Citation
Expending High School Students' Studio Art Thinking and Practices

Material Information

Title:
Expending High School Students' Studio Art Thinking and Practices
Creator:
Searcy, Tiffany Desrosiers
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
Degree Grantor:
University of Florida
Committee Chair:
Kushins, Jodi

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Art education ( jstor )
Arts ( jstor )
Brainstorming ( jstor )
Collaborative learning ( jstor )
High school students ( jstor )
Ideation ( jstor )
Murals ( jstor )
Schools ( jstor )
Studio art ( jstor )
Visual arts ( jstor )

Notes

Abstract:
This study took place at Mount Pisgah Christian School in Johns Creek, GA during the spring of 2014. Through descriptive action research, this art educator reports on how her students utilized ideation techniques to solve art problems. This study provides effective teaching methods for inspiring creativity and employing students with habits of mind. The teaching methods examined in this research demonstrate various ways in which Mount Pisgah upper school students informed and expanded their studio art practices by applying ideation techniques to their artistic process. In addition, this first-hand account examine the effectiveness of incorporating ideation in art education to challenge students to develop new ways of thinking and working like artists in studio settings. The art educator documented her experiences and observations using WordPress to post field notes, reflections, and photographs of her students while they actively participated in brainstorming processes to develop both a collaborative mural and an independent creation centered on personal interpretations of an abstract prompt. Documentation of student works can be found at http://tiffanydesrosierssearcy.weebly.com/capstone-study.html.
General Note:
Art Education terminal project

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida Institutional Repository
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
Copyright TIffany Desrosiers Searcy. 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:
1039729431 ( OCLC )

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STUDIO ART THINKING AND PRACTICES 1 EXPANDING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTSÂ’ STUDIO ART THINKING AND PRACTICES By TIFFANY DESROSIERS SEARCY 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 2014

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STUDIO ART THINKING AND PRACTICES 2 Acknowledgements I would like to thank Dr. Jodi Kushins for standing by me and helping me to find clarity and direction through it all. With her help I was able to accomplish much more than I could even imagine. I am grateful for her patience and dedication to see me throu gh to the end. I am also thankful for my husband Brian, for his immense love, understanding, and sacrifice he has given to cheer me on throughout this program. His constant support and words of inspiration provided me the strength and courage I needed to s ucceed. To my administration at Mount Pisgah Christian School, Dr. Craig Roland, and Dr. Elizabeth Delacruz, without your continued support this study would not have been possible. Finally, to my family and friends I appreciate your love and words of encou ragement. I could not have accomplished this without all of you. Thank You!

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STUDIO ART THINKING AND PRACTICES 3 Summary of Capstone Project Presented to the College of Fine Arts of the University of Florida In Partial Fulfillm ent of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts EXPANDING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTSÂ’ STUDIO ART THINKING AND PRACTICES By Tiffany Desrosiers Searcy August 2014 Chair: Jodi Kushins Major: Art Education

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STUDIO ART THINKING AND PRACTICES 4 Abstract This study took place at Mount Pisgah Christian School in John s Creek, GA during the spring of 2014 . Through des c riptive action research , this art educator report s on how her students utilize d ideation techniques to solve art problem s . T his study provide s effective teaching methods for inspiring creativity and employing students with habits of mind . The teaching methods examined in this research demonstrate various ways in which Mount Pisgah upper school students inform ed and expanded their studio art practices by applying ideation techniques to their artistic p rocess. In addition, this first hand account examine the effectiveness of incorporating ideation in art education to challenge students to develop new ways of thinking and work ing like artist s in studio settings . Th e art educator document ed her experiences and observations using WordPress to post field notes, reflections, and photographs of her students while they actively participate d in brainstorming process es to develop both a collaborative mural and an independent creation centered on personal interpretations of an abstract prompt . Documentation of student works can be found at http://tiffanydesrosierssearcy.weebly.com/capstone study.html .

