RESOURCES FOR TEACHING THREE-DIMENSIONAL ART
MATTHEW D ROGERS
CRAIG ROLAND, CHAIR
MICHELLE TILLANDER, MEMBER
ROBIN POYNOR, MEMBER
A PROJECT IN LIEU OF THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF ARTS
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
2010 Matthew D. Rogers
To my Mom, the best teacher I ever had.
I would like to thank the following people who have assisted me with this project.
Graduate school has been a wonderful experience with many things learned and many
I thank my supervisory committee chair Craig Roland for his wisdom, guidance,
and sense of humor. He has given me new ways of looking at teaching and especially
education technology. I don't think either of us ever imagined I would end up doing
I thank Michelle Tillander for her passion for art education, research, and her
students. I can always say she was happy to see or help me whenever I walked up to
her office door, regardless of what meeting she had just attended.
Robin Poynor has been more than a committee member. He has been a good
neighbor, a great friend, and an inspiration. There was always time and place to talk, no
matter how busy, whether it was about school or funny stories, in his office or in the
I would also like to thank many others who have helped me directly or indirectly
with my work. My good friend Lindsay Lovequist, who kept me on my toes and always
had something intelligent to say or argue. Celeste Roberge, who always gave me new
ways to think and speak about sculpture. I thank Gary Bone and Robert Ponzio at Oak
Hall School in Gainesville for their motivational words and assistance. I thank all of the
staff in the art office who always helped with a smile. Finally, I thank my wife Katie, who
showed patience as I worked on this project.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ............. ................. .............................4
LIS T O F TA B LE S .................................................. 6
LIS T O F F IG U R E S ................................................. 7
A B S T R A C T .......... ................ ............. ......... ...................................... 8
1 IN T R O D U C T IO N ................................................................ 10
2 LITERATURE REVIEW ........................................ ................ 14
3 METHODOLOGY..................... ...... 26
4 RESULTS AND DISCUSSION........................ .... ............................ 43
5 C O N C L U S IO N ........................................................................... ................ 54
A PPEN D IX ......... .. ......... ................................. ......... .... ........ ........... 56
R E F E R E N C E S .............................. ....................................................... ................ 5 7
B IO G RA PH IC A L S K ETC H .................................. ................................................60
LIST OF TABLES
1-1 A rts and A activities 1999 2008 .............................................................. .............19
1-2. SchoolA rts 1999 2008 ............. ............................................... ............... 19
4-1. T teacher S urvey question 1 ............................................... .........................46
4-2. T teacher S urvey question 2............................................. ................ ................47
4-3. Teacher Survey question 3................................................................. ................47
4-4. T teacher S urvey question 4............................................. ................ ................48
LIST OF FIGURES
3-1. Day of the Dead project taken 2009 at Oak Hall...........................................31
3-2. Oaxacan project introduction/demonstration taken 2010 at Oak Hall..................33
3-3. Oaxacan project student construction taken 2010 at Oak Hall.............................34
3-4. Yahoo Sitebuilder with sculpture resource main page.........................................36
3-5. Yahoo Sitebuilder with sculpture resource about page .....................................37
3-6. Sculpture resource site specific project page, top section............................. 40
3-7. Sculpture resource site specific project page, background section......................41
3-8. Sculpture resource site specific project page, project section..............................42
Abstract Of Project In Lieu Of Thesis Presented To The Graduate School of The
University Of Florida In Partial Fulfillment Of The
Requirements For The Degree Of Master Of Arts
RESOURCES FOR TEACHING THREE-DIMENSIONAL ART
Matthew D Rogers
Chair: Craig Roland
Major: Art Education
The purpose of this project in lieu of thesis is to create a sculpture curriculum
resource for art teachers. Sculpture offers a spatial engagement with depth and form to
students that other artistic practices cannot. After reviewing art education literature for a
pilot study conducted in 2009, it I recognized that sculpture resources were not as
available to 6 grade to 12 grade art educators as to drawing, painting, or other 2-D
resources were. Since then, my research has focused on addressing the limited
availability of sculpture resources for 6-12 art educators by developing an online
curriculum resource with project outlines, project examples, and links regarding bringing
sculpture into their classroom.
The methods I used in this study include reviewing previous research and art
education literature on sculpture and curricula. I also developed and conducted a survey
for practicing 6-12 art educators concerning their sculpture curriculum resources. In
addition, I was able to observe local art teachers to examine practical strategies for
introducing lessons. While in the school, I field tested sculpture project outlines
developed through the research.
The aim of this project is to provide a convenient resource to encourage
sculpture practice in the classrooms. As a result of my research, I have developed an
online sculpture curriculum resource that provides art teachers with practical project
outlines, finished project examples, material demonstrations, and links.
I first worked with three-dimensional (3-D) objects when I was a young boy,
making models and creating train dioramas. I took art classes through middle and high
school but only made sculpture once or twice. It did not matter at the time, because I
was still trying to find my artistic outlet. At Glenville State College, in Glenville, WV, I
enrolled in the art education program, which allowed me to sample all media. This is
where I really discovered sculpture for the first time. My sculpture class mainly focused
on ceramic sculpture, but wire and wood were used as well. The professor of the class
told me at the end of the semester that I had found my medium, sculpture. I didn't really
think much of it until I went to Tom Savini's special effects school in Pennsylvania,
where my love for sculpture surfaced from within. It felt natural to use my hands to
manipulate clay, plaster, and other media. This feeling of creating 3-D works was
important to me and I feel that younger students should have the opportunity for
experiencing this feeling as well. According to Smith (2001), sculpture production
provides students with experiences to develop and refine fine motor skills, 3-D planning
strategies, and tactile processes. Sculpture gives students the opportunities for
"deciphering complex sensory and intellectual experiences"(Ash, 2000. P 211) and
experiencing "relationships of real forms in real space" (Garchik, 1988, p 111).
Statement of the Problem
Based on my experiences observing and teaching in art classrooms over the last
four years, I had the impression that sculpture is taught less frequently in middle and
high school classes in comparison to drawing and painting. Why is sculpture taught less
in art classrooms? Wanting to find out why this seems to be a fact, I conducted a pilot
study (Rogers, 2009b) to see how sculpture was represented in the popular art
education magazines, SchoolArts and Arts and Activities. Results showed that sculpture
projects were represented significantly less than drawing and painting projects. How
can art educators teach sculpture effectively with seeming dearth of sculpture resources
(Wachowiak & Clements, 2001)? After experiencing how I was not offered sculptural
opportunities in middle and high school and only experienced sculpture in college and
work, I believe that sculpture should be an equal part of the curriculum. I asked myself
what I could do to encourage teachers to teach more sculpture in the classroom. This
led me to the question: How can I provide an accessible resource to encourage
sculpture practice in middle through high school art classrooms?
In my teacher curriculum survey (see appendix), I found that art educators are
indeed teaching sculpture. However, in many cases they relate the projects to mainly
Modernist work instead of including more contemporary sculpture. A lack of current
contemporary artist resources seems to be a large part of the problem for teachers in
regard to creating a meaningful sculpture experience. I attempted to create a solution to
the limitation of online sculpture resources by forming an easily accessible online
sculpture resource. The resource consists of simple lessons, or project outlines, with
problem-solving opportunities; project examples connecting to current contemporary
Overview of the Project
This project in lieu of thesis concentrated on developing an online resource for
teaching middle and high school sculpture through the data gathered from my survey,
review of art educational literature, and my observations and testing of sculpture
projects at Oak Hall School in Gainesville, FL. Based on my observations, sculpture
survey, and previous research (Rogers (2009b), I believe there are not enough
sculpture resources available to art teachers considering current contemporary artists
and inexpensive material-related projects. I created eight projects using inexpensive
materials in easy-to-use "project outlines" to aid in the development of middle and high
school sculpture curricula.
