Citation
Utilizing Digital Photography and Other Technological Sources to Collect and Share Senior Citizen Knowledge and Experience through Material Culture

Material Information

Title:
Utilizing Digital Photography and Other Technological Sources to Collect and Share Senior Citizen Knowledge and Experience through Material Culture
Creator:
Kretchmar, Katie
Place of Publication:
Gainesville, FL
Publisher:
College of Fine Arts; University of Florida
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
Project in lieu of thesis

Thesis/Dissertation Information

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

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Art education ( jstor )
Art teachers ( jstor )
Arts ( jstor )
Elders ( jstor )
Material culture ( jstor )
Materialism ( jstor )
Memory ( jstor )
Memory retrieval ( jstor )
Older adults ( jstor )
Oral history ( jstor )

Notes

Abstract:
For this Capstone Project, I utilized an Oral History research method, digital photography and other technological means to capture stories told by senior citizens that reflected their knowledge and values related to certain items of material culture. I asked five senior citizens to identify objects of particular meaning to them and share the stories and memories associated with those objects. Using the information shared by the senior citizens, I created two resources that art teachers, educators, assisted living staff and anyone interested in gerontology can utilize to help society gain a greater appreciation for senior citizens. The first resource is a video located on YouTube, entitled, “They won’t let me out, but I can always travel with my memories.” The second resource is a blog entitled, “Sharing memories because we are humans and not robots.” The blog will give readers the opportunity to tell their own stories and/or just read the stories posted by others to help stir memories of their own. The blog and additional information and resources related to the research are available at http://katiekretchmar.com/.
General Note:
Art Education terminal project

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
Copyright Katie Kretchmar. Permission granted to the University of Florida to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Resource Identifier:
1022120769 ( OCLC )

Downloads

This item is only available as the following downloads:


Full Text

PAGE 1

UTILI ZING DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY AND OTHER TECHNOLOGICAL SOURCES TO COLLECT AND SHARE SENIOR CITIZEN KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE THROUGH MATERIAL CULTURE Title Page By KATIE KRETCHMAR A CAPSTONE PROJECT PRESENTED TO THE COLLEGE OF FINE ARTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA May 2014

PAGE 2

Senior Citizen Views Of Material Culture and Life 2 2014 Katie Kretchmar

PAGE 3

Senior Citizen Views Of Material Culture and Life 3 Acknowledgements I would like to thank Craig Roland, Elizabeth Delacruz, and Michelle Til l ander for helping support and guide me throughout my graduate school journey I would like to thank my parents for always supporting me and helping me when ever I have needed it I would also like to thank my fiancÂŽe for supporting me and for the sacrifices he made throughout my graduate school adventures. Finally, I would like to thank Beth Prince, my principal at Lake Whitney Elementary for being understanding and hiring me even though she knew I was finishing graduate school.

PAGE 4

Senior Citizen Views Of Material Culture and Life 4 ABS T RACT OF CAPSTONE PRO JECT PRESENTED TO THE COLLEGE OF FINE ARTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS UTILIZING DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY AND OTHER TECHNOLOGICAL SOURCES TO SHARE SENIOR CITIZEN KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERI ENCE THROUGH MATERIAL CULTURE By Katie Kretchmar May 2014 Chair: Craig Roland Committee Member: Elizabeth Delacruz Major: Art Education For this Capstone Project, I utilized an Oral History research method, digital photography and other technological means to capture stories told by senior citizens that reflected their knowledge and values related to certain items of material culture. I a sked five senior citizens to identify objects of particular meaning to them and share the stories and memories associated with those objects. Using the information shared by the senior citizens, I created two resources that art teachers, educators, assist ed living staff and anyone interested in gerontology can utilize to help society gain a greater appreciation for senior citizens. The first resource is a video located on YouTube, entitled, "They won't let me out, but I can always travel with my memories." The second resource is a blog entitled, "Sharing memories because we are humans and not robots."

PAGE 5

Senior Citizen Views Of Material Culture and Life 5 The blog will give readers the opportunity to tell their own stories and/or just read the stories posted by others to help stir memories of their own. The blog and additional information and resources related to the research are available at http://katiekretchmar.com/

PAGE 6

Senior Citizen Views Of Material Culture and Life 6 !"#$%#$& Acknowledgements ................................ ................................ ................................ .......................... 3 Introduction ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 8 Statement of the Problem ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 8 Purpose of the Study ................................ ................................ ................................ .................... 9 Research Questions ................................ ................................ ................................ .................... 10 Rationale and Significance of the Study ................................ ................................ .................... 10 Assumptions ................................ ................................ ................................ .............................. 12 Limitations ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ 12 Key Terms ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ 12 Literature Review ................................ ................................ ................................ .......................... 13 Material Culture and Materialism ................................ ................................ .............................. 15 Sharing Stories as a Tool for Acquiring Knowledge and influencing Attitudes ....................... 15 What Does All This Research Mean to My Project? ................................ ................................ 16 Methodology ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 17 Subjects ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 17 Research Site ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................. 17 Data Collection Procedures and Instrumentation ................................ ................................ ...... 18 Data Analysis ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................. 19

PAGE 7

Senior Citizen Views Of Material Culture and Life 7 Findings ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 20 What Items do Senior Citizens Value and Why? ................................ ................................ ...... 20 Less ons Learned Through a Lifetime of Experiences ................................ ............................... 23 Summary of Findings ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 24 Discussion and Conclusions ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 25 Discussion and Interpretation of Findings ................................ ................................ ................. 25 Significance, Implications, and Recommendations ................................ ................................ ... 28 Conclusion ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ 29 References ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 31 Appendix A ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 35 List of Figures with Figure Captions ................................ ................................ ............................. 39 Author Biography ................................ ................................ ................................ .......................... 40