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STUDIO ART THINKING AND PRACTICES 5 Table of Contents Title Page Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â….Â… Â…Â… Â…. 1 AcknowledgementsÂ…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â….Â…Â…. Â…. 2 UF Summary Page Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â….... ........ 3 Abstract Â…Â… Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â… . .. ..... 4 Table of Content sÂ…Â… Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…........... 5 Introduction Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â… Â… Â…... 7 Statement of Pr oblem Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â… 7 Goals and Assu mptionsÂ…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â….. 8 Research Quest ionsÂ…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â… 9 Research LimitationsÂ… Â…Â…Â…Â… Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â….. 9 Location of Action Res earch StudyÂ…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…... 9 Literature Review Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â… Â…Â… 10 Creative Learning Environments = Opportunities for Creative Thinking Â…Â…Â… . Â… Â….. 10 Exploring Creativity and the Creative M ind Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…. Â….. 11 Creative Artistic Habits of Mind Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…. 1 2 Ideation and Collaborative Learning Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…... 1 4 Methodology Â…Â…Â…Â…Â… Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â… Â….. . 1 6 Site and SubjectsÂ…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â… Â….. 16 Action ResearchÂ…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â… Â…... 16 Research ActivitiesÂ…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â… Â…... 17 Data CollectionÂ…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â… Â…Â…. 20 Data AnalysisÂ…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â… Â…... 2 1 Significance Â…Â… Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â… Â…Â…. 21

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STUDIO ART THINKING AND PRACTICES 6 Findings Â…Â… Â…Â…Â…Â… Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â… Â…... 2 2 Collaborative Learning EnvironmentÂ…Â…. Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…... .... Â….. 2 2 Perspective = Diverse Viewpoints and Unique InterpretationsÂ…Â…Â…Â…..Â…Â…Â…Â… Â…. 2 5 Artistic Process Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…... ..... 2 9 Challenges of Problem Solving Â… Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…..Â…Â…... ..... 3 2 Enhancing the C reative Self.Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â… Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â… Â…... 3 2 Post Study ObservationsÂ…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â… .Â…. 3 3 Conclusion ....Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â… Â…... 3 7 RecommendationsÂ…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â… .Â….. . 3 8 References ..Â…Â…Â…Â… Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…...Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â….. 4 1 Appendix A Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…... ...... 4 3 Appendix B Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…... ...... 4 4 Appendix C Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â… Â….. ... 4 5 Appendix D Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â… Â…Â… . 4 6 Appendix E Â… Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â… Â…Â… .. 4 7 List of Figures with Figure CaptionsÂ…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â… Â…... Â…. 4 8 Author Biography Â…Â…..Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â… Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â… Â…Â…. . 4 9

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STUDIO ART THINKING AND PRACTICES 7 Introduction In my first year teaching at the secondary level , I observed that students across all grade levels , 9 th 12 th grade, struggle d to conceptualize solutions to open end ed assignments that require critical thinking and creative problem solving . In essence, a significant number of my students were hard pressed to develop solutio ns to address art problem s, and lack ed the creative and intellectual tools necessary to approach ambiguous tasks . Without direct assignment examples to aid their creative endeavors, they seemed baffled . T he notion of using personal interpretations and expe riences to establish creative solutions to design challenges was not clear to them nor was it something they were familiar with doing on their own . Statement of the Problem A t the onset of that first term , my students were perplexed by a conceptual or open ended prompt based project I had assigned . I asked them to create a found object sculpture based on a personal interest , social, political, cultural, or environmental issue to advocate for change or for awareness . T he assignment did not have a one answer solution nor did it provide step by step instructions on how to crea te the assigned artwork . I was asking them to use their imagination s and personal insights, observations, and interpretations of meaningful issues that affect our daily lives as in spiration to this project . Needless to say t he students needed extensive handholding and conversations to generate ideas for this sculpture project. They seemed fearful of rejection and afraid of developing works of art that spoke to real world issues. I observed this conceptualization issue at the introductory , advanced , and AP studio art levels throughout the semester . My initial observation s lead me to question how I might improve student understand ing of conceptualization , while also enhancing their creative abilities to generate original ideas for artmaking using teachable skill s to approach