Significance of the Project
This project aids middle and high school art teachers by providing a sculpture-
focused curriculum resource that contains project outlines, material demonstrations, and
project examples. My hope is that this online resource will make it easier for teachers to
bring more sculpture into their classrooms considering its online availability, inexpensive
materials or found objects, and diverse themes relating to current contemporary artists.
Definition of Terms
Sculpture: In this study, sculpture is defined as three-dimensional (3-D) forms
consisting of various materials (wood, paper, metal, and clay) and installation.
Project outline: Project plan or overview, which includes concepts and
Maquette: Small model of a larger object
Based on my research from this project, I created a sculpture resource and made
it available to art teachers online. Findings from my initial research indicated that there
was a lack of answers to questions regarding why sculpture would be taught less often
than two-dimensional (2-D) media in the middle to high school art curriculum. Therefore,
I created a survey. The teacher curriculum survey was posted to two art education-
based websites, Art Education 2.0 and The Getty Teacher Art Exchange, and left open
for response for two weeks. There were a few limitations to the survey such as time and
the posting availability to only two online groups.
While the survey could have been made available for a longer period, the data
collected was none the less significant. In addition, the survey was only made available
to members of the two art education websites. Classroom observations were limited to
one school and my time there was split between two teachers, one more than the other.
The Yahoo SiteBuilder program worked very well, but would experience data loss on
occasion if there were too many hyperlinks. Even with these limitations, I acquired
adequate data through other research avenues for the online sculpture resource.
I reviewed several types of literature regarding sculpture curricula, materials, and
methods in current art education for this project, including art education books, journal
articles, and web sites. The art education articles and texts in the Supporting Sculpture
section below gives examples of important sculptural properties and skills students
cannot learn through experiencing only 2-D media. Initially, it was necessary to find out
why sculpture was important and what it offers to students. The next part of the review,
in the Education Methods section, explores sculpture teaching methods and projects
over the last twenty years, such as Frank Wachowiak's experience in over 50 years of
curriculum development in art education (Wachowiak & Clements, 2001). The last
section, Online Resources, provides samples of what sculpture education related
information is currently available to art educators on the World Wide Web. This review
was helpful in discovering what types of projects are currently being taught in art
classrooms, as well as finding out what popular methods and materials are being used.
Understanding why sculpture is important to teach and important for students to
experience was the driving force behind this project. Also finding out what was taught
and is currently being taught was vital to guiding my effort to build connections among
current materials, sculptors, and curricula.
What makes sculpture worth teaching? Sculpture offers many experiences,
materials, and skill-building opportunities that 2-D media do not. The following literature
review investigates the work of art educators who recognize the special skills and media
experiences that support sculpture as an important medium. Golomb (2004) suggests
there are differences in sculpture and drawing development in children in relation to
their experiences. She found that students were able to represent the human figure
more effectively in regard to anatomy and proportion during some developmental stages
through the use of clay than through the use of 2-D drawing. It can be said that students
understand and represent forms in clay better than they do in attempting to translate
their environment onto a flat surface. Hume (2000) suggests in her book, that sculpture
encourages abstract thinking and visualization, and allows students not adept at
drawing the opportunity to do well in art. This statement relates to Golomb's (2004)
suggestion that some students may do better when working in real space with 3-D
materials than trying to translate 3-D form into 2-D terms.
"After all appreciation of sculpture depends upon the difficulty of responding to
form in three-dimensions" (Ash, 2000, pg. 212). Ash's statement treats sculpture as a
problem-solving tool. Hume (1990) suggests that students, who typically work two-
dimensionally, may have problems analyzing how something looks in reality or "in the
round" (Hume, 1990, p. 125). Drawing an object and transforming it into a 3-D version
takes careful planning and observation. This is an important method and skill that
students could use in sculpture and other studio areas to improve their work through
observation. Sculptors make use of the same visual elements of art that painters do,
such as space, form, color, texture, line, and value, but sculpture is unique. Garchik
(1988) states that sculpture engages "relationships of real forms in real space" (1988, p.
111). Garchik's book supports the unique spatial-relationship qualities of sculpture, such
as the students' opportunities to perceive and experience "actual" depth and volume in
an artwork (Garchik, 1988; Klaustermeier, 1997). Depth and volume are the special
qualities sculpture has in contrast to the 2-D arts. When one is able to hold or walk
around a sculpture, there is a greater sense of reality than when experiencing 2-D
Anecdotal evidence also shows that sculpture improves skills. In a conversation
with Smith (2001), special needs educator Frank Capello explained the benefits of
teaching sculpture to his students. Capello states that the students' sculpture projects
address many important developmental areas such as improving fine motor skills and
problem-solving skills: sequencing steps necessary to complete a project and project
planning. Techniques and materials vary with sculpture, but Edward Mayer ("Sculpture,"
2009) explains that sculpture incorporates many techniques, materials, and concepts
that integrate together, unlike 2-D arts that consist of only flat media. Sculpture students
can use any media or material available to create form with depth and volume.
Constructive experiences with materials vary, such as using clay and paper
mache, but elements of building and gravity play a role in all sculpture. What makes
sculpture media different from 2-D media, and what are the benefits of experiencing
sculpture? Smith (2001) explains the importance of sculpture in developing fine-motor
skills and the importance of sequential steps when working in a 3-D medium that needs
structural support. A good sculptural foundation and comprehension of gravity need to
be established when experimenting with media.
Golomb (2004) focused on the development of children's sculpture in clay and
play dough from preschool to late middle school. Golomb's research shows that
students' sculptural developments are different from their 2-D development when
representing the human figure because of the stability of the 3-D medium.
Other authors (Ash, 2000; Klaustermeier, 1997) support this idea that sculpture
offers a different learning opportunity to students. As students grow older, they begin to
understand the way objects need to be structured sequentially to support their own
weight. Three-dimensional media such as clay or toothpicks each have their own
consistent sequences of creation that need to be followed in particular order to assure
student success in sculpture projects.
What type of materials can art teachers use to create sculpture? According to
Klaustermeier (1997), sculpture can be made out of any material to "acquire form"
(p.181). This concept supports teachers creating projects from inexpensive or free
materials such as paper, natural or manufactured found objects in order to help with
budgeting (Wachowiak & Clements, 2001). Hume (2000) and Johnson (1983) also
suggest substituting found materials for typically more-expensive media such as clay
and wood. According to a round-table discussion among post-secondary art educators
from the United States, Canada, and Germany, the concept of using found materials is
global ("Key Issues," 2009). Most of the educators agreed that budgets are a large
factor in how they teach and organize their programs. Using found materials is one way
to lower media expenses. Wachowiak and Clements (2001), Cikanova (1995), and
Johnson, (1983) also mention the use of simple material, such as cardboard.