PAGE 8

Senior Citizen Views Of Material Culture and Life 8 Introduction Do you know at least one senior citizen? Have you ever considered the enormous insight that individual possesses based on a lifetime of experiences? Current population reports from th e Department of Health and Human Services Administration on Aging from the U.S. Census Bureau state that the United States should anticipate a significant growth in the senior citizen population between 2010 and 2050 (Vincent & Velkoff, 2010) By 2030 one of every five U.S. residents will be 65 or older. Therefore, if you do not happen to know at least one senior citizen now, the likelihood of you knowing one or more in the near future is almost certain. Se nior citizen s possess tremendous resources that include available time, knowledge and experience, perspective, and willingness and desire to share their life's lessons in an effort to make life better for the rest of us as well as giving us a firsthand account of histo ry. The big question is whether we will utilize and gratefully accept these resources or if we will shun and relegate the senior citizen to a life of growing old in isolation with minimal respect. T he sad reality is that without a change in public attitu de s many senior citizens in the United States will continue to face a lack of respect as public support for governmental intervention in the treatment of senior citizens in the United States ranks at or near the bottom when compared to twenty other nations (Kikuzawa 2008). Statement of the Problem I reviewed literature related to material culture (Blandy and Bolin, 2012) young people 's perceptions of senior citizens in the United States (Sellars, 1998) and art 's role as a medium for sharing history (Delac ruz and Bales, 2010) which collectively lead me to the opinion that the oral histories of senior citizens stim ulated by material culture need to be captured and shared

PAGE 9

Senior Citizen Views Of Material Culture and Life 9 Blandy and Bolin (2012) state that material culture objects are some of the most freq uently ignored and overlooked items in the art classrooms Sellars (1998) states that many senior citizens and youth view each other with skepticism and fear that is based on brief visits as well as media portrayal Finally, Delacruz and Bales (2010) identify one of the biggest threats associated with sharing stories and the fine arts in general as they state that current educational pressures related to standardization, competition, and outcomes have created an atmosphere in which the pursuit of prede termined objectives receives so much attention that personal, social, fun and creative projects are desperately needed In response, my capstone project will include a verbal and pictorial recording of how five senior citizens felt about personal objects and the lessons they have learned in life. Directors of Senior Citizen Living Centers, artists and art educators, art therapists, gerontologists and historians shoul d all be interested in this project as it will add to the body of knowledge that relates to art as a platform for helping senior citizens share their knowledge and experience. Purpose of the Study The purpose of this capstone project is to record and share the thoughts and memories of senior citizens in response to items of personal significanc e During the project, I will utilize technology for three major purposes. First, I will capture my interviews with senior citizen as well as images related to the interviews with digital still images and video Second, I will utilize the captured images and video editing software to create a video documentary of the stories and thoughts collected from seniors in order to share it over the Web. Third, I will create a blog so that any interested parties can share thoughts about the video as well as memories of

PAGE 10

Senior Citizen Views Of Material Culture and Life 10 their own. (See Figure 1.) Figure 1 Website Research Questions My research was guided by two basic questions that address the topic of utilizing personal mementos as vehicles for sharing the knowledge, thoughts and experien ces possessed by senior citizens. My first research question was "What objects do senior citizens value today and why are they value d ? My second research question was "What advice and knowledge about life would senior citizens most want to share with oth ers ?" Rationale and Significance of the Study There are t wo basic reasons that this study is significant. First, Bouchard, et al, (2008) s tate that 17 to 19 year olds tend to avoid interacti on with senior citizens. I think it is safe to

PAGE 11

Senior Citizen Views Of Material Culture and Life 11 assume that if younger people are avoiding interactions with senior citizens that the y are not likely through the normal activities of their daily lives to he ar the stories, personal histories an d values that se nior citizens have to share. Second, the importance of peer pressure on youth attitudes regarding objects was identified by Fox (1996) as he stated that youth often view the significance of objects in terms of how they believ e the objects will lead to the mselves being liked by their peers I think it is safe to assume that without interventional programs such as school curriculum and intergenerational activities that will provide youth with guidance other than peer pressure that many youth will blindly ch ase peer acceptance rather than open their minds to the critical analysis that will lead to more objective reasoning. According to Vincent and Velkoff (2010) adults 65 years of age or older will comprise one fifth of the entire population by 2030. Therefo re, they clearly represent a significant resource of knowledge that appears to be currently ignored or avoided in terms of interaction (Bouchard et al., 2008). Also, VanderVen (2004 ) identifies changes in society such as single parent families, two parent families where both parents work outside the home, and children placed in alternative care giver situations that have led to less interaction time between parents and children and suggests that i ntergenerational activities between senior citizens and children could be an excellent solution for replacing the lost family time. Unfortunately many youth in the United States have historically ignored the senior citizen population because of the way the youth have viewed the elderly Children and adolescen ts during the 1980's often viewed senior citizens with great negativity (Aday, Sims & Evans 1991). This research indicated that stereotypical views of senior citizen s included worthlessness and ugliness (Aday et al. 1991). Aday goes on to state that these attitudes are shaped by values established by the family, media representation of the elderly and social

PAGE 12

Senior Citizen Views Of Material Culture and Life 12 interactions with peers Peterson (1992) identified a major reason that the attitudes reported by Aday existed as she analyzed the way senior citizen s were portrayed in magazine adverti sements as uninformed, na•ve, or helpless Assumptions There are t wo major assumptions that I am making related to this research. First, I am assuming that senior citizens are willing to share their stories openly and honestly. Second, I am assuming that for most people that the opportunity to share memories and experiences is a healthy, positive event that will increase self worth and a sense of being valued. Limitations The two biggest limitations to this research we re the lack of a larger pool of subjects that would allow for generalization possibilities and the existence of certain variables that are realities when conducting research with senior citizens. First, because I was conducting this research within an academic semester the time restraints prevented me from including a larger population. Second, even though my par ticipants were selected by the Senior Citizen Center S taff based on my explanation of the project, issues such as memor y loss verbal communication skills, a ccess to personal material possessions and memorabilia and physical stamina still were present with the seniors I interviewed. Key Terms There are t hree terms related to this project that are frequently utilized by historians and educators that need to be defined at this juncture.