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STUDIO ART THINKING AND PRACTICES 8 art problem s. These burning questions lead me to take action in my studentsÂ’ learning by conducting an action research based study . Goals and Assumptions My goal for this action research study was to better understand how I could use ideation and brainstorming tools to help my students develop creative ideas in response to assignments. Some of the tools and techniques are working in groups to generate ideas for specific projects using lists and idea boards , conducting research about the subject matter, using sketchbooks to record reflections, sketches, and notes along the way, interview people of interest that will provide perspective to the project, sharing ideas with peers, and using Mind/Concept Maps to organize and access ideas for designs. It was my hope that if my students could learn to incorporate personal interpretations while collaborative problem solving, they might transfer these creative processe s to their own artistic practice. Initially I believed these ideation processes would strengthen my studentsÂ’ creativity in studio art as well as positively impact their personal habits of mind. I approached this project with the assumption that my stude ntsÂ’ would be able to use their personal experiences with a guided ideation exercise in conjunction with a related project to make more meaningful connections to their own artmaking. It was also my belief that the ideation tools presented would provide par ticipants with a strong foundation for developing creative habits of mind. I anticipated that with further understanding of these tools the students would establish a personal process to generate ideas in solving art problems leading them to successfully e stablish these new habits of developing creative ideas. Ultimately, I expected these guided brainstorming sessions would help students understand that first ideas are not always the best ideas, perceptions and ideas change from

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STUDIO ART THINKING AND PRACTICES 9 person to person, and meani ngful ideas come from research and time spent with the idea. My initial desire was for my students to grasp the value of collaborative brainstorming and how it can inform personal creative and artistic processes. Research Questions 1. Can teaching brainstorming techniques in a collaborative setting help improve student brainstorming abilities ? 2. C an brainstorming activities enhance student creativ ity in art education ? 3. Is it possible for brainstorming activities to inform student sÂ’ overall a rtistic processes and help them effectively respond to abstract art problems ? Research Limitations A limitation to my research was the amount of time that was available. I did not have the time to determine whether the ideation tools presented during the s tudy would effectively impact changes to my studentsÂ’ creative processes over time. Observations over an extended period would be necessary to determine if this ideation process impacts the participantsÂ’ creative abilities long term. Location of Action Re search Study The study took place at Mount Pisgah Christian School in Johns Creek, GA. Mount Pisgah is a small private school just north of the Atlanta city limits with approximately 285 students in the upper school. The study was conducted in the upper school art room, during the 2014 spring semester. Eight students from the Drawing II class were observed over a four week period as they examine d preliminary ideation process es for developing and creating works of art.

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STUDIO ART THINKING AND PRACTICES 10 Literature Review Educating students in studio art courses about creative thinking and problem solving is an involved process. It requires educators to delv e into many models and methods of teaching while also analyzing various aspects of their students’ learning to determine the best approach for the specific needs of their learning environment. Creative Learning Environments = Opportunities for Creative Thinking Implementing creativity in a learning environment requires educators to nurture a safe learning atmo sphere for the creative mind (Gude, 201 0; Zimmerman, 2009). Gude believes a core objective in art education is creativity . Creativity can be employed in the classroom by “stimulating free ideation [the process of forming ideas], encouraging experimental ap proaches to making, and supporting students in identifying and manifesting deeply felt idiosyncratic experiences” ( Gude, 2010, p. 31 ). Furthermore, Gude recommends art educators consider principles of possibility when developing quality art curricul a to ef fectively encourage opportunities for creative learning . The principles of possibilit y provide opportunities for students to engage in effective artmaking strategies . U tilizing teaching methods which involve “playing, forming self, investigating community themes, encountering difference, attentive living, empowered experiencing, empowered making, deconstructing culture, reconstructing social spaces,” and finally providing occasions for students to “not know” in order to challenge themselves to problem solv e ( Gude, 2010, p. 35). C reating a supportive art studio environment can allow for students to iden tify cultural blockers that may prevent them from creatively addressing , solv ing problems, or mak ing meaning of art concepts or processes (Zimmerman, 2009) . In providing students with strategies to identify these blockers, they are then able to work through their obstacles to make meaningful