To determine how sculpture projects and resources were represented in art
education magazines, I conducted a pilot study (Rogers, 2009b) to discover the ratio of
suggested sculpture project articles to 2-D projects from 1999 through 2009 in Arts and
Activities and SchoolArts. I found that sculpture project articles (Tables 1.1 and 1.2)
were significantly fewer in number and thus seemingly underrepresented in these two
popular magazines. Over of the ten years reviewed, Arts and Activities had a total of
831 project ideas. Of those, only 149 were sculpture-based. The findings for SchoolArts
were similar. With 862 total projects, only 158 were sculpture-related. The 2-D project
ideas make up approximately 82% of the projects in these two popular art education
I established four variables for categorizing the curriculum ideas I collected: 2-D,
3-D, 4-D, and 3/4-D hybrid. The 2-D category contained all flat surfaced, or work
"viewed from one side," and low-relief work, such as tiles. Sculpture was defined as
three-dimensional forms consisting of various materials (wood, paper, metal, and clay)
(Feinstein & Thomas, 2002). The 3-D category did not include sculpture projects
involving low-relief work, pottery, or jewelry (Hume, 2000). For the purpose of this study
4-D consisted of digital, performance, and time-based work. I used 3/4-D to categorize
three-dimensional work used along with 4-D criteria (Table 1-1).
Table 1-1. Arts and Activities 1999-2008
50 -- - ----------
30 N 4-D
20 *3/4-D Hybrid
i N rN r rt r4 r4 rMj rI4 r4
Table 1-2. SchoolArts 1999 2008
I found in this pilot study that sculpture projects are underrepresented in Arts and
Activities and SchoolArts magazines considering that only 18% of the projects were
sculpture-related based on my definitions. From the results of this literature review, I
concluded there were significantly fewer sculpture articles than 2-D articles. This
information led me to conduct a survey to find out where teachers get their project
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The sculpture section of Garchik's (1988) book briefly lists different materials and
techniques (e.g. sculpting the human head and mold making) used in making sculpture,
as well as an art history example focusing on master sculptor Donatello (Forbes, 2009).
Garchik mentions four compositional aspects of sculpture: symmetrical, asymmetrical,
repetitive, and radial (Garchik, 1988). These concepts could be evaluated by students in
a class critique or evaluation.
What instructional methods or examples of sculpture education create a learning
environment with challenges and personal connections? To create a project resource
with project plans, it was necessary to review different methods of lesson introduction,
sculptor or concept themes, and media demonstration. Addison & Burgess (2000)
explored methods such as student questioning and discussion criteria for teaching art
and design that are also used in the classroom observations discussed in Chapter 3 of
this project. The methods of Addison and Burgess (2000) structure how sculpture
instruction and project content for overall student learning effectiveness should be
To have a successful project, the teacher must have a clear plan showing
"evidence of the students' growth in sculptural design" (Wachowiak & Clements, 2001,
p. 324). What criteria can teachers use to evaluate student sculpture? Ash (2000)
provides a framework for strengthening sculpture curricula in a classroom based on 12
simple elements: form, volume, space, gravity, material, rhythm (composition), process,
scale, color, environment, surface, and weight (balance), (Ash, 2000). Garchik (1988)
adds to Ash's elements. He provides a list of "ways to create three-dimensional art"
(pg. 181). These consist of subtraction, manipulation, addition, and substitution. These
are all foundational sculpture techniques (Wachowiak & Clements, 2001).
While some of Ash's (2000) listed elements are general, environment and gravity
are very different from the typical elements of art such as space and form (Garchik,
1988). Questions sculptors have to consider: Where does the sculpture go or does the
environment change the work? What about gravity? Gravity works against the sculptor,
so sculptors must make decisions on foundation and structure in order for the form not
to collapse (Smith, 2000; Golomb, 2004).
What teaching problems arise when working with new materials in a collegiate
sculpture setting? The author (unknown) of Educating Sculptors: Past, Present, and
Future (2009) suggests that art educators should look to the past to find answers for the
future of art education. Past pedagogical methods considered were form analysis,
technical drawing, nature study, and life drawing, which some may still consider
foundations of college art education ("Educating Sculptors," 2009). Form analysis is a
typical foundational skill for student questioning and critique (Addison &Burgess, 2000).
In critiques, students should identify what they see visually and allow themselves to
make assumptions and comments about the artist's material usage and intentions. Life
drawing is important as well for considering aspects of sculpture design.
When planning a project, what do teachers take into account for planning
sculpture? Wachowiak & Clements (2001) list some sculpture project issues teachers
face when project media and skill instruction are encountered by large classes. This
means the teacher must plan ahead regarding class size and space available for certain
sizes of sculptural media (Wachowiak & Clements, 2009).
Where are they supposed to put all of that work? Little (1990) addressed
classroom space issues facing art educators. Space is an important factor when
considering sculpture in the classroom, especially when an art teacher has 600 or more
students. The idea of budgeting space in the classroom is a recurring issue addressed
throughout the literature (Ash, 2000; Wachoviak & Clements, 2001), but no clear
answers were determined. Exama (2007) conducted an exercise by making models of
ideal classrooms by experimenting with different configurations. Teachers could
experiment using this method. Only general possibilities, such as smaller work or
rotation of class schedules were offered.
How should an art teacher integrate cultural ideas into a sculpture project? Briggs
(2009) shared a sculpture project based on the Star Wars film and its scientific,
historical and cultural influences. Students had to understand what the underlying
questions and moral codes the movie suggested to viewers such as "God" and "good
vs. evil." The students created their own characters to be used later in a student-
produced movie. Star Wars is a film most students have seen, but they may not
understand the underlying messages of religious oppression. Students would watch the
film in a different way if this was learned, and might make more personal connections
when relating to conflicts in their own culture or current news, such as issues
surrounding the Gaza Strip. This article is a good example of a contemporary 3-D
lesson that encompasses sculpture, and also cultivates students' connections to their
interest in the movie and calls their attention to current global conflicts.
Many online sites address sculpture curricula. Some are tightly structured while
others are simple and loosely organized. The first three websites are what a teacher
would get on the first page on Google when searching "sculpture lesson plans." These
first few sites contain much information and many curriculum resources for art teachers.
The website Art 21 (Art:21, 2001-2009) focuses on current contemporary artists, such
as Mark Dion, and is organized into themes, such as "time." The site is formatted to be
user-friendly and complete with artist backgrounds, videos, and project plans. The
project plans list artist/work-related questions as well as activities for students of all
The Incredible Art Department website (www.incredibleart.org) is another art
teacher resource that provides lesson plans developed by the art teacher site members.
The "Incredible Art Department" is organized into sections for different age groups. 2-D
media is represented more than sculpture.
Many museums also provide lesson resources for teachers. For example, the St.
Louis Art Museum (SLAM) provides a teacher resource section with curriculum relating
to their art collections. Also, SLAM provides an online gallery of collections the museum
holds. The Ham Museum of Art in Gainesville, FL provides lesson plans and art teacher
workshops. Like the above museums, the Ham's online lesson plans also focus on their
collection such as African figures and Deborah Butterfield's Rory sculpture. The lessons
provide art history about the particular work, discussion questions, and project goals.
The teacher workshops include a curriculum unit packet based on a theme, such as
"sculpture", based on their collections. Along with the curriculum packet, a material
demonstration and project activity are provided. The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
and Ace Gallery provide many high-resolution photographs of their current and past
exhibitions and also PDFs of exhibition press releases. Teachers can use these images
to teach about a particular artist or work.
In addition to the above web sites, there are many sites with specific sculpture
concepts or projects. Some address cultural identification and others emphasize
collaboration and teamwork. The Chicana and Chicano Space ("Hispanic Research,"
2001), for example, supplies "significant themes, gender balance, geographic breadth,
and historical" (resource page) regarding reflecting and identifying with one's culture in
a sculpture unit. The Chicano resource provides project introductions and questions for
student connection building. Artnet.com (Artnet, 2010) is a website dedicated to the
buying, selling, and research of fine art. The site lists 39,000 global artists and their
works. The Flong (Levin, 2010) website displays videos and photographs on interactive
collaborative art by Golan Levin and his partners. Levins' (2010) site is great when
considering interactive collaborative sculptures. These examples are just a sample of
the many websites that can provide projects or resources for project development.
