ENGAGING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN AN ART CLASSROOM By Carolyn J. Hill Supervisory Committee: Dr. Leslie Gates, Chair Dr. Craig Roland, Member CAPSTONE PROJECT PRESENTED TO THE COLLEGE OF FINE ARTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULF ILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS UNIVERITY OF FLORIDA 2012
ENGAGING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN AN ART CLASSROOM 2 c. 2012
ENGAGING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN AN ART CLASSROOM 3 Table o f Contents Abstract 4 Chapter 1: Statement of the Problem 6 Chapter 2: Literature Review 8 Chapter 3: Research Methods 19 Chapter 4 : Analysis 23 Chapter 5: Conclusion 35 References 39 Appendix A 42 Appendix B Class Survey Questions 44 Appendix C Parental Consent Form 45 Appendix D Class Survey Results 47 Appendix E IRB Form 49 Appendix F Narrative Article: Examining Classroom Engagement: Using Research and Reflection to Aim for the Aesthetic 53 Biographical Statement 6 3
ENGAGING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN AN ART CLASSROOM 4 Abstract Determining why some students were or were not engaged in my high school art classroom was at the hea rt of this capstone project. However, in conducting my research on one of my ninth grade classes, I discovered that there is often more than first meets the eye when looking at the matter of engagement After reading recent literature and using research an d reflection tools, I found that this problem is, in my case, unique to my situation with my students. It could be different for another teacher or even for me, in another educational situation. That is why it is important for instructors to review their practice with each group of students on a regular basis and is one reason why I created this classroom study. The professional literature on engagement suggests many factors that influence the problem of student disengagement, including teacher pedagogy, s tudent perceptions and learned behaviors, and even the classroom environment itself. Using this inf ormation as a starting point, I chose to study a ninth grade class at my school where some of the students were frequently disengaged from their work. I util ized several methods of data collection to study the activities going on in my classroom, and then compared and reflected upon what the data revealed. The revelations included the need to focus on other issues related to engagement such as classroom manage ment, class activity scheduling and assessment of student progress in the class. These revelations are significant because they affect the way I need to set up my classroom in the future and the ways in which I will relate to future students. I also used t he results of the study to explore how the practice of research and reflection is necessary for all educators if we trul y want to improve our practice Whether dealing with engagement, or student teacher relationships, or any issue in the classroom,
ENGAGING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN AN ART CLASSROOM 5 these methods of research and reflection can shed light on the issue and provide needed insights for the instructor herself, without the added pressures of outside evaluation. Keywords: student engagement, reflexive analysis, classroom management, student teach er re lationships
ENGAGING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN AN ART CLASSROOM 6 Chapter 1: Statement of the Problem Tom Krause, a motivational speaker, teacher and coach has said what you know you can do you students as well as the teachers who te ach them. Educators, therefore, need to study how we engag e students in the classroom to see if we can know more and do more with what we know to help all stu dents to learn Art education is no different. Art educators need to examine their pedagogy to make sure students are getting the best possible education in the arts. The followi ng research followed the principle that there is always more to learn and there are ways to improve teaching practice and to enhance the experience for students and tea chers. Statement of the Problem The problem I address ed with this research was how to better eng age students in my high school art classroom. Engagement, according to Newmann (199 2 (p.3). Students who are engage d try to understand what they are learning and incorporate what they learn into their lives (p.3). In trying to research engagement in the high school art classroom, t his study examined the following questions : 1. H ow do I keep my students engaged during art during class? 2. How do I minimize disruptions from disengaged students? 3. How do I maintain a positive, enthusiastic atmosphere for my students and mys elf during class ? Through conducting a case study of these issues with some of the students in my 7 th peri od Studio Art classroom, I use d action research and reflection to investigate possible solutions to this engagement problem. Engagement is a n important issue, not only for my students and
ENGAGING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN AN ART CLASSROOM 7 me, but also for students and teachers in other classrooms now and in t he future. By l ooking at this one class, I identified patterns of behavior and reflect ed on my current practice in an attempt to adapt my instruction to the individual needs of my high school students I hope that this information will inspire other teache rs to reflect on thei r own practices as well as improving their relationships with their own students. Importance of the Study This study is important because, as an educator, I want to end each school day feeling that I have provided my students with a po sitive learning experience and that they have taken something away from that experience. When this happens, it provides both my students and me with a feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment. This satisfaction is likely a shared goal among educators, ar t and otherwise, and I hope other educators will benefit from the results of this research. Even if they cannot relate to my individual classroom study, my hope is that they will be able to see possible ways in which they can conduct a similar study in the ir own classrooms and benefit from analyzing their own teaching methods. The existing literature on engagement seem s to cover many different scenarios M y s cenario is no different except that I am teaching art in a small suburban college preparatory school This setting would seem to be an ideal position for an educator because of the small class sizes and the prevailing belief that students who are college bound are more interested in academics However, even in this environment, problems exist with studen t disengagement and misbehavior. By analyzing and sharing my instructional challenges in this classroom I am helping myself as an educator. I am also raising awareness that, no matter what the environment, there is always room for improvement in student l earning, classroom management and the instructional environment as a whole.
ENGAGING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN AN ART CLASSROOM 8 Chapter 2: Literature Review I try hard to get tough. Rather, we should simply try harder to (p.437) to each other This connection between students and the instructor in the art education classroom, as in other classrooms, makes teaching and learning a positive experience for every person involved. In order to make these connectio ns, teachers of art and other subjects need to learn how to engage all students in the activities of the classroom. Current literature, in and outside of art education, suggests that students may not be engaged during instruction due to the peda gogical pra ctices of the teacher; perceptions, beliefs and learned behaviors ; and the classroom environment In this chapter, I use d these three issues as a framework for reviewing the research related to student engagement Pedagogical Practices of the Tea cher Throughout the literature, one recurring theme in solving student engagement problems is teacher pedagogy, and specifically how the teacher practices classroom management. Many teachers practice traditional methods of classroom management because thes e methods ar e familiar from their educational backgrounds or because these methods seem to be the norms where they are teachin g traditional model of classroom management, based on behav iorism and still common in some areas, discipline is teacher directed (p.99) They go on to point out how, a fter decades of use, the behaviorist model has not caused significant changes in student behavior. Rather, it has limited the ability of the learner to become self directe d and self disciplined, a necessary condition for the use of more complex instruction in teaching and learning (p. 100)
ENGAGING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN AN ART CLASSROOM 9 For a teacher to update her practices, the authors suggest that she use a more person centered management approach (Freiberg & Lamb, 2009). The person centered concept, according to Freiberg and Lamb, began in the field of counseling and psychology with Dr. Carl Rogers in the his classic work Client Centered Therapy (Rogers, 1951) and expanded on centeredness into the theory and pr actice of (p.100). A person centered approach shifts the focus from the teacher to the student Student centered classrooms incorporate the following four dimensions: so cial emotional emphasis, school connectedness, positive classroom climate, and student self discipline (Freiberg & Lamb, 2009, p. 101). Using the social emotional teachers social and emotional needs, and for who they are as people (p.100) which is important in helping students achieve academic success, and success is a motivating factor for students (Schussler, 2009) Freiberg and Lamb named the model method they created around this person centered principle The Consistency Management and increases in student achievement increases in teacher and student attendance reduced office discipline referrals, and improved classroom and s chool learning environmen (p.104) O ther articles that stress student centered approaches seem to support Freiberg For instance, t he work of Schussler (2009) further identifies the need for teacher pedagogy that is student centered. She recommends that teachers make a connection to their in terms of learni ng style, interests, background knowledge, cult teachers mus t make efforts to know students wit (p. 117). Like
ENGAGING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN AN ART CLASSROOM 10 Freiberg and Lamb (2009) Schussler recognizes that teachers need to reach out to students to Effective classroom management and pedag ogy that supports intellectual engagement are inextricably linked, as they involve knowing the students wel l and finding where opportunities for success, flexibility, and re spect intersect optimally commends that teachers show enthusiasm for their subject as well as creativity in its delivery to interest students (p.118). when monotony and task completion characterize a majority of classroom in struction, students are less likely to engage (p.118). Using creativity and enthusiasm is valuable because it adds variety to everyday tasks and, therefore, makes the learning environment more interesting for teachers and students, and stud ents are likely to be more engaged when the subjec t of study is one in which they are more interested. However, sometimes it is difficult for a teacher to interest and demonstrate enthusiasm every day and disengagement and student misbeha v ior can diminish a for what he or she is teaching. Over time there may be more energy spent on classroom management than creative teaching. Focusing primarily on improving teacher pedagogical methods does not take into account how tea chers may feel about student behaviors and how that relates to their classroom management strategies. Few studies seem to view classroom management and struggles with but their students as well. Sutton, Mudrey Camino, and Knight (2009) wrote about how teachers try to control their negative emotions toward students because they believe that this control maintains a more positive and professional learning environment as well as good relationships with students ( p p .132 133). Their study showed that teachers had various methods for