PAGE 13

Senior Citizen Views Of Material Culture and Life 13 Oral History Oral history is defined as "the collection of memories and personal commentaries of historical significance through recorded interviews." "Memory is the core of oral history, from which meaning c an be extracted and p r e s e r v e d 1 Material C ulture Material culture is defined as "a descriptor of any and all human constructed or human mediated objects, forms, or expressions, manifested consciously or unconsciously through culturally acquired behaviors" ( Bolin & Blandy 2003, p. 2 4 9 ) 2 Materialism Materialism o n the ot her hand is defined by consumer researchers as "the importance a consumer attaches to worldly possessions" ( Belk as cited in Chaplin & John 2007, p. 481). Materialism addresses t he importance a person places on possessions and their acquisition as a nece ssary or desirable form of conduct to reach desired end states, including happiness" (Chaplin & John, 2007, p. 481). Materialism is certainly a major aspect of material culture. Materialism, however, focuses on the reason and intensity an individual exh ibits related to any piece of material c u l t u r e 3 Literature Review R esearch related to art and aging seems to clearly demonstrate the positive impact of art on the aging population Before his death in 2009, Doctor Gene D. Cohen (2006) and director of the Center on Aging, Health, and Humanities at George Washington University did extensive research on aging and discovered among other findings that a community based art program for adults between the ages of 65 and 100 can improv e the health of senior citizens. The study, conducted at three facilities, included a control group and an intervention group at each facility Ritchie, D. A. (2003). An oral history of our time. Doing oral history: A practical guide (p. 20 ). New York, NY: Oxford University Press. 2 Blandy, D., & Bolin, P. E. (2011). Matter matters: Art education and material culture studies. Reston VA: National Art Education Association. #" Chaplin, L. N. (2007). Growing up in a material world: Age differences in materialism in children and adolescents. Journal of Consumer Research, 34 (4), 480 493. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/518546

PAGE 14

Senior Citizen Views Of Material Culture and Life 14 and started in 2001. The Washington D.C. intervention group reported better health one year after the study began while the control group reported poorer health. The New York City group data was still being analyzed at the time of this article but trend data indicat e s that the art group has higher performance in the area of memory with fewer heart problems, lower ch olesterol, and a lesser degree of osteoporosis. Finally, the San Francisco data indicate that both groups showed better health but the art group indicated a larger degree of improvement, better morale, and a willingness to participate in more activities. R esearch also seems to indicate that many citizens of the United States have not respect ed senior citizens for decades Aday, Sims, and Evans (1991) suggested youths' attitudes toward the elderly during the past twenty years have been negative and stereo typical Whiteland (2013) summarized the potential benefits of intergenerational art when she stated, "understanding and compassion for others can be fostered through intergenerational art making experiences" (p. 26). Findings and statements such as these present many opportunities for continued exploration and research. This literature review is separated into t wo major categories because I believe that the value of the proposed study relies on two factors. First, since the stimulus for the shared oral h istory is based in personal objects that have meaning and significance, research should indicate that the study of personal objects is an important part of sharing a story. Second, since a major purpose of the video and blog created as part of this project is to share the knowledge and attitudes of senior citizens, research should indicate that sharing stories has helped others acquire knowledge and may even have influenced attitudes the attitudes of the people hearing the stories

PAGE 15

Senior Citizen Views Of Material Culture and Life 15 Material Culture and Materialism Research has led me to believe that the study of materi al culture has enormous value. Bolin and Blandy state, "There is hardly a field or profession where the study of material evidence has not raised new questions or brought new insights to old ones" (Bolin & Blandy 2011 p. X). Bolin and Blandy (2003) support their argument for the study of material culture in a 2003 article that includes seven reasons why studying material culture is important including the facts that material culture is t he study of everyday life and does not focus solely on visual items but includes the other senses as well. Grassby (2005) supports these ideas and expresses the importance of written and oral records in helping future generations understand the importance of items Finally, Jones and Martin (2006) have studied the value of personal objects to the field of psychology and have determined that personal objects have frequently been ignored because their importance is limited to a small audience. For example, a picture may have meaning only to one individual or the individual's family. However, in their analysis Jones and Martin (2006) further discovered that the value a person associates with an object has a very high correlation to the memories they evoke and even suggest that a possible reason why wealth and happiness are not always synonymous is that many purchased objects do not have a high correlation with memories. Sharing Stories as a Tool for Acquiring Knowledge and influencing Attitudes Research rel ated to art and senior citizens has shown that art has been utilized as a medium for sharing and remembering stories as well as influencing attitudes. Alexenberg and Benjamin (200 4) described a wonderful collaborative project that involved Hispanic, Africa n American, and Jewish communities in the Miami area as high school students helped senior citizens create 6 to 12 inch ceramic pieces that exhibited the individual material culture