Lynne Forbes' (2009) "sculpture school website" concentrates on the formal
classical qualities of figure sculpture (Garchik, 1988). The school teaches people, from
children as young as three, to professional sculptors. In a discussion with Forbes, she
described an interesting quality of sculpture to be the artists' performance when
engaging in clay sculpture. She said the students move around the work as if dancing,
but also looking at the different planes created in the space. This method "helps the
ability to visualize and strengthens abstract reasoning" (Hume, 1990, p. 125), by
allowing the student to experience the manipulation of sculpture in the round.
Since the teacher curriculum survey, the materials have focused on inexpensive
found objects, but I wanted to include two companies that supply a wide variety of
materials. Sculpture House (www.sculpturehouse.com) is another resource for teachers
that offers a variety of literature, materials, and tools for ceramics, stone carving, clay
sculpture, wood carving, and mold-making. It is comparable to The Compleat Sculptor
(www.sculpt.com), but offers some alternate types of clay and casting materials. The
Compleat Sculptor is a sculpture supply resource providing a variety of materials and
tools such as clays and casting products. There is also technical support available for
help if there is a question regarding the use of materials. The company offers
demonstrations in the New York City area where it is based, but also demonstrates
around the country at art trade shows.
METHODS OF RESEARCH
My initial question asked if sculpture and 2-D art were taught proportionally in
grade 6-12 art classes. My pilot study (Rogers, 2009b) demonstrated that two popular
art education magazines did not publish as many sculpture projects as 2-D projects.
The pilot study led to the review of art education literature and online sculpture
curriculum resources to discover art educators' outlooks and methods regarding
sculpture curricula; an examination of the benefits of teaching sculpture; and
identification of online resources available to art teachers.
In addition to my reviewing art education literature and online resources, I posted
a teacher curriculum survey to a forum on the Art Education 2.0 website, a global social
network for art educators, and on Getty's Teacher Art Exchange, an art educator email
list serve (Appendix). I relied on this survey to select and write the online sculpture
resource content and materials. Among the things I ascertained from this survey was
the need for current contemporary artists-related themes and the use of found materials
in the teachers' projects. Among of the online resources I discovered, they involved
personal websites, for example that of sculptor Michael Rackowitz (2010). Others such
as the Imagillaboration (Cottrell, 2010), a collective sculpture program page, informed
projects I then developed for my sculpture resource projects. In addition to resources for
project outlines, I found YouTube sculpture demonstrations and formulas for
inexpensive materials such as cornstarch clay. I observed and implemented several
projects at Oak Hall School to understand more positive project introduction methods,
practical materials, and understandable themes for middle school students. This
information was used to guide the project introductions and material demonstrations
(Wachowiak & Clements, 2001). Examples of the projects created used inexpensive or
free materials, which were the criteria teachers seemed to implement, according to the
survey. (Table 4-4)
Teacher Curriculum Survey
The purpose of the curriculum survey was to determine how frequently sculptural
projects are taught in the 6-12 art curriculum and what resources art teachers use or
would use to teach sculpture. The survey consisted of five questions: how many
sculpture projects are typically taught by art teachers in a school year, the resources
used or considered beneficial for project development, the media used, which artists
have been covered, and how they were addresses in the curriculum. The use of an
online survey with only five brief questions made it easy for educators to participate
considering their time and schedule (Punch, 2005). The survey was posted on Art
Education 2.0 and on the Getty's Teacher Art Exchange list serve for two weeks.
Seventy-eight anonymous middle to high school art educators were posted from around
the world. I rounded all percentages to the nearest whole number to report results. The
most important finding from the survey was that most of art teachers want online project
outlines containing themes, inexpensive materials, and artwork examples. (Table 4-2)
Oak Hall Observations
At a local middle/high school in Gainesville, Florida, I observed current art
education practice and was also given an opportunity to test teaching strategies and
projects I developed. The Oak Hall School has an exceptional art program. Two art
teachers share responsibilities in the 6-12 Upper School. One teacher focuses on 3-D
arts, while the other focuses on 2-D art. I observed for seven months and noted their
teaching methods. I recorded my weekly observation on Blogger (Rogers, 2009a;
Rogers, 2010) from September 2009 to April 2010 My schedule for providing project
plans depended on the 3-D teacher's schedule. I observed both of the teachers, for the
most part, used inexpensive or everyday materials, such as cardboard and acrylic paint,
on a regular basis (Wachoviak & Clements, 2001; Cikanova, 1995; Klaustermeier,
1997). My observations used a framework of objectives given by Addison & Burgess
(2000). This simple framework (below) helped organize my thoughts, visual
observations, and data synthesis.
Understand the function and potential of pedagogic methods and their
effect on learning;
Use conceptual frameworks to focus your classroom observation and
inform your lesson planning;
Consider how conceptual and sensuous responses to the world effect the
way students learn (p. 21).
I viewed how each teacher introduced projects via brief art history and
media demonstrations or project explanations (Addison & Burgess, 2001). I noted how
differently the two teachers approached project introduction. One provided an in-depth
explanation of the forthcoming project, including cultural backgrounds and media
demonstrations. The other gave very brief cultural backgrounds or art origins, and
demonstrated the project media briefly, or showed student examples. These two
methods associate with data from the survey: media driven and media associated. (See
I chose to observe the teacher who taught 3-D art and sculpture. For my first trial,
the cooperating teacher and I decided to experiment with a new medium for a seventh
grade sculpture project. The teacher wanted to carry out a project he had not done in a
while that introduces the Mexican festival, and had students create their own versions of
the Day of the Dead skeletons. This seemed like a good project, given the fact that
Halloween and All Saints Day were soon. Instead of using paper mache, which he had
used in the past, the supervising teacher wanted to test a new medium in the class. The
material we decided to use was DAS brand self-drying paper-based clay.
This was a wonderful opportunity to observe how students interacted with the
material, as well as the properties of the medium, such as malleability. This is an
example of a media driven project similar to that listed in the teacher curriculum survey
(See page 48). Before the students used the DAS clay, they had to create a wire
armature, which they had not done before.
The Day of the Dead project was preconceived by the cooperating teacher. While I
assisted with some information, I primarily focused on the medium demonstrations:
building wire armatures and adding the medium to the armature.
We introduced this co-taught project by providing students with background
information on the Mexican Day of the Dead festival. The purpose behind the festival
and the sculptures used in it were briefly explained. The students asked a couple of
questions about the aesthetic qualities of the sculpture. The teacher then explained that
they would create a character based on their own interest. A few examples for possible
characters were mentioned by the teacher as he showed examples from past classes.
The students began to think about what characters they wanted to create. Some of the
ideas offered by the students were original. Others were taken from the suggestions or
After the introduction, I started the production by giving a demonstration on
building wire armatures. Building a sturdy armature is an important step for sculpture
support and is a part of sequences that must be addressed in such a lesson, according
to Frank Capello, (Smith, 2001). I showed the students how to cut lengths of garden
wire, and where to bend with pliers. I showed students to begin with the head, then the
neck, the arms, and down the rest of the body. I showed how to twist the wire for torsos
and legs for stronger support, since the legs, and torso would position the armature,
according to character. The feet were looped and stapled to a piece of scrap wood, to
be used as a base.