ENGAGING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN AN ART CLASSROOM 11 ing their own attention to something or someone else, and cognitive change or reappraisal of the situatio (p.134) Although it is often difficult to do in the classroom setting over reacting to st udent disengagement and misbehavior sets a good example for students and shows mature behavior practices from which students can learn real life skills. Perceptions, Beliefs and Learned Behaviors Another way of looking at the student engagement i ssue is the way students connect to their instructor and the instruction through their own perceptions, beliefs and learned behaviors. One way of doing this is to relate school learning to real life skills, which many students perceive as important accordi ng to an article by Kostelecky and Hoskinson (2005 p.438). In Ainley, Pratt and Hansen (2006) article t he authors describe teaching mathe matics in a way that relates classroom problems to real life in order to demonstrate that o ut to students in ways students understand Through Realistic Mathematics Education students ). This principle relates to an earlier premise that mathematics must be learnt learning within students ( p.25). According to Kostelecky and Hoskinson (2005), this sense of purpose in learning, motivates students to learn because they believe these real world (p.438) This real world relevance is a recent concept in learning as is the idea that students are to behave responsibly an d take some of the
ENGAGING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN AN ART CLASSROOM 12 ownership for their individual learning success. For example, the traditio nal model of disciplin e for disengaged students was behaviorist based. According to Freiberg and Lamb (2009) : [The] behaviorist model has not caused significant ch anges in student behavior. Rather it has limited the ability of the learner to become self directed and self disciplined, a necessary condition for the use of more complex instruction in teaching and learning (Cohen, 1994; Eiseman, 2005; Freiberg, 1999a; F reiberg, Huzinec, & Lamb, 2008; Freiberg & Lapointe, 2006, p.100) Self discipline is a behavioral skill that many students need to learn and the classroom can be a place where these skills are taught and/or reinforced. evidenced different ways they had learned to regula te themselves in creating their own motivations to learn and to complete school related tasks. Students in the study completed surveys to determine how their self regulation methods affected their learnin g and grade point averages. Extrinsic motivations like rewarding themselves and self talk about the importance of getting good grades were some of the methods used by students to stay motivated to learn (p .281 ) challenge s other research tha t says that intrinsic motivation strategies are more effective at getting stud ents to learn. For example, the article by Mader (2009) in the journal, Theory Into Practice internally motivated; 2. Good teaching can set the stage for internal motivation; 3. E xternal incentives can undermine internal p.148) By removing teacher grading from a graduate school class and replacing it with student self assessment, Mader studi ed the effects o f intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivation on graduate students. Mader (2009) found that her students were still motivated to learn without extrinsic rewards (p. 150). This self motivated behavior is in line with Kostelecky and A person is more in control
ENGAGING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN AN ART CLASSROOM 13 and more vested in their learning if they are internally motivated. They seem to have a stake in the outcome (p.438) This kind of self control is missing in some younger students according to Wolters (1999), who also said s ome school students in his study preferred to motivate themselves extrinsically (p. 281). T hose students perceived that providing themselves with external rewards was easier and more immediately rewarding than other motivational strategies, and it was what the schooling environment has trained them to do ( p. 281 ) Since both types of motivation seem to work, perhaps the age and experiences of the students ha ve to be considered for more consistent engagement to take place. Teachers involved in student center and why they should learn it. Perceptions of students as well as their learned behaviors affect their level s of engagement and are just as important to the instructional atmosphere as the actions and methods of the teacher. Schussler (2009 ) proposed that : teachers create an environment conducive to intellectual engagement when students perceive: (a) that ther e are opportunities for them to suc ceed, (b) that flexible avenues exist through which learning c an occur, and (c) that they are respected as learners because teachers convey the belief that s tudents are capable of learning (p. 114) These are student cen tered principles that art teachers can incorporate into their classrooms as easily as anyone could in any subject. Schussler interviewed and researched the progress of teens at an alternative high school who were previously disengaged at their former schoo ls and who had personal and academic success in the smaller, more student centered environment at the new school (p.115). Although this study examined only a few students in a small alternative school, it
ENGAGING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN AN ART CLASSROOM 14 had positive results for the students involved, sho wing that engagement is possible for individuals when the educational environment is right. Students can also become disengaged and un interested if they perceive that an A design study proposal by Bailey, Johnson and Thompson (2003) provides e vidence of what a high school art program was trying to do to solve their problem of s tudent attrition in art courses. Information from student polls showed that students at the school felt a lack of confidence in thei r art skills. Some student comments that attest to this lack of confidence Art cla h The study proposal also stated that o nly 15 of the 125 students polled said they took and enjoyed (p. 2). Some former (p. 2), by the lack of encouraging teacher feedback, and by the lack of skill improvement acquired af ter being taught. other academic areas succeed in a real way. Shore and Beirne (19 97) wrote that the school curriculum should conne ct n ot only new learning to previous learning but also the instructional subject to the real world (p. 8). Although stelecky and Hoskins on (2005) suggested that teachers use novels to create a motivating curiosity in students as well as to provide a better way for students to relate to academic subjects. The authors suggest that what p eople are not content wit h what they already know but seek to (p. 439). According to the authors, this kind of intern al (or intrinsic) motivation can be fostered in the classroom through meeting four conditions: creating a confortable and
ENGAGING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN AN ART CLASSROOM 15 connected teacher student learn ing environment, purposeful learning, establishing and sharing student standards, relating learning to real world skills (p. 439). The use of literature about real world topics to relate to non literary subjects is an inventive way to meet the conditions m entioned above and spark intersest in students. Literary devices could be applied in an advanced high school art class as easily as it was in the college course mentioned in the reading. Furthermore, m any students need to perceive that they have a positiv e relationship with their teachers according to Parish and Mahoney (2006) The authors suggest how to improve r teachers know, until they know how much their teachers care" (p. 437) further suggests that part of the classroom management issue may be related to student perceptions of their relationship with their instructor. This relationship can affect engagement and behavior However, P arish and Mahoney (2006) add that student s have some responsibility for their own learning and behavior each student can also (p. 437). They must decide at they are doing is actually causing problems for others (e.g., teachers, fello w students) and/or (p. 437) Student behavior problems resulting from disengagement are not necessarily manifested in majorly disruptive ways. For example, in 1991 Alpert observed two suburban American college preparatory high school English classes. His resulting information was aimed at proving : alienation from learning, rejection of the contents and skills taught, and criticism of the
ENGAGING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN AN ART CLASSROOM 16 knowledge and v alues transmitted by the school appear to different degrees in many classrooms including those within schools of upper middle class communities, in which students seem to conform to educational expectations and are actively engaged in achieving academic success (p.350) that student resistance can be a problem anywhere, with any student population, which could reassure many teachers about engagement problems and/or resistance to learning in their classrooms. Classroom Environm ent Some researchers have suspected that it may not be the students or the teachers alone that cause disengagement from learning, but the classroom environment itself. If the instructor makes her setting student centered, that seems to create optimal enga gement and learning. For example, in an article on studio based learning (SBL), Brocato (2009) discussed ways to incorporate person centeredness into other aspects of the classroom besides just its management (p.139 ) In studying the use of SBL in a School of Architecture, Brocato (2009) found that the re were important features like using an apprenticeship model and making studio spaces like office spaces for students where they could leave their materials, having individual as well as group critique sessio ns, and consultations with peers and experts during class (p.139). This type of design may be more applicable to college art and design classrooms, like the one studied by Brocato. However, the idea of students working on their own in an office like enviro nment may may or may not make a difference in the problem of student engagement, but it may take some of responsibility for engagement away from the teacher. In a b log posting by Barseghian (2012), a writer named Kyle Palmer reported on a school in California called Flex Academy (Palmer,
ENGAGING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN AN ART CLASSROOM 17 2012). This school is experimenting with a new way of learning for adolescents. The academy is trying an online learning program wh The brunt of the academic work is done online, with m piled onto an going on a lr eady and may be the way of the future. If so, younger students are going to have to learn to engage and motivate themselves more than ever. Some high school students may need adult help in getting to that point as Megan Jacquot suggested in the Palmer (20 12) report She said, motivated. We have to teach them in the Flex Academy setting have a variety o f electives and academic courses from which to choose, they may have instructors in several areas, such as art, that need to help them learn self motivation skills as well as their subjects. So if the teacher is present in online or other future learning e nvironments, their roles may have to change to facilitators and trainers instead of or in addition to instructors and classroom managers. No matter where future classrooms will be, or what they are like, Vieth (2008) reiterates how we, as teachers of art ( ( para. 1). For now, we can stay current with our skills and knowledge, attend conferences in art education and other related areas, take our own art to new heights, and work in and around th e community to share ideas ( para. 2 ). All of this will surely help with our enthusiasm for our work which transfers to our students. This reminder is good for all of us in art and in any aspect of education, that it is not just about the classroom, the stud ents or the teachers, but the relationship between the three
ENGAGING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN AN ART CLASSROOM 18 This chapter has highlighted some of the existing literature on student engagement and the need to look at the relationships between the classroom, the students and the teachers. This chapter h as included research about student engagement that took place in a number of settings: college, public school, alternative school, online school and a private school. However, the literature does not address specific measures needed to improve the educatio nal setting in a small, independent high school art classroom. Alpert (1991) observed English classes in a suburban college preparatory high school, but high school art students, in my experience, tend to have more freedom to move around, talk and actively create than they do in many English classroom settings. Therefore, the art room may require different types of classroom management strategies to ensure quality student engagement and learning while they are moving, talking and actively creat ing I intend ed for my study to directly address this topic.