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STUDIO ART THINKING AND PRACTICES 11 worldly connections through artmaking. Art educators require knowledge and expertise in how to positively influence the developmental process of engaging the creative mind while supporting students’ choices and artistic abilities as they begin to think and create like artists ( Zimmerman, 2009, p. 392 393). Exploring Creativity and the Creative Mind The word creativity carries multiple meanings (Wright, 1990); however among the many definitions there are overlaps . E xperts agree , creative people are individuals who can think in ways that are innovative, are persons who generate numerous ideas to challenge and approach cu rrent modes of thinking or doing, and individuals who are capable of coming up with new solutions to art problems (Demir, 2005; Gude, 2007; Freedman, 2010; Roland, 1991). Demir (2005) states, “creativity is not a talent or a gift. It is like a muscle that is strengthened when it is used. Creativity is a state of mind that has to be nurtured and exercised” (p. 153). This notion implies that creativity is something that all persons are capable of (Roland, 1991), though many people lack the aptitude or knowle dge on how to be creative or think creatively in their everyday experiences. Creative people (i.e. artists or individuals working in a creative field) are individuals who use their environments to construct meaningful ways of knowing and understanding the impact visual culture has on their human condition (Freedman, 2010; Roland, 1991; Gude, 2010). The knowledge gained from these personal observations or insights are primarily based on prior knowledge and life experiences (Freedman, 2010; Roland, 1990). In addition, personal interests or self studies can drive creative performance (Freedman, 2010; Gude, 2010) and may inform the creative process in developing new ideas for evolving works of art no matter how dynamic or life changing they may be (Zimmerman, 20 09).

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STUDIO ART THINKING AND PRACTICES 12 Creativity allows for the opportunity to accomplish a definite goal to uncover abundant solutions to one specific problem (Wright, 1990). It can be seen as a reflexive process in which a person is able to develop insight from critically reflecting on the ideas presented (Freeman, 2010; Goldstein, 2001) . This gained perspective can provide depth and meaning to making a work of art. Gude (2010) affirm s that : creative individuals develop a deeply rooted trust in their own capacity to generate surprising solutions. Even as they experience the anxiety of creative exploration, they are grounded in a realistic belief (based in personal experience) that surrender to the creative process may produce surprising, useful, stimulating results. This openness to exp erience is manifested in the willingness of a creative individual to suspend judgment and to consider emerging images and ideas from various perspectives. (p. 37) Similarly, Wright (1990) suggests “the artist individually defines problems or questions and then, over and over again, explores variations on this concept until a point of satisfaction and certification is researched” (p. 52). Creative Artistic Habits of Mind in Studio Art Fundamentally the ability to develop an artistic process can be established with a strong foundation for developing creative artistic habits of mind. Milbrandt and Milbrandt (2011) define creative artistic habits of mind as “acquiring skills and knowledge of the conten t area, and producing a product that is novel and recognized as significant in the context of students and classrooms” (p.10). For example, the process in which an artist approaches his/her art problem comes with the aptitude to be skilled in decision maki ng (Demir, 2005), with competence in defining a problem ( problem finding ) (Zimmerman, 2009), capacity to withhold judgment during brainstorming ( problem solving ) (Demir, 2005; Goldstein, 2001; Wood, 1970; Wright, 1990;

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STUDIO ART THINKING AND PRACTICES 13 Zimmerman, 2009), experience in const ructing connections and conclusions from life experiences while considering various ideas and perspectives (Gude, 2007; Gude, 2010; Freedman, 2010), and finally the developed skill to think of wild and crazy ideas and implement them after careful contempla tion of all possible solutions before developing a final idea (Wood, 1970). According to Milbrandt, et al. (2004) “s tudio processes that actively engage students in the creative artistic process or creative problem solving are constructivist by nature” (p . 20). That is they challenge students to conceptualize or make sense of personal and worldly experiences or notions. Ultimately “the creation of meaningful artwork involves the student in a construction of identity through purposeful and expressive visual language” (Milbrandt, et al., 2004, p. 20). This visual language brings together intricate concepts and artistic skills as they aid students in finding new meaning composed by previous knowledge and newfound artistic strengths (Freedman, 2007; Gude, 2010) . In order to completely tap into the creative process and foster creative habits of mind in art education, it is important to understand how such thinking reaches its full potential. Goldstein (2001) provides expertise stating: creative thought can also be understood through the process of reasoning specifically, divergent and convergent reasoning . Divergent reasoning refers to the intellectual ability to think of many original, diverse and elaborate ideas. Convergent reasoning refers to the intellectual ability to logically evaluate, critique and choose the best idea from a selection of ideas. Both forms of reasoning are required for creative output. Divergent reasoning is essential to the novelty and abundance of creative productions, whereas convergent reasoning is fundamental to the focus and eventual execution of an idea. (p. 32)