The students then began applying the DAS clay to the armatures. I instructed
them to start at the bottom and move upward, to provide stability.
The clay dried relatively quickly as the students worked with it, but it could be
moistened with water to keep it pliable for longer periods. After the sculptures finished
drying, the students personalized their characters by using paint, found objects, and
fabrics to clothe the skeletons. There was not a critiques held, but the students were
very interested in explaining who the figures were and why they made their material
choices. After the Day of the Dead project, I developed a trial project outline for the
teacher to use to instruct students. The teacher wanted a project that used paper
mache and Oaxacan animal sculptures, so I developed one considering the
Figure 3-1. Day of the Dead project at Oak Hall School (2009)
My Designed Project Outline for Oak Hall
Based on a project concept by the cooperating teacher, I conducted a trial
curriculum similar to those I developed for the online resource. From the Day of the
Dead observation, I learned to consider the way one introduces the project to and allow
the media to drive the project.
Paper mache was a material the teacher had not used in some time, so he wanted
a project based on this material. The new project was to be media based followed by
lessons on the subject of Oaxacan sculpture of Mexico. I made the decision to include
background information on Oaxacan people who carve animal sculptures; and their
methods and craft. In an attempt to create a student connection, I thought questions
should be asked about the students' "cultural myths," and I thought we should discuss
iconography such as animals, and discuss other interesting objects or people in the
students' environment or culture.
It was somewhat difficult to create student connections because of the mythical
purposes behind the original Oaxacan sculpture and also the ways the Mexican groups
use found materials. The Oaxacan carvers select pieces of wood that suggest to them a
particular animal. The basis for this folk art tradition is thus a "found object," not an
object; like a paper mache piece, which is a construction. This difference furthers the
student disconnection and understanding of the Oaxacan medium choices and
Instead of showing a variety of Oaxacan sculptures, in this project outline, I
preferred the students make three sketches based on their ideas of a character using
cultural myths or animals. Once the students came up with a few ideas, the teacher
would show them examples of original carvings.
The introduction to the project outline included four pictures of carvings: two
creatures and two human-based works. These objects seemed to generalize the
sculptural designs of Oaxacan sculpture instead of showing the typical animals. In
addition to the information provided in the project outline, I included the current
contemporary artist Sergio Hernandez, whose work was influenced by Oaxacan folk art
details, such as color.
The Oaxacan Project Outline Trial
I provided the Oaxacan project outline to the art teacher a week before the project
started. The art teacher introduced the project by explaining that the students would
create a paper mache project relating to the Oaxacan carvings. The teacher briefly
explained where the Oaxacan people live and how they chose the wood for the
carvings. The teacher did not mention the contemporary artist whose works related to
the Oaxacan sculptures. He asked the students to brainstorm, to think of different
animals or creatures they could create, based on their interests.
The teacher then demonstrated how to construct different forms with newspaper
and tape. In addition to forms, the teacher showed students how to roll tubes for legs
and make cardboard wings (Fig. 3-2).
Figure 3-2. Oaxacan project introduction/demonstration Oak Hall School (2010)
The teacher decided to use art paste for the paper mache gluing agent. Art paste
is very inexpensive, and a small box makes one gallon of glue. The teacher mixed it in a
Tupperware bin about 20 inches long, 12 inches wide, and seven inches deep. The
large size of the bin made it possible for multiple students to use the glue at once. The
teacher demonstrated how to dip the newspaper and slide the excess off with their
straight index and middle fingers. He mentioned three layers of lightly glued newspaper
were required for proper rigidity. While most of the students continued to build, a few
started gluing and seemed to do well applying the glue-dipped newspaper. When time
ran out, the students put their projects onto lunch trays to store until the next class
meeting. The students finished the projects with three layers and painted them using
Once the students finished brainstorming (Fig. 3-3), they created dragons, a
sheep, a flying pig, a shark, and a few insects. Some of the students chose the animals
based on their interests or just because they thought it would "look cool." After the
demonstration, the students began constructing their own creature forms from the
newspaper and tape. The students seemed to translate the creature designs very well
with the media, which is a Sculpture Concept in my online resource. The only problems
seem to be leg stability and proportions, which were solved with teacher intervention.
Figure 3-3. Oaxacan project student construction Oak Hall School (2010)
Designing the Sculpture Curriculum Resource
The initial idea for this project was to create a sculpture resource in a form similar
to a museum travel kit. Such kits could be used by teachers wanting to learn a new
sculpture medium or wanting to use one of the provided project outlines. The problem
with the intended design was the production of this "travel kit" and its distribution. Some
teachers may not be able to afford them or have the space to store them. Considering
that teachers use the Internet for project planning, I decided to create an online
resource that would always be available and at no cost to teachers.
What would I include in this online sculpture resource? The teacher curriculum
survey I conducted provided me with ideas of what resources current teachers were
using in their curricula (Appendix).
What resources would I use to create such an online resource? Yahoo SiteBuilder
seemed the most convenient program to use. I had used it to create my personal
website. I decided to link the sculpture resources site through my sculpture portfolio site
address (www.rogersfx.com), but the appearance and layout of the two are very
different. To maintain a separation of sites, I created no direct link back to my sculpture
Yahoo SiteBuilder is a user-friendly program, even if one does not understand
html coding. The program resembles PowerPoint with respect to its applications, tools,
and options. The tools are set up with the help menu on the left, tools on the top bar,
and the web page files on the right (Fig. 3-4). The interface orientation is very similar to
most graphics programs and even Microsoft Word. The page components are contained
in a size-adjustable box that can be made larger or smaller, and dragged around with
the mouse. On the right side, each file is assigned the title of the project outline or page
concept and can be opened with a click. Yahoo SiteBuilder offers many choices of
templates, fonts, and navigation bars for quick use. Users can also create their own
components, since each is in a separate box and easily interchangeable or moved.
File Edit Arange Format View
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Figure 3-4. Yahoo SiteBuilderwith sculpture resource main page
Yahoo SiteBuilder provides a variety of web page templates available to use when
initially building the pages. The template I used throughout the site circles-bluegold,
seemed a good choice because of the simple, mildly colorful background and airy
appearance. The top left area contains the title of the site, The Form Factory, followed
by an identifying phrase "sculpture project outline resource for art educators" to the
right. The left side of the page contains the navigation bar or menu that directs the
viewer to various pages: the About page, Sculpture Concepts page, Project Outlines
page, Materials/References page, Contact page, and a link back to the Home page (Fig.
3-5). Under the navigation bar on each page are quotes that range from those of artists
to scientists, such as Bruce Nauman. In the central area of the page is the main
content, ranging from key ideas to project outline menus.
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Figure 3-5. Yahoo Sitebuilder with sculpture resource About page
The home page introduces the viewer with a brief statement describing the
website. The About page consists of a brief statement about the resource and its
background. A brief biographical statement explains my background as a sculptor and
not be found in one place, and that I decided to create that one place. This section
needed to be brief, but explain my background and intention.
The Sculpture Concepts page central section lists five important sculpture
concepts I chose to incorporate throughout the project outlines. Students should:
Express themselves through various 3-D materials and processes
Know past and present sculptors and their contributions to art, culture, and
Translate ideas into 3-D media to create various sculptures
Value the real or actual space and time qualities of sculpture
Value the real or actual space and time qualities of sculpture
Speak critically and constructively about sculpture.