PAGE 16

Senior Citizen Views Of Material Culture and Life 16 characteristics described by the senior citizens. An example of the materi al culture characteristics shared in this project is a Cuban woman utilizing high heeled shoes and a fancy pocketbook as symbols of the only valuable objects she was able to take with her during her escape from Cuba. This project gave the students an enorm ous understanding of history as it related to individual communities and the value individuals placed on certain objects. Also Whiteland (2009) conducted research that involved senior citizens and children in two major activities of making friends and making art. The research indicated that the art utilized in the project helped children and adults learn values in both a formal and informal manner and created an increased willin gness to take risks (Whiteland, 2009). Value learning is important to my project because I am assuming that the senior citizens have values that are worth sharing. Finally Lawton and La Porte (2013) used culturally and historically appropriate artwork as a cata lyst for discussion between art students and senior citizens in New York. Teenagers interviewed older adults about the older adult's personal experiences based on historical timelines and art representing historical events. La Porte commented that one of the students shared that hearing it come from an adult's mouth provided great details and it was like history coming to life What Does All This Research Mean to My Project? The review of this literature identified several concepts that are important to my research. First, it was important to me to realize that research supports the major value of material culture as a springboard for understanding any society and that stories that would significantly aid in cultural u nderstanding frequently never get recorded. Second, it was important to me to determine that although a great deal of research has been done related to senior citizens, art, and material culture that very little of it relates to utilizing technology as a

PAGE 17

Senior Citizen Views Of Material Culture and Life 17 method for senior citize ns to share their memories. Finally, the research confirmed for me the necessity for providing mechanisms for utilizing the amazing resources possessed by senior citizens so that their skills, knowledge, and wisdom is not forgotten. I am pleased to have g enerated a project that will add to this body of knowledge. Methodology This study utilized oral history methods for conducting interviews with a selected group of seniors and case study techniques for the data collection and analysis of the results. The purpose of the study was to capture and share senior citizen knowledge and attitudes related to material culture and life. Subjects Five senior citizens, four females and one male, shared their stories during interviews I conducted over eight days at a local senior citizen nu rsing and rehabilitation center in cent ral Florida. All of the participants grew up in the United States, worked for a living, and have re tired in Florida. The five have v a r y i n g 4 levels of physical ability, but all of them demonstra ted complete control of their mental faculties as exhibited through their verbal and non verbal communication. Research Site The research site for the interviews was the senior citizen center in central Florida at which all of participants in the study r eside. The interviews were conducted primarily in each senior citizen's private room as this provided each senior citizen access to his or her personal items, and it provided each senior citizen with comfortable surroundings to help ensure that they were o pen and honest during the interview process. $ "%&"'()*("+'",('+*-+"+.*"/)*&+/+0"'1"+.*"(*2*3(-."2456*-+2"%".37*"4+/8/9*)",2*4)'"&3:*2;

PAGE 18

Senior Citizen Views Of Material Culture and Life 18 Data Collection Procedures and Instrumentation My use of oral history research methods in this project is based on the scholarly work of Ritchie (2003), who defines oral history research as an interview process in which both the interviewee and the interviewer are important players. However, he goes on to state that the interviewe r is responsible for scheduling, planning for, conducting, processing, and interpreting the interview My und erstanding of case studies is based on Stake (1978) who identifies the best use of case studies as a method for, "adding to existing experience and human understanding" (p.7) and Yin ( 1 981) who states that case study research does not require one particula r type of evidence nor a specific data collection method For the purpose of this study the data I gathered included perceptions that senior citizens possess related to material culture and their life experiences. Gerring (2004) states that case studie s are excellent for answering questions related to how and why and the utilization of descriptive inference. The data I collected in this project includes both non verbal and verbal perceptions captured through video recordings, photographs, observational field notes and interview notes. Finally, I organized and categorized this data for ease of retrieval and analysis by saving the video in separate folders according to the day it was recorded; keeping sticky notes and reflections by day related to comment s and thoughts not captured on video and utilizing iMovie to manipulate the video by person, topic and responses according to the interview questions. Both Stake (1995) and Yin (2003) state the importance of organizing data in a coherent manner that allow s for easy access, retrieval and study of relationships On the first day, I met with the five volunteer senior citizens that were selected based on the screening of potential candidates by the Center's Activities Director I spent about 45 minutes introducing myself to each participant, giving them a little of my background and

PAGE 19

Senior Citizen Views Of Material Culture and Life 19 introducing the project. During this initial meeting I asked each participant to choose one ob ject that was important to him or her to share on my return visit. The second day I met with each senior citizen individually for approximately one hour so that I got to know each of them better learned about their background and interests and developed a trust factor to ensure a greater openness of dialogue and comfort The third and fourth days I interviewed each senior citizen individually about their chosen object as well as any changes in feelings that they had experienced related to material culture during their lifetime. The fifth, sixth, and seventh days I interviewed each senior citizen regarding other parts of their lives, the lessons they had learned and the advice that they felt was important to share with others. The last day I met with the participants individually to show them the YouTube video I created and get thei r input. I wanted them to be proud of and happy with the final result. Data Analysis I utilized several strategies in my analysis of the data I obtained during the interviews First, I made sure that my analysis did not include many of the common abuses identified in the literature. Neither my sample size nor my selection of participants based on convenience was conducive to making statements related to cause and effect. Second, I had a family member review my data that is responsible for data analysis and testing in public education. Yin (2003) provides several recommendations and cautions related to the data analysis process that include the assurance that the data is examined in relationship to the proposed resea rch topic from the researcher's perspective as well as other possible interpretations of the data. Third, I review ed the data several times to ensure that potential relationships were not overlooked and that my ini tial conclusions were supported by the ma jority of the evidence collected. Watt (2007 )

PAGE 20

Senior Citizen Views Of Material Culture and Life 20 emphasizes the need to review all the data collected several times in search of themes and important information not noticed in initial review. Finally, I over report ed the information gathered by providing a copy of all of my video on my web page so that the readers can analy ze the data and draw their own conclusions, as well as utilizing the data as a springboard fo r additional research. Gerring (2004) emphasizes the need to over report information so that t he reader has all the data necessary to generate self conclusions and potentially utilize the data for other studies. Findings The major goal of this project was to share the stories and experiences of senior citizens related to material culture and lif e. In order to accomplish this goal I analyzed two specific questions. First, I analyzed the experience s shared by the senior citizens through recorded interviews. Second, I analyzed the attitudes verbalized and displayed by the senior citizens related to technology during the capturing of their stories as well as the final product created to share their stories. What I tems do Senior Citizens Value and Why ? In o rder to find out what items senior citizens valued I utilized the interview approach with five senior citizens from the central Florida nursing and rehabilitation center I asked them to identify an item that had the greatest value to them and explain to m e why they valued it so much. Because a major component of this process was the time spent developing a relationship with the senior citizens so that they felt comfortable talking with me, I also talked with them about several other objects and confirmed that the attitudes expressed during the relationship building time were consistent with their formal answers related to the items chosen.