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STUDIO ART THINKING AND PRACTICES 14 With the intention of increasing student problem finding and problem solving skills, students need to have a strong understanding of how to think laterally . Goldstein (2001) defines lateral thinking as a mode of thinking that allows for sideways movement – moving and working through the problem in a lateral sense as an individual “[attempts] different perceptions, different concepts and different points of e ntry” (p.32). Goldstein (2001) states that: lateral thinking cuts across patterns in a self organizing system, and is associated with perception. The term lateral thinking can be used in two ways: specific : a set of systematic techniques used for changing concepts and perceptions, and generating new ones [or] general : exploring multiple possibilities and approaches instead of pursuing a single approach. (p. 32) Creative thinking strives to build independent thinkers, who have the abilities and confidence to solve art problem s from multiple angles using ideation as a means of developing creative ideas. According to Scheer, et al. (2012), “ ideation means opening up the mind, being imaginative and generating lots of ideas for solving the problem” (p. 12). It is through this ideation process that educators can promote and facilitate a safe environment for collaborative idea sharing. Ideation and Collaborative Learning In examining multiple aspects of promoting creative thinking in art education it is important to highlight the Design Thinking model, which inspires students to address art problem s as researchers and designers (La O’,2009). While each phase of Design Thinkin g is not mandatory in addressing creative thinking, the steps can inform artistic habits of mind and the process can enlighten educators on new ways to promote and inspire creative thinking in studio art.

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STUDIO ART THINKING AND PRACTICES 15 Design Thinking is a systematic six step process t hat involves the ability to understand and observe circumstance (empathy), synthesize or consolidate meaningful interpretations to defining a problem, ideate (brainstorm) solutions to solving a problem, develop a plan of action and a mockup (prototype) tha t can be tested and then adjusted as new findings arise in addressing the original problem (Scheer, et al., 2012). This method addresses art problem s and provides insight into practical devices of engaging students in the creative process. Of the six steps noted, ideation is a valuable component in addressing art problem s and is a successful technique that can promote collaborative learning opportunities for students of all ages. Brainstorming , otherwise known as a “creativity enhancing tech nique” (Demir, 2005, p. 154), is a successful tool in generating and organizing creative ideas. During brainstorming sessions it is useful to organize ideas using systematic techniques known as mind mapping or concept mapping . These techniques represent kn owledge in visual form and “help to focus the divergent process [as well as] provide structure to the inherently organic nature of the creative process” (Goldstein, 2001, p. 33). Brainstorming sessions can be conducted both collaboratively and individually . A c ollaborative environment for brainstorming can be beneficial to student learning since “one person’s idea [can stimulate] others, and new connections and correlations [can be] discovered between unrelated things” (Demir, 2005, p. 154). Further the ac tion of brainstorming , otherwise known as ideation , challenges people to come up with as many ideas as possible in a short period of time. “The principle that quantity helps breed quality” (Wood, 1970, p. 160) confirms the notion that brainstorming can lea d to a greater number of solutions to solving a problem, as well as can combine multiple ideas to form superior design solutions. Lotan (2003) states “students who engage in open ended tasks grapple with many real life uncertainties and ambiguities” (p. 72 ). Group worthy tasks, such as engaging

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STUDIO ART THINKING AND PRACTICES 16 in community based projects, can be powerful learning opportunities for building “conceptual learning, problem solving, and [constructing] deep understanding of content goals of instruction” (Lotan, 2003, p. 74) . Met hodology Site and Subjects To explore how brainstorming and ideation could help my students learn to be more creative, I conducted descriptive action research. This study investigate d the effectiveness of teaching ideation techniques to eight high school students enrolled in the Drawing II course at Mount Pisgah Christian School in Johns Creek, GA during the 2014 spring semester for a four week period. I observe d my students’ as they learn ed and explored brainstorming strategies and techniques through the development of creative ideas for two art works, one collaborative piece and one independent piece. Through these findings , I was able to establish a stronger sense of how the ideation process informs these students’ artistic and creative processes (Sagor, 2009). Action Research Richard Sagor (2011) states action research consists of “a disciplined process of inquiry conducted by and for those taking action. The primary reason for engaging in action research is to assist the actor in improving or refining his or her own practice” (p. 1). As suggested by Sagor, when considering my students’ areas of limitation, I consider ed my current teaching method in order to refine my practice to better meet my students’ needs. By confronting areas of concern with my students’ artistic practices, I have become aware of why there is a disconnect with what I am asking the m to do and what t hey are able to accomplish. My students were never asked to think at this level before for they lacked the tools to conceptualize independent ideas for artmaking . Addressing this issue was a primary concern for me throughout this study .