In addition to the sculpture concepts, I provided Ash's (2000) twelve elements of
sculpture that I listed in my literature review. These elements, similar to the elements
and principles of art, mainly focus on the qualities of sculpture.
The Media/References page contains links to step-by-step media demonstrations I
conducted, such as building a wire armature; or a link to YouTube demonstration
videos, such as figure sculpture. Below the media section are links to the references I
used to create the project outlines. Some of these include artist websites, photographs
used, and journal articles.
The Contact page allows the viewer to contact me with any comments, questions,
or project ideas they would like to share. The message is sent to a hotmail account
created for this purpose.
Project Outline Development
The project outlines page lists the projects I created: Collaborative Exchange,
Collective Conceptions, Formally Functional, Structural Community, Site Specific,
Online Environments, Folk Art, and Figure it Out. The projects needed to be simple, to
the point, and easily modifiable for any middle or high school level. The structure of the
project outlines was based on a traditional art-teaching format: studio production, art
history, and critical analysis. I considered this format, but the rigid structures of
production and art history were discarded. I attempted to use an open-ended structure
based on student problem-solving, creativity, art history, and production. The format
needed to be kept flexible and the project outlines needed to make it easy to peruse the
main points highlighted. Also, I intentionally placed the background information close to
the supporting artist examples.
Decisions on what projects to use and their components were based partly on
information gathered from the sculpture survey, classroom observation, and literature
review. All of these research methods provided clues on materials, such as everyday
objects, the need for current artists or project background, and project introduction
methods or student motivational tactics.
I created each of the project outlines by referencing the backward curriculum
design by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe (1998). The first aspect to consider for
Wiggins and McTighe's method is to identify the learning goal. What will the students
understand as a result of this project? Each project outline has an "objective." The
objective is project specific, but is accompanied with "sculpture conceptss)" which may
be included in other projects.
I wanted to create problems for the students to solve. For "student preparation," I
might suggest they brainstorm ideas, make personal connections, or experiment with
materials unfamiliar to them (Johnson, 1983). With this in mind, the students would
have more control over the project and be able to make personal decisions pertaining to
Online Project Outlines
The Project Outlines page is set up as a navigation page with project links in the
center section in columns and range from collaborative sculpture to figurative sculpture.
The viewer goes directly to the project outline page upon clicking the link on the
navigation bar. The project outline pages in (Fig. 3-6), are all formatted the same, but
the content varies. On each project outline page, there are Sculpture Concept and
Objective sections explaining what will be learned from this particular project (Fig. 3-6).
The Student Preparation section (Fig. 3-6), below the objective gives quick suggestions
to prompt student or classroom discussion about the project (Addison & Burgess, 2000;
Wachowiak & Clements, 2001). These prompts may be in the form of questions or
project-related ideas for the students to comment on or brainstorm (Hume, 1990). This
is an important section, giving the students the opportunity to think creatively about the
concepts and make connections to their environment or lives.
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el-apecifi peace. The sculptures should notoly, integrate into the space, but
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A sFigure 3-6. Sculpture resource site specific project page, top section
Sr(Fig. 3-7), which contains historical information related to the topic or artists covered.
The amount of information in the background changed varies, depending on the type of project.
For instance, the site-specific project outline use hasndo a background on artists such as
Richard Serra and his work. Project backgrounds may vary in containing additional
questions or bulleted data. In addition to backgrounds on artists, there are links to other
wMat Iocatons around your local
Figure 3-6. Sculpture resource site specific project page, top section
As the viewer scrolls down the page, he/she comes to the background section
(Fig. 3-7), which contains historical information related to the topic or artists covered.
The amount of information in the background varies, depending on the type of project.
For instance, the site-specific project outline has a background on artists such as
Richard Serra and his work. Project backgrounds may vary in containing additional
questions or bulleted data. In addition to backgrounds on artists, there are links to other
A Sculpture Lesson Resource for Art E
websites regarding more information on the topic, such as the Richard Serra's work
Tilted Arc, and the controversy around it.
..... ..c .
Sie specific sculpture of the 160 s-1970' funded by the Natonal Endowment for
the As (N ) was rejected by the pubic because of the disconne ct hey had with
modem art The general pubc did not relate to the static plop art that was
consered a puic outreach program because of the conceptual or abstract ideas
considered site-specific," but just an enlarged version of a museum piece A good
example would be the public work of Henry Moore and the infamous work of Richard
W o ,a part of the surroundings such as seeang, s n oelow or the reflection of
surrounding architecture or co untrly (See AnmSh Kapoor and Scott Burton)
Richar Serra, C fara r, Pans 1969
-Photograph the surrounding public areas that could be improvedd wh
an outdoor sculpture Are the public business people, children, park
goe, How til they interact wth V,
-Recreate the space after taking photos while noing the colors and
matenals of the environment create a rrp in grid paper
Figure 3-7. Sculpture resource site specific project page, background section
The last portions of the page are the Project and Project Materials sections
(Fig. 3-8), which contains step-by-step instructions for the actual studio production and
suggested media for the project. The Project section highlights in the text the key
actions or activities the students will "do," such as write, design, and demonstrate, to
complete the work. Under the Project is the Assessment section that lists possibilities
for analyzing the student's work for each project, such as identification of sculpture
qualities and discussion. Finally, to the right side of the Project section is the list of
possible materials, such as "found objects." Beneath Assessment is a link to a printable
PDF version for the teacher.
I chose to keep the pages simple and free from clutter, to keep it easily readable.
Throughout each project outline page there are visuals that consist of related artist
work, provided by Flickr Creative Commons or other public domain sources, and
finished examples of the project that I provided. Below the project is a photograph of the
-Photogrph the animonding plitf areas that could be proved with
an outdoor sculpture Ale the public business people, children, park
goars? Hoill theyinteractwith it?
-ReOdtte the space after taking photos while noting the colors and
rhateni o te enalionmend Create a hip in grid paper
-Choos. at dndoi, sculpture cnteria (paper slips) frit a bin. This
mtdd be sarbitr to an artist getting a conhission add timing to adoar
within certain pervietes gven by tehefunders.
-Cesign three wulpture6 ushig the researched environmental and social
difoinniton and the cten". Students n the clas wllw vote on each other
,,best renderng or concept
-Detelnle the idter Is needed to excide the sculpture od tne
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Figure 3-8. Sculpture resource site specific project page, project and material section
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
This project was guided by the question: How can I provide an accessible
resource to encourage sculpture practice in middle through high school classrooms?
The literature review and survey were the main focuses of this project in order to
support the need for sculpture to design projects relating to current contemporary artists
and make the use of inexpensive materials. The sculpture resource website needed to
be simple, easily adaptable, and contain relevant content that creates challenging
projects with student-connections to contemporary art. The teacher curriculum survey
showed what current art teachers are using for project content and materials, e.g.
Modernist sculpture. Their responses indicated how projects were structured, such as
basing a project on an artist's work or focusing a project on the use of media.
After reviewing the literature that supports my project, I was able to answer the
question: what makes sculpture worth teaching? Sculpture offers the opportunity for the
strengthening of motor skills and for following sequences of instruction to maintain
sculptural form because of gravitational effects. I have addressed the "sequencing of
steps" on my Media/Reference page in my sculpture resource. In addition to the
sequential steps, I created opportunities in my projects to allow students to experience
sculpture's spatial engagement qualities. These qualities allow students to work-with
and understand actual depth and volume (Klaustermeier, 1997; Forbes, 2009). In my
resource, I also addressed the use of everyday materials to alleviate budgeting
constraints, which was mentioned throughout my review (Smith, 2001; Klaustermeier,
1997; Wachowiak & Clements, 2001).