ENGAGING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN AN ART CLASSROOM 19 Chapter 3: Research Methods Through this study, I hope d to improve the learning environment in my art education classroom for my students and myself. I sought to minim ize disruptions during class due to dise ngaged students and maximize the artistic experience for all of my students, not just the ones who are already interested in art. The matter of student engagement is important to all educators because it affects not only the students and their learning, bu t also the very emotions of teachers themselves (Sutton, Mudrey Camino, & Knight, 2009, p.131). in their job s can come from a feeling of success at effectively educating their students This success helps promote enthusiasm a nd continued interest on the part of tea chers and their students. I have addressed this effectiveness issue from the standpoint of a rt education, but I hope it is applicable to any educator who seeks to update their teaching practice and maximize their ins tructional delivery in the classroom. To explore problem s of student engagement in my high school art classroom I read current and past literature from journ als, blogs, and so on to see what has been written about student engagement I decided that a case study of my c lassroom using action research methods wa s the best way to study this particular problem Because action research is a circular process, it is well suited to the classroom, where solving problems is an ongoing and ever changing task for educa tors. Using an action research m e thod with reflection allow ed me to identify issues and will allow me to continue to implement new strategies in the future to see how these methods a ffect student engagement. During the study, I ask ed another instructor to observe my class specifically to provide feedback about student engagement I record ed my own observations of disengaged students and their resulting behaviors in a reflective journal during the research process I create d j ournal entries daily after scho ol. I also made videos of my
ENGAGING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN AN ART CLASSROOM 20 class in order to observe and reflect on my own teaching practice. I also survey ed students as a class, to see how the y f el t about the art class as a whole When I need ed clarification on a few of the answers from the survey, I use d a whole class interview strategy to determine details without isolating any one student. Population I chose to do a case study of my Studio Art class which is a 50 minut e class with 15 students that m et with me every day. The class consisted of sev en females, eight males, of which three identify as African American, one as Asian, and eleven as Caucasian Thirteen of these students were ninth graders and two we re seniors. This wa s my la rgest class last semester and I selected it as the context for t his research because several of the students in the class were frequently disengaged and mi sbehave d The class wa s an introductory art class and some students we re taking the class because they like art and some because it is a requirement for graduation. This combination of required an d non required students provided a mix of individuals who were and who we re not already motivated to learn about art. Limitations Several factors may have limit ed the effectiveness of the research study. The small size of th e class with which I was working was one limitation along with the fa ct that both seniors left the school during the study so all the students remaining were ninth graders which limit ed the ag e diversity of the students I was studying T here wa s also th e chance that my inexperience at surveying and interviewing students and my role as their teacher may have affect ed their an swers to my questions ( Fontana & Frey 2005).
ENGAGING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN AN ART CLASSROOM 21 Design The timeline for action research created by Rust and Clark (n.d.) begins w ith the initial idea (p.7) (Appendix A) Rust and Clark article was published on the Internet by the Teachers Netwo rk Leadership Institute (TNLI). According to the TNLI website, it is prof it organization by teachers, for teachers with a 25 year track record of success, dedicated to improving student learning in public schools ( p. 18) Rust and Clark suggest several methods use d for studying my classroom. I ch ose four methods from among those the authors suggest for analyzing the activities in my class These four methods we re: observation, video recording teacher re search journaling, interviews and surveys. (p.8) Fe rrance (2000) listed twenty methods for co nducting action research in her article entitled simply Action Research Ferrance (2000) method of videotaping and self assessment help ed me to better analyze when students fully participate d and when I need ed to redirect them I collect ed this video d ata over a period of twelve days. I also k ep t a research journal during this time to record my thoughts and feelings abou t how the instruction was progressing. Ferrance (2000) suggests at least three types of data be collected, so it can be compared in a t riangulation ( p. 11 ) As stated above, I used m ore than three types of data so I analyze d m y situation from several angles and compare d the observations, video segments research journal entries and the interviews and surveys I had with the class For th e class survey I c reated five open ended questions to ask all of my students in my Studio Art Class (Appendix B ). I then did a group discussion/interview with the class as a w hole that follow ed up on survey questions that require d more clarity. After rece iving signed parental approval (Appendix C), I video recorded the whole class
ENGAGING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN AN ART CLASSROOM 22 and analyze d the footage in order to see if I need ed to make any future changes in my instruction, my connection to the students or in the classroom environment itself
ENGAGING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN AN ART CLASSROOM 23 Chapte r 4: Analysis thought I had informally reflected on my teaching over the years but having a formal set of activities from act ion research literature helpe d me to more closely reflect on my ninth grade Studio Art class. To help facilitate this deeper reflection, I have used colleague observation, journaling, vi deo recording surveys and interviews to see what has really been goin g on in this classroom. Through these activities I have observed and documented what happened over a six week time period. The following is a record of what happened in the classroom during the study and a description of what I learned from the research. What H appened? Observation by a Colleague My six week process of recording the activities in my classroom was an attempt to study student engagement and find ways to improve it. Understanding student engagement in this classroom began with a one day observ ation by a colleague. I felt that as an outside observer, she could give me a fresh perspective on the activity and learning going on in my class. I instructed my colleague to look for and write down instances of student engagement and disengagement. On t he day she was to observe, she sat at my desk to one side of the classroom as class began, and I gave her a seating chart, so she would be able (which have all been changed for this report) when commenting on their amount of engagement. Most students paid her little attention upon while for some students to settle in and begin working on their assign that two boys, Ste ve and Carl
ENGAGING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN AN ART CLASSROOM 24 talking and not working on their projects. She noted that Steve kept changing seats and was not working when he was talking. He and Carl worked on and off during the entire class period. A ccording to her, most of the other students were talking, but engaged and working during the class, but their conversations were unrelated to art. She was impressed that those students could talk and still be engaged in their projects at the same time. My colleague noted that I was walking around helping individual students, offering praise and encouragement, and trying to get students to work and to refocus those who became starters and need directions and reported mostly student behaviors going on while she was there (possibly triggered by their level of engagement). Learning that there were some disruptive behavio rs and that they were obvious to a classroom visitor was encouraging to me. I had observed some of the same behaviors before, but I worried that I had over thought them. For the next step in my study, I decided to record these behaviors along with the inst ances of engagement and disengagement in a reflective journal and note how these incidents made me feel each day. Reflective Journal Keeping a written journal at the end of each class day was a great way to reflect on what we were doing during Studio Art behaviors, and how I felt about the class that day. As I read the journals, patterns of activity and behavior became obvious to me. After typing up and printing out these journals, I highlighted incidents of engagem ent, non engagement and bad behavior, as well as conversations unrelated to art and my actions as instructor. At the beginning of the journaling process, I was creating a new assignment and introducing it with a video on the Promethean Board (electronic w hiteboard) The class
ENGAGING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN AN ART CLASSROOM 25 was structured and the time for students to do the project was short due to the introduction, the discussion and the time it took for students to decide how to proceed on the assignment. As the journaling process went on however, the assignments required fewer introductions and more time for students to produce artwork. As an instructor, I also became involved in end of the year tasks as the semester closed, and therefore, the class periods were less structured, and more focused on stu In reviewing these journals, I discovered that it was the same three or four students during each class period that were becoming disengaged, behaving badly, talking and disrupting the learning for the other students. I also disc overed that when these students were more engaged the classroom experience was better for everyone, including me. These students were all boys and sat in the same area of the room, although they frequently moved around. Among them were Steve and Carl, the students identified as being off task the day my colleague came in to observe. Another student, Mike, could not stay seated for an entire class period. He would frequently get up and move around, sometimes doing dance moves to get where he was going, whet her that was to get a paint doing. This excessive movement was disruptive to me and to other students. During this movement, Carl became disengaged and talked loudly to anyone who would listen. He was also frequently argumentative when I made suggestions about his work. These loud disruptions were often just repetitive phrases aimed at no one in particular and had nothing to do with the class or with art in general. Carl was also rude and disrespectful on several occasions, none of which were followed by any significant consequences on my part except repeated requests to focus on his work. Steve was vocal as well, and he moved around the room a lot. All of this noise and activity frequently gave the classroom an atmosphere of chaos that left me feeling out of control of the class and exhausted by the
ENGAGING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN AN ART CLASSROOM 26 end of the day. It seemed to me to be mainly a problem with some of the boys in the room. However, it seemed to be emanating only from some of the students, because the other boys and most of the girls in the class could talk quietly as they engaged in creating their artwork. The girls even created projects of their own to do when they were finished with their assignments, so t hey were seldom disengaged. When the journaling began, I wrote that I felt satisfied and successful. I recorded these feelings after days of structured classroom activities that took up most of the class period. This comfortable feeling digressed to feeli ng pleased and good and then to just good, except for the behavior of one student, Mike. Mike decided that day to wear his pants pulled up above his waist in a silly manner. I asked him repeated to adjust them to a normal height, but he ignored my request. His classmates were distracted when he walked across the room and laughed with him, which made me uncomfortable. I felt I had no control. This was the beginning of a revelation for me that I needed better classroom management skills in addition to better engagement strategies. understanding what was wrong. As some students worked on completing old projects and other students worked on a new one, I noticed the noise level in the classro om was extremely high. My efforts to quiet the students failed, which left me feeling ineffective at normally quiet students. Most of them were engaged with their work while t hey talked, chanted song lyrics as a group at one point. That day I also wrote that I did not know what to do about their combined disruptive behaviors. Later that week classes were better for me because the students were more behaved and seemed engaged. I even wrote at the end of that week that it went smoothly.