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STUDIO ART THINKING AND PRACTICES 17 F ortunately I was a ble to learn new methods to improv e my teaching practice ( McNiff, 2002; Sagor, 2011). This study provide d me with a more in depth account on ways to introduce methods of ideation to my students through a collaborative learning environment with the goal of strengthening their creative thinking and problem solving skills . This study primarily examine d the behaviors of my students as they collectively and independently utilize d ideation to develop solutions to the art problem of creating a community mural for Mount PisgahÂ’s middle school and producing a personal work on their own . . Research Activities Prior to the study my students established a blog to post personal interpretations of their artistic process and to document th eir completed works. To establish a baseline of my studentsÂ’ understanding of ideation, I asked my students to make a n initial post to their blog about their definition of the following : 1. Without researching the terms, please provide me a brief explanation of the meaning of ideation in artmaking? 2. Do you feel you use ideation as a significant part to your artistic process? (Please provide a brief e xplanation) 3. In your own words, please defin e the word creativity or define who a creative person is. Once the baseline was established my students and I discussed their posts and continued the discussion of ideation through a PowerPoint presentation I created called , Ideation Techniques . Following the presentation the students participated in a group activity of designing a t shirt for the next school dance. I separated the students into pairs where they read the instructions for the activity together. The students were given thirty minut es to develop their ideas and to design a t shirt. Following this step the students presented their designs to the class

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STUDIO ART THINKING AND PRACTICES 18 and explained to their peers how they came up with their ideas. The activity le d to the discussion of how perspectives from different p eople can affect the develop ment of a design and that each person can bring a unique perspective to the table based their own experiences and insights . This activity allowed the students to utilize some of the ideation techniq ues presented in the PowerPoint. A fter the initial group activity, th e students work ed as a team to use the methods they examined to develop the community mural project for the middle school . During this phase of the study, the students and I discussed how ideation can inspire creative ideas for meaningful artmaking. As mentioned , the students practiced in this ideation process while developing a collaborative mural. I introduced each method of ideation to the students and allowed each of the students to bring personal insights to the group. Throughout each phase of the assignment I guide d my students in discussions and examine d studentsÂ’ personal reflections on their blogs to better understand the impact the ideation process was having on their ability to process and apply the concepts explored in class. This process included multiple activities which required students to engage in group conversations and observations , s uch as participating in the idea board activity using post it notes (s ee Figure 1) to identify ideas and commonalities which represent the culture and personalities of Pisgah middle school students , interviewing both the students and the middle school principal, developing sketches , and sharing ideas ( s ee Figure 2) with peers of what should be depicted in the mural.

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STUDIO ART THINKING AND PRACTICES 19 P rior to the completion of the mural project I asked my students to take a break from the mural to begin working on their independent projects . This project asked students to use a n opened ended prompt: create a work of art using whatever materials you would like to represent Figure 1: Idea board Figure 2: Sharing of ideas

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STUDIO ART THINKING AND PRACTICES 20 an e motional response. I instructed the students to transfer the knowledge gained from the mural project to this project and to think and develop their own ideas for the project. While the students worked independently it gave me time to observe my studentsÂ’ artistic process es . I used these observations to inform my findings and to conclude if my student established artistic habits of mind based on their prior participation in the ideation activities during the study . These observations helped me to then determine how my students Â’ artmaking was being informed by their past experiences and how their experiences were being incorporated into their production process (McNiff, 2002; Riel, 2010; Sagor, 2005; Sagor, 2011). Data Collection Throughout this four week study, I observe d my st udentsÂ’ involvement in the ideation process of solving art problem s. For data collection, I ke pt a field journal to record personal insights gained during class discussions. I n addition , I read student blogs and I engaged in conversations with my students about their work and ideas. I also made observ ations as they develop ed their ideas for both the mural and their independent project s . I record ed my observations and reflections using WordPress to blog about my findings. I include d photographs of my students engaging in the developmental phases of these projects as well as include d images of studentsÂ’ final creations on my professional website (Riel, 2010; Sagor 2005; Sagor, 2011) . Following the study , I posted galleries of images charting the progres sion of each project on my website for easier viewing . I also provided personal insight for each of my students Â’ developmental process es on my website and linked them to my blog. These finding further inform ed my knowledge on ways to better inspire my stud ents as they develop creative habits of mind in artmaking (Riel, 2010; Sagor 2005; Sagor, 2011) .