PAGE 21

Senior Citizen Views Of Material Culture and Life 21 The item chosen by each senior citizen was obviously unique but all of them were related to family and had personal va lue because of the memories the items evoked. Chad selected the picture of his three grandchildren and took great pride in telling me that one was in nursing school, one was a speech therapist and one worked in Delaware (Figure 2 ). Figure 2 Senior Citizen Chad's Granddaughters Carmen selected a picture of her grandmother and mother boasting mainly about the fact that her grandmother had taught her how to play the piano and made a delicious pot roast. Hannah selected a picture of her children and talked the most about her son who lives in Ohio, sharing with me that she got to talk with him at least once a week. Claire selected her two

PAGE 22

Senior Citizen Views Of Material Culture and Life 22 children, letting me know that one of her children was dead but the other only lived miles away an d visited frequently. Finally, Maura selected her college ring because she and her son graduated within one week of each other. Maura stated that her son still has his ring bu t that her ring had been stolen (Figure 3). Figure 3 Maura and her son who graduated together The other time I spent with the senior citizens supported the idea of objects being important because of the memories they evoked. Hanna has a collection of stuffed bears and pointed to one saying that it w as her favorite because it reminded her of romantic memories.

PAGE 23

Senior Citizen Views Of Material Culture and Life 23 Maura talked about a precious set of dishes that started out as nothing special but then became the family china that was used each Christmas. Finally, I examined the nonverbal cues videotaped during the sessions to determine if those cues were consistent with what they were verbalizing. The stories were all wonderful, but it was the nonverbal cues that made this experience extra valuable to me. The smiles, the twinkling eyes, the frowns, the st rained look as they searched to remember specific detail, and the hand gestures all indicated total attachment to the words being spoken. I do think it is important to note that many of the memories evoked by the objects included senses other than sight Carmen talked about the smells and taste associated with her grandmother's pot roast. I could just see the joy in Claire's face as she felt the texture and warmth of the bear she hugged as she shared the story about the bear bringing back romantic memo ries. She never verbalized it but I think she was imagining the warmth she felt from being hugged by the person she loved. Maura shared the sounds she remembered as she shared stories about visiting Disney World during Christmas and going to a dance when she worked in Williamsburg, Virginia. Hanna also focused on sound as she sang very briefly the Doris Day song Que Sera Sera Finally, you will see from a story shared later that Chad loved football. I have no doubt as he shared that story that he remem bered the cheers from the crowd, the smell of the locker room, the pain and joy associated with giving and receiving hits, and possibly even the taste of a little blood. Lessons Learned Through a Lifetime of Experiences In order to capture the lessons lea rned I utilized the same approach of direct questioning as well as observation of non verbal cues. I asked participants about things they had learned, things they wish they could have changed in their own lives, how their view of material culture

PAGE 24

Senior Citizen Views Of Material Culture and Life 24 had chang ed and what advice that they would share with younger people. Chad shared that he wished he had taken greater advantage of the educational opportunities available to him because he skipped college classes frequently to play Bridge. Chad also told a wonderf ul story about his football playing days. Finally, Chad shared that many objects aren't as important to him as when he was younger. Claire focused on making sure that people did not buy something until they could afford to pay for it. Claire also shared th e importance of not loving or idolizing another individual just because of the objects the person possesses. People should be loved because of who they are and not because of what they own. Hanna had similar associated with advice as she encouraged people to save money for the future. When asked if her views on material culture had changed she just smiled and said, "No because I'm just an old fuddy duddy." Maura emphasized that it is important not to be mean to other people. Carmen emphasized the importanc e of Christ and the increased crime that occurred in Orlando when various amusement parks were built. Claire supported Carmen's concept in general by stating that parents cannot protect their children as in the past because of increased violence. Claire a lso celebrated the fact that in the older days that she did not have to keep her house locked. Hanna did not offer details but she stated that the biggest difference in life is people. Hanna encouraged people to take their time in getting married and not having children right away. Finally, all of them mentioned the importance of always knowing that you can do things better, enjoying life and celebrating each day with a smile. Summary of Findings The preponderance of the evidence related to question one indicates that the object most often selected was a picture of family or some other item that helped them remember family.

PAGE 25

Senior Citizen Views Of Material Culture and Life 25 The evidence also indicated that the main reason the object was important to the owner was because of the memories the objects evoked The preponderance of evidence related to lessons learned most frequently related t o two major themes. First, the seniors involved in this study shared advice related to things that they wish they had done differently or better. Second, they shared advi ce related to the importance of people and the need to treat all people with dignity and respect Discussion and Conclusions The purpose of this study was to determine what items senior citizens value, why they value those items and other experiences the y want to share in order to improve life for future generations, The scholarly literature indicates that oral history is a vital component in helping people understand the true meanings and motivations associated with material cul ture. Research further sup ports the concept that interactions between senior citizens and younger people can help younger people have a greater understanding and appreciation for senior citizens. In this study I utilized technology to inter view senior citizens utilizing oral histor y and case s t udy r esearch methods In the remainder of this section I will discuss and interpret the findings related to my data, summarize the implications and recommendations for continued study, and make a final statement about how this study will influ ence my professional practices. Discussion and Interpretation of Findings I asked senior citizens to verbalize for me the objects that they value and their reasons for valuing them and discovered two basic messages. First, senior citizens value personal objects that evoke memories. Second, they value objects that remind them of their families. I videotaped them, photographed them, and took notes as they graciously shared their life