ENGAGING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN AN ART CLASSROOM 27 We worked on two new assignments that week with plenty to learn and create and not much time to become diseng aged or to behave badly. On Friday, a third of the students were absent for sports games, so I allowed the rest of the class to listen to music while th ey worked on a one day project. Mike played music on his iPad, and the students all seemed to listen to the music, talk quietly about the music and remain engaged for most of the class period. I asked Mike three times not to get up and dance, but otherwise he worked well that day. Even Carl worked on his assignment that day. productive. I had begun to pull st actively involved in introducing new material or in checking student progress, but the students were working on completing cardboard relief sculptures and only needed occasional assistance. Carl worked a t a different table from usual and made a little progress on his art. Steve and Mike disrupted class a couple of times by intentionally slipping on stacks of cardboard in the middle of the room. Other than those disruptions, the day was good. Later that we ek, however, the atmosphere returned to chaos. After introduced the final ar t project of the semester. Some students did not understand the directions and slightly misbehaved by talking loudly and acting silly while I was helping others. I attempted to show Steve what to do and asked him to teach Carl and Mike and some others, but he was unsuccessful at getting their attention. Another boy, John, joined was to imply that sports were for boys, not art. Up until that day, he had behaved well and
ENGAGING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN AN ART CLASSROOM 28 had b een routinely engaged in his artwork. I do not know the reason for his change in the room and seemed to be trying to get attention from the girls. Only two boys worked co continued to go downhill, causing me to feel worse and more frustrated. I wrote that I felt e were only couple of weeks prior to these incidents and they were aware of his behavior problems in several classes. I spoke to the headmaster of the school, who had mother, and he reported that Carl was not doing well in any of his courses. This helplessness. I could not think of anything to do to help him, and I th ought his poor behavior in my class would probably continue throughout the end of school. I also concluded that for me to feel successful in my future classes, behavior problems and classroom management issues had to take precedence over my problems with e ngagement or at least rank as equally important. The last week of the journal began with a record of me conducting a group interview with the class. I wrote that as I asked questions, most students continued to talk quietly among themselves and work on th eir art, rather than responding to me. I had a few responses from some students, even from Mike, which was a surprise. However, most students seemed to feel that, since the results of the interview and study would not directly affect them, they were not in terested in participating. I did the best I could to get through to them and then let them work. The rest of the week, I noted that students worked on completing their projects since they were due that week, and I was busy passing out artwork from the annu al art show. I wrote that the last day was relatively quiet
ENGAGING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN AN ART CLASSROOM 29 since student work was due, and they had run out of time to do it. I was relieved on that day that the study and the school year were over, but determined to do better in the future. Video Recordi ng The video recording of my classroom overlapped the journal writing for the last three weeks of the class and was the most enlightening and valuable part of this study. In the recordings, I could see myself interacting with the students in a way that is not usually possible. By video recording I could be a silent observer of not only student actions and behaviors, but my own responses to those actions and behaviors as well. After a while, I had assumed the observational role that I described my colleague playing at the beginning of the chapter, and I felt almost like I was watching someone else interacting with my students instead of myself. I was able then to analyze my interactions from another perspective. While viewing the video recordings I made not es to compare to my journal entries. These notes focused on the students who were engaged and who were not, who were talking and about what they were talking, and whose behavior was disruptive. I also noted my own actions and reactions in the classroom as well. The process of watching the videos and taking notes took a lot longer than I expected. However, the resulting notes were easy to compare to the journals I wrote during the same time period. This comparison provided extra insight into my feelings abou t the class and what actually additional insight into what activities my students were working on and how well they were engaged in them. I discovered that I am not an ins caught in the videotapes. For example, Mike and Steve would go up to the video camera and make faces while I was helping other s tudents and my back was turned. They knew I
ENGAGING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN AN ART CLASSROOM 30 was going to see them eventually, but for some reason, they still amused themselves and each other in that way. Since it happened repeatedly, and I had to watch it happen behind my back, it made me feel disrespec ted as an instructor and as a person. I think that was the most hurtful revelation of all. Survey and G rou p Interview ideas about the Studio Art class in general. This survey w ould have been more effective if all the students had taken their participation as seriously as some of their classmates did. Several of the boys including Mike, John and Carl discussed answers to the questions, even after being instructed to complete the surveys on their own papers. Some of their answers were not serious and therefore were not helpful. However, overall, the survey provided a few more insights and a following group interview helped to clarify a few questions. Some students also said they fe lt there were no direct benefits for their participation in the follow up interview, so some chose not to respond. There were five questions answers are listed in Appendix D By looking at the answers in the survey, the to pics of freedom and choice came up several times as favorite aspects of the classroom and as things of which students seemed to want more. There were few negative comments although two students, Jake and Jane, identified other students as being a problem. One student, John, responded he did not want to go to class and Kevin said he did not like art class. Four students, including Carl and Mike, noted that class was fun. Carl also noted that he wanted more fun. When taken together, I am not sure that these results are helpful considering the young ages of the students who completed the forms. For example, Megan, who was extremely interested in art, requested more projects, which in my classroom means
ENGAGING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN AN ART CLASSROOM 31 learning, structure and work. Everyone else wanted more sk etches, which are less structured, and provide students with more freedom to make choices. Fun was also a I am not sure that their definition of fun is all the same and is the same as mine. Some of I can take away from this survey and the interview is that the students like the more relaxed atmosphere of a creative space and the c hance to use their own creativity their own way. I think this is the type of atmosphere I have tried to create, but it needs to be more positive for everyone involved, including me, and also have an additional structure of mutual respect. What I L earned a nd How it H appened My learning about engagement, behavior and classroom management happened in From those notes, I learned that two students, Steve and Carl, whom I wa s struggling to their disengagement and their resulting behavior was not just my imagination. My which I had become unsure after trying to respond to the misbehavior resulting from these mentioned, Carl was named again as being by one of his classmates in the student survey; ther efore, it did not seem that his behavior was just my problem, but a problem for other students in the class as well. This idea led to another revelation: the disengagement of Carl and others was distracting me from working with other students like I should have been able to do The video recordings showed that the girls at one table in the room and a few boys at another table were not getting sufficient instruction and attention because they were engaged and
ENGAGING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN AN ART CLASSROOM 32 not causing classroom disruptions. My attention w as too focused on managing the behavior problems of those few disengaged students, and their disruptions distracted me from the rest of the class. This distraction led to another revelation: the classroom needs a set of established rules and consequences f or breaking those rules. These rules and consequences need to be established at the beginning of the semester and agreed upon by these rules and consequences as well, s o they are not surprised when their son or daughter is subjected to them. This classroom management tool might help with some the behavior issues when students become disengaged. The video recordings also revealed that for a number of the disengaged stude nts, some activities were too long for their attention spans. The three boys who misbehaved between projects moved around the room too much. They were also very active in sports. I wondered if having shorter a ctivities in the future, broken up by discussio ns and other activities would help with their n eed to be active. I also used th e advice from authors Freiberg and Lamb (2009) who advocated student centered instruction and Ainley, Pratt and Hansen (2006) who recommended relating instruction to the real wo rld. In following their advice, I changed my curriculum to include an art lesson with a sports theme to try to interest the disengaged students as well as my other students, who I discovered were almost all involved in school sport s Using the art of Frank Stella and a cardboard relief sculpture lesson by Leal (2011), I introduced this lesson to my students. Even with a subject in which they were interested, or should have been, there was still a lot of horseplay and distractions from individual students. T hrough this exercise, I saw that it did not seem to be the subject of the lesson, or how it was presented, but was, perhaps, an issue of relationships between the students and me as their instructor.