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STUDIO ART THINKING AND PRACTICES 21 Data Analysis I organize d and analyze d my data to identify patterns and trends to answer the questions posed in this study (LeCompte, 2010; Riel, 2010; Sagor , 2009). As stated by Margaret LeCompte (2013) “because it establishes the regularities within a cultural scene, identifying the most important patterns can help to clarify key ways to solve problems in a program” (p. 150). Towards this end, I look ed for s imilarities in the data gathered. As suggested by Richard Sagor (2011) I map ped out the problems addressed early in my study by creating tables and spreadsheets for a clearer picture of what my targets were in conducting this descriptive research study. Ma king flow charts to organize my data throughout my study help ed me in organizing my daily observations throughout the study. Further, I use d my field journal to determine if the intended targets were met during the study. Having the ability to refer back t o the data collected allow ed me to identify patterns and trends of my students’ behaviors. Ongoing reflection s of these findings have allow ed me to continuously make adjustments to not only my classroom learning atmosphere, but also to the way that I teach this material to benefit student learning and understanding. Conducting an action research study has enable d me to investigate new ways to inspire creative problem solving using ideation techniques and artistic processes. It has also informed me as a firs t year teacher of the value of creative thinking in art education and new ways of implementing opportunities in the art curriculum for meaningful and personalized artmaking. This experience will further help me in reforming the art curriculum down the road to better meet the needs of my students. Significance My observations from this four week study have provide d me with information to determine if brainstorming activitities during the developmental phase of planning a piece of art

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STUDIO ART THINKING AND PRACTICES 22 help to inspire high school art students to think more creatively when working in both collaborative and independent situations. In addition, this study has inform ed me of the effect s ideation has on studio practice in motivativing student creativity. This information will be useful for me as I continue to establish better ways to promote artistic habits of mind with my visual arts students at my school. Th e information gathered from this study will also be helpful to other educators in the field of art education that are interested to promoting creative thinking in their classrooms. Findings Collaborative Lear n ing Environment Introducing ideation techniques through a collaborative project , such as the mural project, stimulated both a positive and supportive learning environment for Mount Pisgah Christian SchoolÂ’s 2014 spring semester Drawing II students . Throughout this four week study , I observed situations where students demonstrated a strong sense of leadership, confidence, and trust. The project allowed students to identify their strengths and weaknesses, while sampling the different roles the project entailed . S ome students excelled at generating unique and interesting ideas, where others were strong leaders. Whatever the area the student felt most confident in, they worked efficiently in the group setting sharing with others their ideas and talents . Out of the eight participants in this study , six students engaged in the entire project for the majority of the time , taking complete ownership and artistic integrity over the mural assignment. The process in which the students partook required students to be on their toes, especially in the beginning stages of the mural planning, where the students were asked to quickly jump from one ideation technique to the next within minutes. The rapid pace at which the student s co mpleted each task prevented them from getting overly caught up in one specific

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STUDIO ART THINKING AND PRACTICES 23 idea or detail . This process allowed the students to develop and share countless ideas while also quickly deliberat ing and access ing each idea. The different perspectives brought by each student exhibited interesting and thoughtful interpretations. In addition, it presented personal and meaningful connections to the mural itself. For example, the students were able to reflect back on their own experiences as middle schoolers and how their experiences durin g each of the interviews helped them to formulate a better understanding for their audience they were creating the mural for. There were students who shared favorite books they read, hobbies, and challenges they personally faced while in middle school. The se reflections allowed the students to empathize with the middle schoolers and provided them with unique and personalized interpretations for what to include in the design. As a result of this project , students began to feel more comfortable critiquing ea ch others ideas and work, making it feasible for them to openly access and re access the progress and presentation of the mu ral without fear of rejection from others . At times the room was energetic and full of excitement. Students would be at work next to the idea board, making notes and participating in discussion s on what else to include in the mural while the other group stood at the white board with pencils in han d quickly sketching out the items and placing them within the sketch or prototype (see Figure 3 ) . This cycle occurred for many days and w ithout instruct ion the students began to enter the class room ready and willing to begin working the moment they walk ed in to the room. This type of independent behavior was one of the many outcomes I was hoping for in conducting this research.