PAGE 26

Senior Citizen Views Of Material Culture and Life 26 experiences with me. I explored with them the past as well as the most imp ortant things that they learned in life that they would like to share with others. When I asked them about things they cherished when they were younger I heard stories to which I could easily relate. Claire and Chad mentioned wanting bicycles with Chad sh aring that it was a special Christmas wish. He was happy that he got the bike but now can't even remember the color. Claire on the other hand specifically mentioned that hers was a pink bike. Carmen stated that she loved hair things as a teenager and share d in a matter of fact manner that everything she wanted she always got either at Christmas or for her birthday. The one exception, she declared, was when as a little girl she asked for a real pony. Maura simply said that it was a Jennie Doll. She stated th at it wasn't anything she could describe at length because it was just plain but cute. Hannah was the one during this line of questioning that traveled a different path as she talked about movie stars instead of a specific object. She mentioned Robert Tayl or, Peter Sellers and with my prompting Doris Day. Two things of interest with Hannah were that she showed confusion as she stated that she liked Peter Sellers, not Peter Falk, as Columbo, but then demonstrated clear understanding as she said she used to l ove to hear Doris Day sing Que Sera Sera ." These events summarize different components of life that I ha ve observed. Chad's story conveys the message that sometimes things that seem to be very important during one part of life become faded memories in lat er years. Claire's story carries the message that sometimes objects become so important that you remember details because it was part of your identity. Carmen conveys the message that there are people that get flooded with objects but that everyone faces d isappointment sometime in their life. Maura shares the message that things don't always have to be the biggest or th e best in order to be special. Finally, Hannah conveys the message that famous people often become heroes.

PAGE 27

Senior Citizen Views Of Material Culture and Life 27 When I asked the seniors to sha re the most important messages they have learned, I thought about how many senior citizens in the past had learned similar lessons and had never been given the opportunity to share their wisdom with others. Chad shared two amazing stories that include the main themes echoed by the others. First, Chad t old about the time he was nineteen and playing football for West Point. West Point played Army and Army was ranked number one in the country. Chad said they didn't beat Army but they got a bowl bid to the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas. The end of the story was that administration wouldn't let them go to the bowl because they had one African American player on the team and he wasn't allowed to travel in Texas with them. Chad said he was glad that things had changed and that the African American was "the nicest guy." The other story was about his not taking advantage of the opportunities he was provided to study and learn because he thought skipping class and play Bridge was more important until he almost failed out of school. The basic lessons learned through these examples are to treat everyone with dignity and respect, and make sure that you work hard and take advantage of the opportunities that come your way. The second major question addressed in this study rel ated to life lessons that senior citizens wanted to share in order to improve the quality of life for future generations. First, the senior citizens shared lessons that had been learned because of mistakes made in their own life. Second, the senior citizen s emphasized again the importance of people as compared to objects. I noticed as I was going through this process that the senior citizens appreciated the time I was taking to talk with them and just showing them that I cared about them as individuals. It is sad to me to think that many senior citizens spend the end of their life in senior citizen centers for the most part neglected and made to feel as if they no longer have anything of value to share. The stories I was able to record related to their exper iences has proven to me that they still have a

PAGE 28

Senior Citizen Views Of Material Culture and Life 28 great deal to share and that we should not and dare not let their knowledge and experience disappear never to be accessed again. Significance, Implications, and Recommendations This study is significant becau se technology is a wonderful tool for capturing and sharing the stories and experiences of all people, but particularly senior citizens. Senior citizens are one of our fastest growing populations and are among the least likely to utilize technology for thi s purpose on their own. The video helps the story come to life and gives the audience verbal and nonverbal data related to the motivations, personalities and thoughts possessed by the senior citizen regarding any object or topic being discussed. Furthermor e, the use of digital imagery allows these stories to be shared great distances with lar ge audiences via the World Wide W eb. The implications related to this study should interest counselors, therapists, art educators, artists, and others who work with seniors. Art teachers and artists can utilize the approach described in this project as a springboard for numerous activities including capturing the essence of a senior's story in a two or three d imensional work of art. Senior Citizen C enter staff members can utilize the approach described herein to encourage intergenerational projects involving senior citizen interaction with younger generations thus improving the quality of life of the senior citizens and providing younger generations the opportunity to change attitudes toward senior citizens while allowing history to come to life. Historians will have a resource that can help them see and hear individual motives that will help them gain additional insight related to interpreting the purpose of objects. All educators can utilize an oral history approac h to develop in their students sensitivity, dignity, respect, and appreciation of beliefs different than their own.