Ash (2000) provided valuable insights for my research, addressing the concern
around the lack of sculpture in art education. Within the sculpture curriculum resource
developed, all twelve of Ash's prescribed elements were listed under the sculpture
concepts. Seven of the twelve elements were included in the project outlines, such as
environment, in the site-specific project. I wanted to include these elements to assist
teachers in the identification of sculptural properties. The format and step-by-step
demonstrations in Garchik's (1988) book provided an example of demonstration staging
for the project outlines, all of which helped to give insight on teaching methods. Lynn
Forbes' classes in Greek classical figure sculpture do not provide current contemporary
artist examples, but the classes allow students to experience the manipulative
engagement and dance-like qualities sculpture provides to students (Forbes, 2009).
Creating a sculpture in our "real space" or environment provides students with an
engaging experience with form as opposed to that provided by 2-D surface artworks.
The Sculpture journal article ("Key Issues," 2009) was written to suggest what
students face in college when studying sculpture, so I provided a resource that
encourages sculpture in their pre-secondary curriculum ("Educating Sculptors," 2009). It
gave me the opportunity to think about what is being said regarding sculpture education
in the college setting and what to consider if high school students are going to study fine
arts in college. Including formal analysis during a critique prepares them for this.
One type of planning strategy suggested keeping sculptures relatively small to
medium size or to create the project out of the classroom (Little, 1990; Wachowiak &
Clements, 2001). One of my projects focuses on large, site-specific sculptures, but
students cannot create these in class. I thus created the opportunity for them to think
large, but to create a maquette for a larger piece in an open environment.
My pilot study (Rogers, 2009b) provided me with the information to further
research sculpture resources available to art teachers. I found a lack of representation
considering that 82% of Arts and Activities and SchoolArts consisted of 2-D related
The online resources I reviewed provided many different types of information
regarding sculpture and art education. Some of the websites such as the Incredible Art
Department (Rohrer, 2010) and Art: 21 (Art: 21, 2009) provided full lesson plans. These
websites are both useful to my research, but the Art: 21 site structures the projects
within themes and allows the teacher to teach sculpture and also other media under a
common topic. In addition, the Art: 21 site's projects focus on current contemporary
artists. Museum websites such as MoMA provide project ideas, but allow educators to
view and use photographs of artwork in their collections, for research and curriculum
development. In addition to these museums, the Harn Museum of Art provides teacher
workshops and curricula based on their collections, and over-arching themes, such as
African art or sculpture. The Ham-type resources that museums provide work well if
used abroad, but work even better if the students are able to visit the facilities.
I addressed the idea of current contemporary artists in my sculpture resource
because of the current cultural themes in these artists' works. The Chicana and Chicano
Space website provides questions for creating student discourse on personal
connections to the project or topic ("Hispanic Research", 2001). Museum web sites and
online galleries, such as the Ace Gallery and the Museum of Modern Art, provide
sculptor information and work from their past and current exhibitions (Ace Gallery, 2010;
"Museum of," 2009). These online exhibitions are beneficial to an art teacher when
observing a variety of sculptors and their artworks for projects. The exhibitions provide
the opportunity for teachers to preview artists' works quickly in order to find an artist to
Curriculum Survey Results and Discussion
Results for question one of the survey showed that 63% of the 78 participants
teach more than three sculpture lessons throughout the year, whereas 36% said they
do one to two per year (Table 4-1).
Table 4-1. Question 1 Data
How often do you include sculpture in your art curriculum?
Never 1 to 2 per year More than 3 per year
Of the 77 participants for question two, 90% answered that they mainly use
online resources for creating sculpture curricula, while artist information came in at 79%.
The third highest answer was art education literature (e.g. SchoolArts) with 69% (Table
Table 4-2. Question 2 Data
If so, what resources do you use when developing sculpture
1 I 1 .32
Art Ed Lit. Online Resources Artists Convention
In question three, the project/curriculum ideas/lessons item encompassed the
sub concepts of media, techniques, and related artists, Techniques for media usage
considered step-by-step demos for materials, and Themes/concepts/meanings included
topics and ideas for project development. Participants were also given the opportunity to
elaborate on the choices they made. As seen in (Table 4-3), 91% considered
project/curriculum ideas/lessons to be the most beneficial in creating a sculpture
curriculum, while 81% considered techniques for media usage important. And finally,
61% were interested in themes/concepts/meanings.
Table 4-3. Question 3 Data
Which resources would you find beneficial for creating sculpture
Curriculum Ideas Media Techniques Themes/Concepts
For question four about media (Table 4-4), all 78 respondents answered the
question, but only 22 wrote additional comments. 76% said they use all of the materials
listed above, whereas 24% chose materials individually. Found materials ranked the
highest, being 47%, while wire came in second at 43%, then paper at 41%.
Table 4-4. Question 4 Data
What mediums would you consider using in your sculpture lesson?
40 41 44 39
Clay Found Paper Wire Papier All of Above
In question five the respondents were asked to gauge how they include art
history in their lessons and what artists are being included in the curricula.
It was surprising to see that nearly two-thirds of the participating art teachers are
teaching a fair number of sculpture projects in comparison to the one-third who are not.
Data from question two showed that 90% of the participants use online resources for
designing lesson plans. More than half of the art teachers, 69%, used journals such as
SchoolArts to shape their lessons. In question three, 91% of participants wanted
complete lesson plans or projects that included artists, media, and techniques. Closely,
81% of participants regarded information on media techniques as important to
curriculum development. The lowest choice was 61% of the teachers chose themes or
concepts as in important resource. For question four, I was pleased to observe that 75%
of the participants considered using all of the basic materials listed. The most interesting
aspect of this data was the high number of teachers considering found materials for use
in their curriculum. Inexpensive, yet diverse materials such as wire and paper came in
second. More surprising was the low use of clay and paper mache, coming in last.
Found objects and inexpensive materials were the most popular selection.
In addition to the available choices for question four, there was an optional
writing area where the participants could write comments. Twenty-two teachers left
responses and I grouped them under four average terms: everyday/found objects,
plaster, wood, and wire. The written responses from teachers are summarized in (Table
4-4), with the most common answer being Everyday/Found Objects: cardboard, tape,
foil, recycled, fabrics, and plaster.
I was specifically looking for two concepts in the answers of question five: what
art movement or artists were addressed and how was art history included in the
curriculum. Almost 75% of the participants mentioned including an artist within their
projects. What artists are being covered? 21% of art teacher participants said they used
current contemporary artists, while nearly 54% said they covered Modernist artists. The
use of past artists to elucidate projects recalls Ash's statement: "Contemporary
sculpture bears little reference to dictionary definitions and school sculpture" (Ash,
2000, pg. 216). This may be why current contemporary sculpture isn't covered and
Modernism is so easy because of its classification.
It was even more surprising when 12 of the 53 teachers listed both Modern and
Contemporary artists. How are these practicing teachers using artists, or what is the
artist's role in their 6-12 curricula? Common derived themes: Artist Driven, Artist
Associated, and Material Associated. Artist Driven focuses totally on the artist. Artist
Associated "touches base" on the artist. Material Associated referred to projects
focused on media. Thirty-eight of the 71 said they centered a lesson on a particular
artist or art movement, while 25 of them said their projects link to an artist. Thirteen
stated that artist media was important when creating a lesson and six explained it had
did little or no art history.
