will be accessible only to the research team for verification purposes. At the end of the study, the tape will be erased. I w ill also be taking notes while observing students. Student artwork and self assessments will also be used as a form of data. Although the children will be asked to write their names on all artwork/self assessments for matching purposes, their identity will be kept confidential to the extent provided by law. I will replace their names with code numbers. Results will only be reported in the form of group data. Participation or non participation in this study will not affect your child's grades. All data will be kept in a locked filing cabinet only assessable by me, and will be destroyed after 2 years. You and your child have the right to withdraw consent for your child's participation at any time
!"#$#%"#&'(%)%'$*&)+%",%"# & & 45 & without consequence. There are no known risks or immediate bene fits to the participants. No compensation is offered for participation. Group results of this study will be available in March 2014 upon request. If you have any questions about this research protocol, please contact me at 513 942 2999 or my faculty superv isor, Dr. Craig Roland, at 111 111 1111. Questions or concerns about your child's rights as research participant may be directed to the IRB02 office, University of Florida, Box 112250, Gainesville, FL 32611, (352) 392 0433. Mindy Montgomery I have read the procedure described above. I voluntarily give my consent for my child, _________________, to participate in Mindy Montgomery's study of the development of adolescent critical thinking skills using social media. I have received a copy of this description. ____________________________ ___________ Parent / Guardian Date List of Figures with Figure Captions Figure 1. Definitions of 21 st Century Skills Figure 2. Screen shot of Student post to Twitter Figure 3. Screen shot of one of my posts to Instagram Fi gure 4 Screen shot of student webpage
!"#$#%"#&'(%)%'$*&)+%",%"# & & 46 & Author Biography Growing up I always loved to draw. In fact, I won my first art contest when I was in the first grade. My mom always encouraged me to create art. She enjoyed art, and was inspired herself by my Gran dfather's artistic ability. She created for me what she called "the rainy day" box. It was filled with paint, brushes, glue, markers, construction paper, red safety scissors, colored pencils and pink cotton balls. I am not sure what the cotton balls were f or, but I remember the fluffiness taking up quite a bit of room in my box. When I got to high school, I took a Zoology class during 9 th grade. We dissected animals each week. Along with our lab reports we had to complete detailed drawings of each creature The first one was a crawfish. I quickly created an accurate drawing that by far surpassed the average student's rudimentary sketch. I can remember I was encouraged to take an art class. So, I did. I t ook as many art classes as I could and immersed myself in them. This became a refuge This began my love of art. In 1996 I started college at Miami University. I didn't have a clue what I wanted to do. I knew I loved art, but what could I do with an art de gree? I began taking studio classes, and I fell in love I learned so much about how to make, talk and look at art. I now teach art at Fairfield High School in Fairfield, Ohio for the past 12 years. I have 3 children, Zachary, 8, Mya, 5, and Cash 2. The y are inspiring and amazing, and are beginning to share my love of art.