PAGE 29

Senior Citizen Views Of Material Culture and Life 29 This study has led me to support many recommendations for encouraging intergenerational interaction. I applaud the states that are making community service part of the graduation requirements for secondary students and encourage more states and other institutions to embrace the concept. I encourage libraries and other institutions to develop a video library directly related to sharing oral history through technology. I encourage communities to set aside public space for intergenerational art projects. This study has also led me to identify areas for further research. Since the data collected indicated that senior citizens did not enthusiastically embrace technology as a medium for sharing their stories I wonder what technological advancements or future inventions in another medium will allow similar results that will be more pleasing to senio r citizens. Next, I think it is very important that more stories get collected before they get permanently lost s o research that collected stories with a slightly younger population might produce similar results while reducing the challenges and limitation s mentioned in this paper. Also, oral history needs to be collected from senior citizens with significantly different backgrounds and experiences Finally, the timeframe of this study did not allow me to address the potential benefit to people who are watc hing the YouTube and/or accessing the project blog. Conclusion My experiences in life and working at Disney World have always led me to understand the importance of treating all people with dignity and respect. This concept is a part of my teaching and pe rsonal philosophy. The experiences I gaine d by conducting this project have reinforced this belief. Furthermore, I will ensure that each year I have at least one intergenerational art lesson for my students so that they can benefit from the stories and ex periences those senior citizens possess. Finally, one of the best methods for teaching people to

PAGE 30

Senior Citizen Views Of Material Culture and Life 30 respect each other is to make sure that both parties understand that the other person is human with stories and memories to share. Because of this belief I h ave created a blog on my web site that gives people the chance to share their stories with others. There is also a section of web links and available resources associated with this topic. The web address is: http:// katiekretchmar.com/

PAGE 31

Senior Citizen Views Of Material Culture and Life 31 References Aday, R. H., Sims, C. R., & Evans, E. (1991). Youth's attitudes toward the elderly: The impact of intergenerational partners. Journal of Applied Gerontology. 10 (3). 372 384. Retrieved from http://jag.sagepub.com/content/10/3/372 Alexenberg, M., & Benjamin, M. (2004). Creating public art through intergenerational collaboration. Art Education 57 (5). 13 18 Retrieved from http://jag.sagepub.com/content/10/3/372 Blandy, D., & Bolin, P. E. (2012). Looking at, engaging more: Approaches for investigating material culture. Art Education 65 (4), 40 46. Retrieved from http://www.questia.com/read/1P3 2704412241/looking at engaging more approaches for investigating Bolin, P. E., & Blandy, D. (2003). Beyond visual culture: Seven statements of support for material culture studies in art education. Studies in Art Education, 44 (3), 246 263. Retriev ed from http://www.jstor.org/stable/1321012 Bolin, P. E., & Blandy, D. (2011). Matter matters: Art education and material culture studies. Reston VA: National Art Education Association. Bouchard, G., Bouchard, H., Bouchard, R., Bouchard, E., Anas, A. P. (2008). Perceptions of intergenerational communication by young, middle aged, and older Canadians. Canadian Journal of Behavioral Science, 40 (1) Retrived from http://www.questia.com/read/1P3 1485110761/perceptions of intergenerational communication by Chaplin L. N. (2007). Growing up in a material world: Age differences in materialism in children and adolescents. Journal of Consumer Research, 34 (4), 480 493. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/518546

PAGE 32

Senior Citizen Views Of Material Culture and Life 32 Cohen, G. D. (2006). Research on creativity and aging: The positive impact of the arts on health and illness. The American Society on Aging. 30 (1) 7 15. Delacruz, E., & Bales, S. (2010). Creating history, telling stories, and making special: Portfolios, scrapbooks, and sketchbooks. Art Education 63 (1). 33 39. Retrieved from http://web.b.ebscohost.com.lp.hscl.ufl.edu/ehost/pdf 452c 8883 734187219174%40sessionmgr1138hid=127 Fox, R. F. (1996). Harvesting minds: How TV commercials control kids. Westport, CT: Praeger. Gerring, J. (2004). What is a case s tudy and what is it good for ? The American Political Science Review, 98 (2) 3 41 354. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/4145316 Grassby, R. (2005). Material culture and material history. The Journal of Interdisciplinary History 35 (4), 591 603. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/3656360 Jones, G. V., & Martin, M. (2006). Primacy of memory linkage in choice among valued objects. Memory & Cognition, 34 (8). Retrieved from http://www.questia.com/ read/1P3 1259845991/primacy of memory linkage in choice among valued objects Kikuzawa, S. (2008). Similar pressures, different contexts: Public attitudes toward government intervention for health care in 21 nations. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 4 9 (4). 385 399. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org.lp.hscl.ufl.edu/stable/pdfplus/27638767.pdf?acceptTC=true&jpdCon firm=true Lawton, P. H., & La Porte, A. M. (2013). Beyond traditional art education: Transformative lifelong learning in community based sett ings with older adults. Studies in Art Education, 54 (4), 310 320.

PAGE 33

Senior Citizen Views Of Material Culture and Life 33 Leiss, W. (1974). The imperialism of human needs. The North American Review, 249 (4). 27 34. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/24117622 NYC ARTS. (2012). NYC ARTS cultural guide for seniors: Manhattan [Webpage]. Retrieved from http://www.nyc arts.org/collections/162/nyc arts cultural guide for seniors manhattant Peterson, R. T. (1992). The depiction of senior citizens in magazine advertisements: A content analysis. Journal of Business Ethics 11(9). 701 706. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/25072324 Ritchie, D. A. (2003). An oral history of our time. Doing oral history: A practical guide (pp. 19 46). New York, NY: Oxford University Press. Sellars, L. (1998). Helping one another across the generations. Phi Delta Kappan, 79 (9). Retrieved from http://www.questia.com/read/1G1 207 73268helping one another across the generations Stake, R. E. (1978). The case study method in social inquiry. Educational Researcher, 7 (2). 5 8 Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/1174340 VanderVen, K. (2004). Intergenerational theory in society: B uilding on the past, questions for the future. Journal of Intergenerational Relationships, 2 (3), 75 94. doi: 10.1300/J194v02n03_07 Vincent, G. K., & Velkoff, V. A. (2010). The next four decades: The older population in the United States: 2010 to 2050. (U.S. Census Bureau Report P25 1138). Retrieved from United States Census Bureau website: http://www.census.gov/prod/2010pubs/p25 1138.pdf