ENGAGING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN AN ART CLASSROOM 33 Another revelation from the video was that I spent too m uch time at the end of the year passing out artwork. I realized that my assessments of student progress were not was held back and graded late. Many of the students wer e not a ware of their current grades that had dropped due to bad behavior and poor work until it was too late to correct the behavior. Passing out work from the art show also was distracting for me, and I could not give as much of my attention to student le arning and engagement. From the journal entries I wrote and the video s I watched, I realized that the excessive conversation in the classroom was d isruptive to engagement during project completion I tried play ing music one day with some success, but it is difficult to choose music that pleases everyone in the room, including me, on a regular daily basis. Students at our school are not permitted to listen to iPods, so everyone must ag ree on what is played. G et ting students to bring in their own tasteful mus ical mixes and play each on a rotating basis might be fun and a way for students to share musical interests at school. The video recordings also revealed that students liked to share humorous stories or chat about people while they are working on their pr ojects. If I could incorporate unusual stories abou t art and artists into the first part of some class periods, or have the students bring in a current event about art every few days and we could disc uss those or even debate them. This would add variety to the class routine, and allow students to share their own ideas and thoughts. Some of the student comments in class and on the survey helped me to see that students need to learn and understand how art affects their lives. Carl made the comment one day th said in the t he
ENGAGING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN AN ART CLASSROOM 34 class and about art in general. These two statements could be good points of discussion for the beginning of the year and for introducing the part that art plays in humanity now and in the past. It would also be interesting to discuss the relationship that art has to other curricula within the school so that students can see the interconnection that exists within the educational elements they are taught. The final revelation was a personal o ne from watching the video recordings of me in the classroom. As difficult as it was to admit to myself, I realized that by the end of the study, I was not as enthusiastic nor excited by what I was teaching and I appeared many times to be as distracted and disengaged as my students. I moved from one student to the ne xt in our last project (the longest) or often found other things to do around the room like putting items away or passing out artwork to keep myself interested. Some of the students were bored, and so was I! Even the engaged students became disengaged and got silly by the end of the research period. They began making faces at the camera and talking in silly voices for entertainment. This was the greatest revelation of all. If I was not engaged, how could I expect them to be? We were all just trying to make it to the end of the school year. This could have been a good time to reflect and discuss what we had learned during the semester. I hope this last revelation and this entire study will help me to re think my class structure and my instructional met hods. T hen I can better evidence my appreciation of art and my i deas about the relevance of creativity to our everyday lives.
ENGAGING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN AN ART CLASSROOM 35 Chapter 5 : Conclusion This chapter will describe the significance of this study to my practice, and will show wh y this study matters for my students and me as well as why such studies should matter to other educators. Through this chapter, I hope to show how I came to see my work in a new way and why others should use similar methods to shed new light on their own practice. Implication s for my Teaching Practice 2000, p.78), then those of us seeking to better our futures must move forward in a meaningful way from looking back and ga ining new understanding. In light of this thinking, I plan to make some changes in my practice at the beginning of the next school year based on what I came to understand about my teaching and my relationship to my students during the end of the last schoo l year. To improve engagement and learning in the classroom, I need to improve my plans for handling disruptions during the class period before they happen. T herefore, next fall, I plan to inquire of other instructors what their methods are for handling di sengagement and handling misbehavior with m y headmaster. I had the idea of creating a set of class rules and consequences at the beginning of the school year with the students so that they can hav e shared responsibility for o ur classroom environment In my classroom, I will post these rules and consequences gather parent email addresses at the beginning of the year from students in order to insure that I can communicate with parents on a regular basis if needed. The next area on which I will work is scheduling activities within the class period I will break up the class into segments where there will be differ ent things to learn and do.
ENGAGING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN AN ART CLASSROOM 36 I could possibly add some creative games and discussions to vary the routine occasionally to keep stud ents engaged. As an instructor, I also need to create a better system for assessing student progress. This system along with helpful comments, will let students know where they stand throughout the entire course. Knowing if, and when, they need improvement may help students to take their assignments more seriously and therefore, improve their attention on their artwork. The nex t area to address is putting discussions into the planning of some class periods. Although I cannot structure all of the conversation in the class, I plan to be more proactive in beginning class occasionally with a discussion of topics including current ev ents, art topics and fun fac ts, etc My students seem to also enjoy sharing their ideas on topics like technology, popular culture and music. I hope to use these topics as tools to stimulate creative discussions t hat will possibly carry on through the clas s period and the day, and will teac h students new artistic concepts If students can see how art relates to every area of their lives and how important it has been and continues to be to humanity, I believe they will appreciate it more now and in the futur e. Perhaps a new appreciation will lead them to take art class more seriously as well. I love art, and I want to share this appreciation with my students in a way to which they can relate. I hope that I ca n make a more positive and pleasant environment fo r my students and me next year. I hope to eliminate the factors that allow the disengagement and misbehavior of a few students to dominate the class. Perhaps then, we can all focus on learning and sharing more about art. Why did this S tudy Matter? I began this study with the idea that the learning in my classroom was not what it could be. The Studio Art class was not the only class in which I had dealt with disengaged
ENGAGING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN AN ART CLASSROOM 37 and disruptive students. In seven years of teaching art full time, I had run across studen ts before who could not or would not remain engaged in their artwork for an entire class period. Their misbehavior was disruptive to the rest of the class and to me as well. This was such a big problem for me that I was beginning to feel that I could not c ontinue to work with high school students, because, they were, in my mind, at the root of the problem. As with many things that one looks into deeply, sometimes you think the problem is one thing when, in reality, it is something quite different. I looked deeply into oth er issues. I found that, like tangled yarn I could not isolate the engagement problem without dealing with all of the strings surrounding it as well. I pull ed on one string and found that misbehavior was at the end of it, and I recognized my need to establish methods for managing it. I pulled on another string and found that my class period structure needed re working. An other strand yielded problems with rec ording student progress Having better discussion opportunities with students was another string that came out of the mix. So what? This p rocess has been almost a meditation on how I can improve as a teacher. Yes, it has been difficult and, at times, very upsetting. Yes, it has made me feel vulnerable to criticism from others. But having gone through this process, others cannot say anything students get by with that in your
ENGAGING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN AN ART CLASSROOM 38 Looking Again As people and as teachers, we all have times that we wish we could have done something differently. That is why this study and reflective practice in general is so valua ble. In a time when parents, administrators, the media, and politicians are frequently criticizing teachers and their curricula it is important to be diligent in self refection so we can improve our own practice. This constant self impr ovement eliminates the need for people outside education to criticize what we teach and how we teach it. Personally, I would rather examine my practice myself, and ma ke the necessary improvements than to faults, as a teacher or as a person. However, realizing the need for improvement is somewhat less intimidating when coming from you t han having it pointed out by someone else. Of course, this process requires an honest and open frame of mind and plenty of expect to get sudden revelations. Like drawing a still life, you have to examine the way the light hits the fruit to see all the colors that make up an apple. At first, the untrained person would say, yes, the apple is red. But on a second and third look the artistically trained eye begins to see white and yellow on the light side, then yellow orange, orange, red orange, then red, then gray, then maroon, then almost purple or black. This creative training all depends upon having some experience, some time, some concentration, and
ENGAGING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN AN ART CLASSROOM 39 References Ainley, J. P. (2006). Connecting engagement and focus in pedagogic task design. British Educational Research Journal, 32 (1), 23 38. Alpert, B. (1991). Students' resistance in the classroom. Anthropology and Education Quarterly, 22 (4), 350 366. Bailey, E., Johnson, S., & Thompson, H. (2003). Art foundations program: A design study proposal. (design study proposal) 1 9. School of Education: Stanford University. Brocato, K. (2009). Studio based learning: Proposing, critiquing, iterating our way to person centeredness for better classroom management. Theory and Practice, 48 (2), 138 146. Ferrance, E. (2000). Action Research. April from www.lab.brown.edu: http://www.lab.brown.edu/pubs/themes_ed/act_research.pdf Fontana, A., & Frey, J. H. (2005). The interview: From neutral stance to political involvement. In N. K. Denzin, & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), The Sage H andbook of Qualitative Research (pp. 695 722). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Freiberg, H. J., & Lamb, S. M. (2009). Dimensions of person centered classroom management. Theory Into Practice, 48 (2), 99 105. Kierkegaard, S. (1978 2000). Kierkegaard's Writings (Vol 1). (H. Hong, Ed.) Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Retrieved June 21, 2012, from http://www.utas.edu.au/docs/humsoc/kierkegaard/resources/Kierkquotes.html Kostelecky, K. L., & Hoskinson, M. J. (2005). A "novel" approach to motivating students. Education, 125 (3), 438 442. Krause, T. (n.d.). Tom Krause Quotes April from thinkexist.com: http://thinkexist.com/quotes/tom_krause/
ENGAGING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN AN ART CLASSROOM 40 Leal, H. (2011). Sports cardboard relief sculpture. Retrieved April 23, 2012, from The Incredible Ar t Department: http://www.princetonol.com/groups/iad/lessons/middle/Heather relief.htm external incentives. Theory Into Practice, 48 (2), 147 155. Newmann, F. M. (1992). St udent Engagement and Achievement in American Secondary Schools. Teachers College Press, 1234 Amsterdam Avenu e, New York, NY 10027 Retrieved from http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/contentdelivery/servlet/ERICServlet?acc no=ED371047 Palmer, K. (2012 12 March). MindShift (T. Barsegh ian, Editor) Retrieved 2012 27 March from KQED.org: http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2012/03/at flex academy high school mimics the workplace/#more 19858 Parish, T. S., & Mahoney, S. (2006). Classrooms: How to turn them from b attlegrounds to connecting places. Education, 126 (3), 437 440. Rust, F., & Clark, C. (n.d.). How to do action research in your classroom. Retrieved 2012 10 April from teachersnetwork.org: http://teachersnetwork.org/tnli/Action_Research_Booklet.pdf Schussl er, D. L. (2009). Beyond content: How teachers manage classrooms to facilitate intellectual engagement for disengaged students. Theory Into Practice, 48 (2), 114 121. Shore, R. &. (1997). Connecting the curriculum. Thrust for Educational Leadership, 26 (6), 8. Sutton, R., Mudrey Camino, R., & Knight, C. (2009). Teachers' emotion regulation and classroom management. Theory Into Practice, 48 (2), 130 137.