The number of responses collected was satisfactory within the two week time
frame. I was surprised to see the number of sculpture projects the teachers said that
they taught. This information changed my questioning on the "low amount of sculpture
taught," to "what are they teaching." I was also pleased to receive many written
responses, which contained detailed information of the artists and materials they use
with their instruction. Overall it seems that most of the teachers base their lessons on
artists or movements, while the rest relate an artist or material to their projects. As a
result of the survey, I decided my sculpture resource projects should balance an artist or
movement with a theme or idea; not just students copying the artist's work or concept.
The data indicated that current art teachers mainly use online resources for their
sculpture curriculum, they want lesson plans or project outlines, they use a variety of
materials (most commonly found objects), and they base their curricula on artist-based
themes (most of which are Modernist). The idea of an all-inclusive project outline is
desirable when considering the helpful aspects of self-education or step-by-step
projects, fresh concepts, and less time for lesson research and development. Data
directed my resource to contain current contemporary sculptors, to incorporate
inexpensive or found objects, and to make connections to the students' lives and
Oak Hall Trial I Discussion
Background information given by the teacher on the Day of the Dead skeletons
was very brief. I thought the teacher should have explained more of the Day of the Dead
information regarding the purposes of the skeleton sculptures, such as festival imagery
and how they are celebrated visually in our culture in events such as Halloween.
As for character development and keeping work original, it would have been best
to have students create a list of original ideas or characters they could transfer to the
piece. I also would not show them personalized finished examples, but provide one
example showing the basic unadorned possibility. This allows the students to create a
personalized sculpture freely, while knowing basically what the product could look like,
but not specifically. Measuring their own proportions would have made the figures a little
more personal, which was a part of the figure project in my sculpture resource. I have
gained knowledge on how to keep students' projects personally original, and learned
that students are not afraid to use new materials, but take to them very well. This
information helped me create a project outline for the cooperating teacher to test
theories learned here and from the survey.
Oak Hall Trial II Discussion
The historical background of the Oaxacan sculpture was explained briefly by the
teacher. The only personal connections mentioned were the options for students to
choose a representational spirit animal or an animal from the local environment. There
could have been more background mentioned, but the teacher suggested it wasn't a
good idea to deliver all the information at once, but supplement it throughout. This
seems like the best route for explaining the art backgrounds, but would be more difficult
once the students are engaged. A teacher could supplement a little information at the
beginning of class. The current contemporary artist wasn't mentioned when I observed.
Students were really excited about the project and started brainstorming ideas for
their projects. Students came up with their own ideas for the animals, for the most part:
some mythical creatures, their interests, and others they considered imaginative. The
connections made were mostly based on what they conceived as "cool" or fun to make,
but I felt it was successful because they expressed their interests through the animal
choice and decoration.
The inexpensive materials used, such as newspaper, tape, and art paste were
easy materials for the students to use and manipulate for the most part. Using
inexpensive and easy-to-use materials was important for my sculpture resource. The
teacher did a great job demonstrating the building of body structures, legs, wings, etc.
and the students were able to translate these techniques for their own designs. This
modeling worked well and could be related to my online resource demonstrations or
YouTube sculpture videos. The students only had problems rolling the newspaper
tightly for legs and antennae. I thus created a demonstration for my resource showing
how to tightly roll newspaper. The construction and designs of the creatures were done
well, but some aesthetic or construction questions were asked and dealt with by teacher
facilitation. The only material other than those above was wire for one student's praying
mantis legs. Paper legs were too thin, so wire was taped to support the weight and
gravitational effects (Smith, 2001; Golomb, 2004).
Overall, the students enjoyed the experience and used the everyday materials
well. As for the introduction methods, I felt they could have been explained a little more,
but I was there to observe and view how the students responded to the information
provided. This project was a test in itself, because of the difficulty of making personal
connections and choice of subject matter, e.g. animals. The project overall was a
success because of the energy of the students and their enduring interest and creativity
in their final artworks. The teacher excelled in the art of demonstration and modeling a
medium, considering the students' final products. I learned that offering too much
introductory background information at once creates a loss of interest, so I would
deduce that the information given throughout would be more received.
Throughout the research, numerous factors led to the creation of a sculpture
resource for art educators to use in the classroom. The initial research for this project
emphasized sculpture as an important area of art study. Sculpture provides
opportunities to grow as an artist by experiencing the spatial engagement, sequences of
construction, and unique elements, such as gravity. The most important findings in the
survey showed that teachers want all-in-one online project outlines containing themes,
inexpensive materials, and examples of artists' work. The survey data provided ideas
regarding what resources are available to teachers, as well as what resources would be
appreciated and used to encourage sculpture curriculum. The Oak Hall observations
and literature review supported the teacher comments in the survey; such as how to
approach students with a sculpture project, such as artists or concept-related
introductions, media demonstrations, and the use of inexpensive materials. The
literature review, survey data, and observations of project trials at Oak Hall led to the
development of an online sculpture curriculum resource that provides practical project
outlines, finished project examples, and inexpensive, everyday material demonstrations.
My online resource is just the beginning. I plan to make the website a source
composed of my projects and results, and also those of teachers who use the website. I
would like to think of it as a cooperative of teachers to post project outlines,
photographs of the students work, and hyperlinks relating to sculpture education.
This project gave me the opportunity to research what is currently available to
teachers and how they teach sculpture. I feel that the sculpture curriculum resource will
contribute to sculpture education by making it easier obtain complete project outlines
and other sculpture information, in order to teach sculpture effectively.
The project was successful because I was able to establish solid purposes for
teaching sculpture, and observed the current state of sculpture education through my
teacher curriculum survey. I was able to address the issues that arose from the
teachers' responses, such as creating complete projects that include current artists and
the use of inexpensive materials.
Teacher Curriculum Survey
Teacher Curriculum Survey
1. How often do you include sculpture within your art curriculum?
One to two per year
Three or more per year
2. If so, what resources do you use when developing sculpture curricula? Check all
Art education literature
3. Which resources would you find beneficial for creating sculpture lessons?" Check
all that apply.
Techniques for media usage
4. What mediums would you consider using in your sculpture lessons?
All of the above
5. How do you include art history in your sculpture curriculum and what artists are
covered? Please write your answer.
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Matt Rogers was born in Clarksburg, West Virginia, in 1981, to Dave and Judy
Rogers. Growing up on a farm outside of the small town of Lumberport, WV, he
explored the land his family has been working for over two hundred years. Matt's
mother was a first grade school teacher and his father was a dairy farmer. Matt had and
still has many hobbies including car restoration, model building, and sculpture.
After graduating high school in 1999, Matt enrolled at Glenville State College to
pursue an art education degree, but after three years, the college cut the program and
Matt was unable to finish before their deadline. That summer, Matt moved in with his
brother in Memphis, Tennessee, to find a job as a funeral director. Matt's sister-in-law,
however, thought Matt shouldn't give up his art so quickly and urged him to go to
special effects school. In special effects school, Matt found his love for sculpture and
After graduating, he moved to Los Angeles and worked as a special effects artist
for television and film. Although he enjoyed working on shows such as CSI, NCIS, and
Sky High, Los Angeles wasn't his cup of tea. His realization that he enjoyed showing
people "how to do things" led him to reenter college to finish his Bachelor of Fine Arts
with K-12 certification, which he received from West Virginia University, in May 2008.
He decided to go to graduate school at the University of Florida that fall while he was
still in student mode. He graduated with a Master of Arts in May 2010.
Matt, his wife Katie, and dog Zero currently reside in Gainesville, but look forward
to moving to North Carolina to find careers and be closer to their families.