PAGE 34

Senior Citizen Views Of Material Culture and Life 34 Watt, D. (2007). On becoming a qualitative researcher: The value of reflexivity. The Qualitative Report, 12(1), 82 1 01. Retrieved from http://www.nova.edu/ssss/QR/QR12 1/watt.pdf Whiteland, S. (2009). Examination of learning relationships between intergenerational students in an after school art program (Master's thesis). University of North Texas Database, Denton, TX. Whiteland, S. (2013, November). Picture pals: An intergenerational service learning art project. Art Education 66 (6), 20 26. Yin, R. K. (1981). The case study crisis: Some answers. Administrative Science Quarterly, 26 (1). 58 65. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stab le/2392599 Yin, R. K. (2003). Case study research: Design and methods. Thousand Oaks: Sage

PAGE 35

Senior Citizen Views Of Material Culture and Life 35 Appendix A UFIRB 02 Protocol Submission Form UFIRB 02 Social & Behavioral Research Protocol 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: Utilizing Digital Photography and Other Media to Help Senior Citizens Share Their Vast Knowledge and Experi ence Related to Material Culture Principal Investigator: Kate Meredith Kretchmar UFID # Degree / Title: Master of Art in Art Education Email : Katie.kretchmar@gmail.com Department: Art Mailing Address: ( If on campus include PO Box address ): 4001 Promenade Sq. Dr. Apt. 3823 Orlando Fl, 32837 Telephone #: Co Investigator(s): N/A UFID#: N/A Email: N/A Supervisor (If PI is student) : Craig Roland UFID# : Degree / Mailing Address: (If Email :

PAGE 36

Senior Citizen Views Of Material Culture and Life 36 Title: Department: on campus include PO Box address): Telephone #: Date of Proposed Research: March 2014 Source of Funding (A copy of the grant proposal must be submitted with this protocol if funding is involved): N/A Scientific Purpose of the Study: To utilize art as a medium for helping senior citizens share how their view of material culture has changed throughout their lives. Senior Citizens will share items of material culture that were/are important to them as teenagers, 30 years old, 50 years old, and today. Senior citizens will share how what they viewed as important has changed over the years, and/or how their reasons for valuing an object have changed. Describe t he Research Methodology in Non Technical Language: ( Explain what will be done with or to the research participant. ) I will interview four or five senior citizens related to their views of material culture. I will utilize video recording, voice recording s oftware, and photography to capture different aspects of the interviews and conversations. The information will be edited into a video and shared on a website. None of the participants' faces will be shown without consent and no names will be utilized. Describe Potential Benefits:

PAGE 37

Senior Citizen Views Of Material Culture and Life 37 There are no direct benefits to you for participating in this study. Describe Potential Ris k s: ( If risk of physical, psychological or economic harm may be involved, describe the steps taken to protect participant.) The potential risk to the participants is minimal because potential participants will be recommended by the activities director. Participating will be voluntary and participants will be able to stop participating immediately upon request. Describe How Participant(s) Will Be Recruited : The senior citizens will volunteer based on the recommendation of Jenny Kelly, the activities director at Hunters Creek Nursing and Rehab Center. Maximum Number of Participants (to be approached with consent) 5 Age Range of Participants: Min of 60 max of 100 Amount of Compensation/ course credit: 0 monetary compensation, but participants will be provided a copy of the art produced. 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.) I will get informed consent from the nursing and rehab center and then I will get informed consent from each of the senior citizen participants. In addition to the UF consent forms the nursing and rehab center provides their own consent forms. (SIGNATURE SECTION) Principal Investigator(s) Signature: Katie Kretchmar Date: 1/21/14 Co Investigator(s) Signature(s): Date: Supervisor's Signature (if PI is a Date:

PAGE 38

Senior Citizen Views Of Material Culture and Life 38 student): Department Chair Signature: Date:

PAGE 39

Senior Citizen Views Of Material Culture and Life 39 List of Figures with Figure Captions Figure 1. Website Figure 2. Senior Citizen Chad's Granddaughters Figure 3. Maura and her son who graduated together

PAGE 40

Senior Citizen Views Of Material Culture and Life 40 Author Biography Katie Kretchmar was born and raised in Ft. Worth, Texas where she grew up in a family of arts advocates and educators. Katie spent much of her time traveling, playing sports, dancing and performing in stage productions both at church and school. Katie received encouragement and support related to continuing her interests in the arts throughout her public school life as s he sung in the church choir from the age of four through the age of eighteen took voice lessons and competed in IMTA (Internati onal Modeling and Talent Association) earning top 10% in singing Kate changed majors multiple times during college but all of them were associated with fine arts. Although, Katie enjoyed musical theater, the reality of living paycheck to pay check and th e wear and tear of performing over time at Disney World in different roles throughout college became tedious. After exploring majors in Graphic Design and Dance Kat e earned her undergraduate degree from Texas Christian University in 2011 with a major in St udio Art with a emphasis in Photography After graduation Kate move d to Orlando, Florida where she continue d performing and working at Walt Disney World while pursuing her Master of Arts degree at the University of Florida. Her studies focused mainly on the importance of material culture studies in art, intergenerational art, identity and art, and how art can be an outlet for creativity, value creation, and magic if initiated in a critical thinking pedagogical approach. Katie plans to devote her life to help ing others understand themselves and the world in which we live by establishing a positive environment that allows safe exploration and inquiry through the arts.


xml version 1.0 encoding UTF-8
REPORT xmlns http:www.fcla.edudlsmddaitss xmlns:xsi http:www.w3.org2001XMLSchema-instance xsi:schemaLocation http:www.fcla.edudlsmddaitssdaitssReport.xsd
INGEST IEID EZBOK5H4G_F6N2PM INGEST_TIME 2016-05-19T15:05:06Z PACKAGE AA00025520_00001
AGREEMENT_INFO ACCOUNT UF PROJECT UFDC
FILES