ENGAGING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN AN ART CLASSROOM 41 Vaughan, J. (1 9 90 ). Retrieved June 7, 2012, from http://www.slideshare.net/jenfen/reflective practice presen tation Vieth, K. (2008 February). Looking to the future of art education. School Arts 1. From Davisart.com: http://www.davisart.com/Portal/SchoolArts/articles/2_08FutureofArtEd.pdf West, C. (2011 March). Action research as a professional development act ivity. Arts Education Policy Review 89 94. doi:10.1080/10632913.2011.546697 Wolters, C. (1999). The relation between high school students' motivational regulation and their use of learning strategies, effor, and classroom performance. Learning and Individ ual Differences, 11 (3), 281.
ENGAGING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN AN ART CLASSROOM 42 S EPTEMBER OCTOBER NOVEMBER DECEMBER JANUARY FEBRUARY MARCH A PRIL M AY J UNE APPENDIX A Write about your w onderings, talk about them with colleagues, decide on a questi on to follow, an action to take. Write about the context of your question (why is it important to you?) ; start to collect data using one familiar and one new research tool. Write about the data you have collected so far. Reshape your question if you ne ed to. Start to read (and take notes) about your issue. Think about what you have learned so far and what further action(s) you need to take. Write a series of short profiles of what you have been reading about your topic. (These will be useful to you la ter on when you are analyzing your data.) Try another tool. Keep on collecting data. Keep collecting data. Write about what you have learned so far. Ask your self whether it resonates with what you have been reading about the topic. Begin your analysis Try different ways of representing your data succinctly. Think about how your data relates to your reading. You may want to try a new action or set of actions at this point. Monitor the impact! Keep analyzing your data. Begin writing about what you hav e learned. Be sure that you have data to support your claims. Develop a draft of your study. Finish your work. Be sure to include what you have learned and how your practice has changed. Find a way to share your study with others and plan to do anot her study! Action Research Timeline from Rust and Clark
ENGAGING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN AN ART CLASSROOM 43 All along the way, consult www.teachersnetwork.org/tnli We propose a timeline for an action research study that matches the calendar for a school year in the Northern Hemisphere. But do not feel that February in New York is too late to begi n! Once you get going, the process takes on a life of its own, and some questions can be answered in a matter of days or weeks, leading to action and new questions. The typical timeline described here includes all of the steps of the action research proce ss. They are distributed evenly across the school year. Your task is to fit these steps into the reality and constraints of your school year. We recommend that you shift out of data collection and into analysis and writing by April 1. Our experience is tha t once a teacher gets started on data collection, it can be so much fun that it crowds out the time that you need for making sense of the data and trying it out with colleagues. So, be tough Enough htt p://teachersnetwork.org/tnli/Action_Research_Booklet.pdf
ENGAGING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN AN ART CLASSROOM 44 APPENDIX B Class Survey Questions This does not count for your grade. There are no right or wrong answers. 1. When you think about art class what are your thoughts ? (List descriptive words if needed) 2. What is your favorite part of class and what is the most difficult part? 3. What would you like to change about art class? 4. What would you keep the same? 5. What would your ideal art class be like?
ENGAGING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN AN ART CLASSROOM 45 APPENDIX C Carolyn J. Hill Art Educator Wayne Countr y Day School 480 Country Day Road Goldsboro, NC Parental Consent Dear Parent/Guardian, I am a graduate student in the Masters of Art Education Online Program at the University of Florida, conducting research on classroom participation of high school art students under the supervision of Dr. Leslie Gates. The purpose of this study is to observe and reflect on instructional methods to better engage all art students in art education and art making in their usual classroom setting. The results of the study ma y help me, as well as other teachers, to better understand the knowledge gained and allow us to design instructional practices accordingly. These results 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. All of the participating students will be instructed on a particular art lesson. The lesson will be selected from the WCDS Studio Art Curriculum. Students will then be asked to respond verbally and v isually to the instruction; but they will not be asked to do anything other than what they would normally do in art class. This procedure will be presented by your child's teacher during the Studio Art class period. The 50 minute procedure will take place several times during the month of May. With your permission, your child will 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. Although some students will be interviewed to assess their feelings about the class as a whole, these students will not have to answer anything they do
ENGAGING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN AN ART CLASSROOM 46 not wish to answer. These interviews will be con with tim e and work permitting. Their identities will be kept confidential to the extent provided by law. We will repla ce their names with code numbers Participation or non participation in this study will not affect the children's grades or placement in any progr ams. Non participants w ill be allowed to work on other assignments out of camera range. You and your child have the right to withdraw consent for your child's participation at any time without consequence. There are no known risks or immediate benefits to the participants. No compensation is offered for participation. Group results of this study will be available in December upon request. If you have any questions about this research protocol, please contact me at 919 736 1045. 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. Carolyn Hill I have read the procedure described above. I voluntarily give my consent for my child school art students. I have received a copy of this description. ____________________________ ___________ Parent / Guardian Date ____________________________ ___________ 2 nd Pa rent / Witness Date
ENGAGING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN AN ART CLASSROOM 47 APPENDIX D Student Responses to Survey Questions Regarding Their Studio Art Class Student Question 1: When you think about art class what are your thoughts? Question 2 : What is your favorite part of class and what i s the most difficult part? Question 3 : What would you like to change about art class? Question 4 : What would you keep the same? Question 5 : What would your ideal art class be like? Anita Creativity; a place to get away; takes my mind off of my worries; takes thought Favorite: painting Difficult: Deciding what to draw there is so much to choose from Nothing Everything To learn more about what I about art Steve Paint; Mike (classmate) Freedom Nothing Carl Fun activities Making stuff; Favo rite part: Drawing Making sculptures Drawing and Painting Fun Beth Fun, creative, colorful, interesting, Favorite part: environment and art; most difficult is coming up with something creative More painting and free time between projec ts before a new one Keep the same environment and having sketches to do To paint more and more freestyle Mike Fun, expressiveness, laughter, friends, art, drawing, paint, mess, mutual feelings Favorite: Being artistic Difficult: Listening to instructions because art is personal expression New materials and no cameras (videotaping) I will never change and also I want finger paints Just me alone in a dark room with glow paint splattering walls John go The most difficult part is painting No pa inting; more group projects; team involvement Freedom; whatever you want art to be Jake Neutral towards the subject Favorite: diversity in activities; Difficult: none Remove the people who Everything except the people who Already i deal
ENGAGING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN AN ART CLASSROOM 48 Student Question 1: When you think about art class what are your thoughts? Question 2 : What is your favorite part of class and what is the most difficult part? Question 3 : What would you like to change about art class? Question 4 : What woul d you keep the same? Question 5 : What would your ideal art class be like? Megan I love art class; lot and improved as well Favorite : When I finish an assignment and get to see it all done Difficult: Sometimes the instructions are difficult but if I have help, More projects The challenges the project gives I like this art class and change pretty much anything Jane I love art class because we can chill and still do cool stuff My favorite part is doing sketches. The most di fficult is when we have to do hard projects How Carl is annoying. The chill environment A lot of sketches and a lot of painting food Barbara I love art class being the last class of the always excited to come. I like being able to draw stuff on m y own. The most difficult part is some of the projects we have to do I think people should be able to choose what types of projects they do I would keep the sketches the same, like after finishing a project Being able to do any kind of art I wanted to do. Jennifer I like it when we do fun fun. I like it when we paint in class; most difficult is cutting cardboard I wish we could paint the whole time. I like the artistic environment It would be bright and fun and colorful with lots of painting s Kevin Fashion, create, feeling, awesome, freedom difficult; I like it. I like fashion (clothes). Making us create Artistic ? Melody Absent during the survey
ENGAGING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN AN ART CLASSROOM 49 UFIRB 02 Social & Behavioral Research Protoco l Submission Form This form must be typed. Send this form and the supporting documents to IRB02, PO Box 112250, Gainesville, FL 32611. Should you have questions about completing this form, call 352 392 0433. Title of Protocol: Engagement of students in an art education classroom Principal Investigator: Carolyn J. Hill UFID #: 0056 8439 Degree / Title: BFA, BA, Licensed Art Educator (K 12) in NC Master of Art Education Program Mailing Address: ( If on campus include PO Box address ): 214 Walnut Creek Drive, Goldsboro, NC 27534 Email : firstname.lastname@example.org Department: Art Education U.F. School of Art + Art History Telephone #: 919 751 0322 Co Investigator(s): N/A UFID#: Email: Supervisor (If PI is student) : Dr. Leslie Gates UFID# : 51281 915 APPENDI X E
ENGAGING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN AN ART CLASSROOM 50 Degree / Title: Adjunct Assistant Professor of Art Education Mailing Address: ( If on campus include PO Box address ): 707 Lesher Avenue Waynesboro, PA 17268 Email : email@example.com Department: Art Education, School of Art + Art History Telephone # : (717) 375 8036 Date of Proposed Research: May, 2012, Independent Study 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: To investigate teaching practices in order to better engage students during high school art instruction. Describe the Research Methodology in Non Technical Language: ( Explain what will be done with or to the research participant. ) The participants will be in their regular classroom setting and will engage in routine activities in art education. During these activities, their routine responses and activities as a class will be video r ecorded. Photos may be made of individual student w ork. Interviews with individual
ENGAGING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN AN ART CLASSROOM 51 students will take place in the classroom at other times during the school day. The digital footage and dialogue notes will on be viewed by the researcher in order to reflect on and improve her teaching practice. Describe Potential Benefits: The digital foo tage and dialogue notes will be used reflectively to improve teaching practice. Students will understand they are helping to better instruction for themselves and others. Describe Potential Risks: ( If risk of physical, psychological or economic harm may be involved, describe the steps taken to protect participant.) No risks will be involved. Describe How Participant(s) Will Be Recruited : Signed consent forms from parents will determine participation of the students in my classroom. Maximum Number o f Participants (to be approached with consent) 15 students Age Range of Participants: 14 18 years old Amount of Compensation/ course credit: N/A
ENGAGING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN AN ART CLASSROOM 52 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.) The headmaster of the school will receive notification and, with consent forms for each student signed by parents, students will be notified prior to May tha t recordings will be made in the classroom. (SIGNATURE SECTION) Principal Investigator(s) Signature: Date: 4/12/12 Co Investigator(s) Signature(s): Date: student): Date: 4/10/12 Department Chair Signature: Dat e:
ENGAGING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN AN ART CLASSROOM 53 A P P E N D I X F N a r r a t i v e A r t i c l e Examining Classroom Engagement: Using Research and Reflection to Aim for the Aesthetic In learning to draw, I had many teachers, but the most constant one was my mother, an artist and teacher herself. the way the light hits that tree. S ? Watch h ow the color changes from the light side to the darker side really see what was around me. And then, with enough time and practice, I learned to translate that vision in to my art work My art has changed over the years from little girl sketches of princesses, to drawings of boys as a teen, to making ph otos for the college yearbook After that, I turned to creating graphic design and finally to teaching high school art Yes as educator Wanda T. May (1993) put it, And doing something well often requires making improvements along the way. S ometimes stepping ba ck from your work while doing it is often necessary to really see it and to move it forward to a higher level. So as a w orking artist, I wanted to move my teaching forward and decided to examine some problems I thought were preventing m e from creating a truly beautiful, or aesthetic, artistic experience for my students and me. The impetus to examine my teaching stemmed from problems I had with student dis engagement and misbehavior over the seven years that I have been in the classroom I began my process of examination, by looking at recent professional literature on the subject of student engagement because I felt that was mainly where the problem existed. For example, I read an article by Freiberg & Lamb ( 2009) that advocate d using student centered instruction to improve
ENGAGING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN AN ART CLASSROOM 54 engagement Another set of authors, Ainley, Pratt and Hansen (2006) recommended relating instruction to the real world. Although these two articles were not targeted specifically at art education, I felt they had merit since engagement is not just an issue for art educators. In u sing these two ideas, I adjusted my curriculum by including an art lesson wi th a sports theme In looking closer at my class population, I discovered that most of my students were interested in or involved in a school sport. Using the art of Frank Stella and a lesso n designed by Heather Leal (2011), I introduced a relief sculpture lesson to my students based around a sports theme Even with a subject in which they were supposedly i nterested, there was still a lot of horseplay and distractions coming from individual students. I saw from this exercise that it did not seem to be the curricular lesson or how it was presented, but was perhaps, an issue of relationships between the students and me as their instructor. Our experience together was hardly one that you could call ar tistic. For example, it did not provide an y rinsic form of satisfaction, heightened together was quite the opposite. So, I began to look closer at our classroom relationships. Looking back to the literature f or inspiration, I found that Mader (2009) and Schussler (2009) touted the importance of good student teacher relationships Their emphasis on having a positive relationship between teacher and students was another suggestion made for improving student enga gement. I f all my students were engaged, I believed, their experience in the classroom would naturally be hei ghtened. I hoped I could build my relationship s with my disruptive s tudents by looking closer at some of the behaviors in my most challenging class room Therefore, after studying the literature, I decided to use act ion research and reflection as a lens to better see what was going on in this class It appeared that several students could not, or would not stay engaged during the entire class period. They were easily distracted and consequently
ENGAGING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN AN ART CLASSROOM 55 caused disruptions for me, as well as for the rest of the class. These students seemed to be at firs t merely disengaging, but deeper inspection provide d new insights for me as a teacher and as an artist. I chose to use several tools from action research literature to help me reflect on and analyze my teaching These tools included having a colleague observe my class, keeping a daily journal, video recording the class and surveyin g and interviewing students. I compared the data I collected with each of these tools and came up with some enlightening results. The Process I began to examine my teaching by asking a colleague to observe my class I thought that someone else might provide another view of my classro om situation and my teaching My colleague kept notes during the entire class period that indicated that she saw some of the same problems with the same students that I had been experienc ing She also recorded that, as an instructor I was attentive and patient, qualities I felt I was beginning to lose in general. Knowing I was still exhibiting those qualities was reassuring. Her observations helped me begin to see the larger picture. Now it was time to look more closely at my own pract ice through other reflective tools. Keeping a daily journal became my next tool for reflec ting on the daily class activities and how I felt at the end of each class. Luckily, this class was the last one of the day, s o I could pause almost immediately afte rward to record my thoughts I made journal entries for six weeks. The se entries gave me insights into what I thought I saw happening in the room and my resulting feelings about thos e happenings. From keeping the journal, I learned that I was more content and felt more successful about student learning when the class period was structured and paced well. I expressed much more frustration when the students had more time to do a project, because that
ENGAGING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN AN ART CLASSROOM 56 also gave them more t ime to misbehave in many cases. I disc overed that the students seemed to need structure in order to stay focused and to learn and I needed structure to feel more confident in my abilities as an instructor As a whole, the students who got distracted easily seemed less disruptive and more enga ged when I had care fully scheduled activities This framework of activities helped make for a positive environment for everyone in the room. So from my daily journals, I discovered that perhaps my teaching needed more foundation u nder it, more of an armat ure to keep students engaged and moving steadily through the class period. This support system seemed to work better than a looser base of operations for building our artistic experience together. The next and most helpful tool for reflecting on my teaching was video recording the class daily over a two and a half week period T he recordings allow ed me to step back and view my class as an observer instead of merely being a participant. With this tool I was able to see how the students were acting a nd how I was reacting This viewpoint gave me a more realistic picture than the journal entries The journal was merely one point of view and that was mine From the vid eo, I could see what all the students had been doing, even when I was focused on only a few of them Like focusing on the details in a still life, I was able to view every facial expressi on, every word and every gesture on their part s and on mine Because of this it took a while for me to get past some initial self consciousness and get to the heart of my teaching analysis when viewing the video footage However, after wading t hrough twelve hours of footage, patterns appeared that added to the emerging picture of my practice that I had gained from my journals. These patterns began to show se veral problems in the classroom that were contributing to my iss ues with engagement. Tied up around the issue of engagement, t hese problems included poor st r ucture for the class period itself; a lack of rules and consequences for
ENGAGING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN AN ART CLASSROOM 57 breaking those rules; untimely assessment of student progress, which left students and their parents unclear of how students were do ing in the class ; and lack of quality discussion opportunities with student s My final tools for reflection were a survey and group interview des ign ed to solicit my about the art class. I wanted to know their thoughts, because in the art of students are not p. 210). They are partners in the educational art making process and therefore should have a say. From my queries into their thoughts, came results in which the students said they wanted more fun and freedom built i nto their artistic experiences ( And frankly, who among us does n o t want more fun and freedom in their daily routine ?) Another key insight from the survey was that the less focused, disruptive students were annoying some of their more interested and serious classmates I know how difficult i t can someti mes be to get in the the creator is constantly distracted. Sometimes, extra noise or movement can suddenly jolt artist s out of their creative flow. Then it seems harder to get that flow back later. Students and teachers eve rywhere are all too familiar with this scenario. So, i t seemed there were two separate trains of thought on the general classroom e nvironment: free dom and structure to help them focus I had thought that I had built some of both into the class and into the ir last assignment I had allowed the students freedom in a book project by letting them create their pages their way but added the framework of having them complete a book design. However, since the school year was waning w e had all lost our creative flo w and our focus toward our art literally and figuratively, and the end result was not looking
ENGAGING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN AN ART CLASSROOM 58 good. In my opinion, there was too much freedom and not enough concentration on creating their books Some of the students agreed, but others took their assignme nts less seriously, and they were gaining a following. As m ore students were becoming disengaged, idle and disruptive, it looked like we were really missing an opportunity to make something special out of this semester together. Thr ough my reflections I began to see that my relationship with the students as a whole which I thought was good, was not as grounded as it needed to be for some students Most s tudents in this ninth grade class need ed more guidance in how and when t o do their work My chall en ge from here forward is to see how we can have more structure in the class and still allow for creative freedom. W ith a creatively flexible framework my future students will be able to maintain engagement more easi ly. Like any social organization, which is what the classro om is in miniature according to Gude (2009 ) there have to be guidelines to prevent total chaos. Within these guidelines, personal freedoms can flourish for everyone more equally. The art of workin g together requires each of us to take on the responsibility for maintaining the framework so that we can freely explore who we are and how best to make our marks in the class and beyond. Creative Changes An experienced potter who sees a flaw forming in the clay on his wheel can mend it as it turns and continue creating his masterpiece or make the flaw into a unique part of the work A novice would have to scrap the whole piece and begin again. The difference is the finesse that k nowledge of his craft. In trying to master my craft, teaching, I have decided to make some changes as the wheel turns into the next school year I based these changes on what I came to understand about my teaching and my relationship to my students du ring my
ENGAGING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN AN ART CLASSROOM 59 study To improve engagement and learning in the classroom, I need to improve my plans for handling disr uptions before they happen during the class period. Therefore, I plan to inquire of other instructors on their methods for handling disengagement and misbehavior I also plan to options for handling misbehavior with our headmaster. I want to create a set of class rules and consequences at the beginning of the school year along with my students This way they can have shared responsi bility for o ur classroom environment. In our classroom, I will post these rules and consequences so there is no misunderstanding, and I will email a list to the nts in order to insure that I can communicate with parents on a regular basis if needed. With this stronger base, I believe our artistic experience in the classroom will have a good foundation on which to build. The next area on which I will work is schedu ling activities within the class period I will break up the class into segments where there will be different things to learn and do. Using big ideas and essential questions that affect everyone, I can inject my curriculum with substance that might interest more of my students since they are so socially oriented in high school. For example, I could introduce a unit on community as suggested by Gude in the January, 2007 issue of Art Education I might begin with a question like, nd I could also possibly add some other units within this theme with discussions games, writing and projects to vary the routine and keep students engaged As an in structor, I also need to create a better system f or assessi ng student progress. This system along with helpful comments will let students know where they stand throughout the entire course Knowing if and when, the y need improvement may help students to take their assignments more seriously and there f ore, improve their attention to their artwork.
ENGAGING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN AN ART CLASSROOM 60 I love creating art, and I want to share this appreciation with my students in a way to which they can relate I hope that I can make a more positive and pleasant environment for my students and for me next year. I hope to alleviate the factors that allow the disengagement and misbehavior of a few students to dominate the class Perhaps then, we can all focus on learning and sharing more about art. This process has been almost a meditation on how I ca n improve as a teacher. Yes, it has been difficult and, at times, very upsetting. As Gude (2009) component of the creative process as the maker takes responsibility for formulating and working through a problem. People who dee ply engage the world through creative thinking and power and vulnerability in confro nting a self formulated problem (p.1 ). And y es, it has made me feel vulnerab le to criticism from others. But having gone through this process, others cannot f: work And I am beginning to do better work than I have done Art in Motion As people and as teachers, we all have times that we wish we could have done something differently. That is why this study and reflective practice in general is so valuable. In a time when parents, administrat ors, the media, and even politicians are criticizing teachers and their curricula, it is important to be diligent in self refection so we can improve our own practice. This constant self improvement eliminates the need for those outside education to criticize what we teach and how we teach it. Personally, I would rather examine my practice myself, and make t he
ENGAGING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN AN ART CLASSROOM 61 necessary improvements than to have someone else tell me what I need to do. Becoming aware as an artist, as a teacher or as a person. However, realizing the need for improvement is somewhat less intimidating when coming fro m you than having it pointed out by someone else. Of course, this process requires an honest and open frame of mind and plenty ect to get sudden revelations. Also, l ike the arts, there are always multiple solutions to one problem and none of the solutions is necessarily right for everyone looking at solving similar problems. Each solution has to be chosen by each teacher/artist for their particular situation and that situation may be different for him or her the ne xt time it occurs (May, p.216). But if we are going to become masters of our craft and, as teachers, collaborate with our students in creating an artistic experience for all involved, we have to try to learn to mend the flaws as we go and keep the end vision in sight. Creative knowledge is actively con s tructed (Zimmerman, 2010) in character. So if we apply knowledge to our art making, we can still aim for the aesthetic experience that teaching can be, even if t quite completely there yet E very art improves with practice and teaching is called a practice for a reason.
ENGAGING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN AN ART CLASSROOM 62 References Ainley, J. P. (2006). Connecting engagement and focus in pedagogic task design. British Educational Research Journal, 32 (1), 23 38. Alpert, B. (1991). Students' resistance in the classroom. Anthropology and Education Quarterly, 22 (4), 350 366. Freiberg, H. J., & Lamb, S. M. (2009). Dimensions of person centered classroom management. Theory Into Practice, 48 (2), 99 105. Gude, O. (2009). Art Education for Democratic Life. Lowenfeld Lecture, Reston, Va. Retrieved July 12, 2012, from http://www.arteducators.org/research/2009_LowenfeldLecture_OliviaGude.pdf Leal, H. (2011). Sports cardboard relief sculpture. R etrieved April 23, 2012, from The Incredible Art Department: http://www.princetonol.com/groups/iad/lessons/middle/Heather relief.htm incentives. Theory Into Prac tice, 48 (2), 147 155. May, W. T. (1993, Autumn). Teaching as a work of art in the medium of curriculum. Theory into Practice, 32 (4), pp. 210 217. Retrieved July 12, 2012, from http://tinyurl.com/86jabpz Schussler, D. L. (2009). Beyond content: How teachers manage classrooms to facilitate intellectual engagement for disengaged students. Theory Into Practice, 48 (2), 114 121. Zimmerman, E. (2010). Creativity and Art Education: A Personal Journey in Four Acts. Lowenfeld Lecture. Retrieved July 12, 2012, from ht tp://www.arteducators.org/research/LowenfeldLecture_2010_EnidZimmerman.pdf
ENGAGING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN AN ART CLASSROOM 63 Biographical Statement For seven years, Carolyn J. Hill has taught art education at Wayne Country Day School, an independent K 12 college preparatory school in eastern North Carolina. In addition to serving as art department chairperson, she teaches high school studio art, advanced art, graphic design and digital photography Through working with young people Carolyn enjoys sharing her love of computers and interests in digital photography and image design as well as in other creative pursuits. Caro lyn received an A.B. in English from Meredith College and a B.F.A. in Communication Arts from East Carolina University She is also a member of the National Art Education Association (NAEA). After completion of her Masters of Art Education from the Univers ity of Florida, Carolyn plans to continue teaching, add advanced placement art classes to her course offerings and encourage the importance of lifelong learning among her students and in the community.