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STUDIO ART THINKING AND PRACTICES 24 Further and most importantly, once the students transitioned into working on their independent projects I came to notice the students struggled to work alone. Within minutes of their independent work , the students were sharing their ideas for their project with their peers. In one of my final interviews a student expressed that having her peers to talk through ideas with helped her to sort out which idea was best. Initially when presenting the “emotional response” assignment to the students , I requested that the students quietly work on their projects. After a few w h ispers I began to recognize the importance of their conversations and allowed them to continue talking . The students were using one of the ideation techniques examined in the PowerPoint presentation (see Figure 4) . They were usi ng their trusted peers as so unding board s to bou n ce ideas off of. Figure 3: Discussing ideas for the mural

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STUDIO ART THINKING AND PRACTICES 25 This specific situation reveals how introducing ideation technique s in a collaborative setting helps to promote a safe and supportive working environment as it simultaneously stimulates independent thinking and producing . A community of students who take ownership and interest in what others are working on is one of the characterist ics of thinking like an artist . Moreover , this instance addresses one of my earlier concerns about my studentsÂ’ inability to critique othersÂ’ work without fear of insult or disproval from their peers . My students were now showing me they could successfully embrace othersÂ’ opinions and co uld use what was suggested to make improvements to their work. This established behavior is a great example of how the process of brainstorming can positively impact studentsÂ’ artistic processes. Perspective = Diverse Viewpoints and Unique Interpretations Based on my personal experiences and observations made during this study I continue to believe working in a collaborative setting while introducing ideation techniques helps students to Figure 4: Ideation techniques, PowerPoint presentation title page

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STUDIO ART THINKING AND PRACTICES 26 quickly see how there are multiple ways to solve an art problem due to the numerous perspectives presented by the group. The mural project emphasized that the first idea for a project may not always be the best idea. This process also encouraged students t o talk through their ideas in great detail and inspired them to use their observations and sketches from the world around them to stimulate personal artmaking. Going into this study the outcome of the mural was an unknown. It was the studentsÂ’ job to come up with the design for the mural and how each idea would be incorporated. As mentioned the different perspectives of others were important in the d evelopmental phase of the mural, more importantly the students learned how diverse perception s of others are and that they can aid in generating creative solutions to art problem s. Through the conducted interview s with the middle schoolers and the middle school principal and observation studies the students le d they were able to use what they experienced to support the develop ment of the mural . Each student picked up on different aspect s from the activities that interested them and then they brought their own insights and knowledge back to the group for further discussion an d evaluation . As Demir (2005) pointed out, during the brainstorming session this type of diverse interaction with others can lend itself as a breeding ground for creative i deas . This is where I witnessed my students Â’ abilities to make connections between unrelated ideas and interpretat ions of others. For example, at one point in the study as the students shared their design ideas with their peers I noticed a similar idea amongst the group emerge ; there was a common theme playing out where the students wanted to represen t the middle scho ol through a wall of uniquely decor ated lockers. This idea was generated as part of the observation activity and was something that the students learned was a passion of the middle school students. Lockers they learned are distinguishing factor s between el ementary school and middle school.

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STUDIO ART THINKING AND PRACTICES 27 Wi th this perspective in mind the students continued to share ideas and sketches with the group. It was when one of the students shared his unique perspective on the situation that there was a noticeable shift in the direction of the mural. It was at this moment where the students were able to develop a deeper and more personalized meaning and purpose behind the mural project . The student Â’ s idea was to create a mountain of sorts in which the middle school students would need to climb upon to reach the goal of graduation . Collectively the students were able to then transform the many idea s mentioned int o represent ations of differe nt obstacles a middle school student might have to face and overcome from the time they enter middle school all the w ay to the point of high school graduation . Figure 5 demonstrates one of the steps the students took in developing their ideas for the mural project. It is important to mention that beyond the symbolic nature of depicting a journey through time , the mountain also contains a biblical reference and is a significant representation of the foundation of the school itself. Hence the name of the school, Mount Pisgah Christian School; the biblical meaning for this particular mountain signifies the hope and dreams of the Pr omised Land. This spiritual connection further strengthened the ideas behind the direction of the mural and its significance to our school . Figure 5: Working together to solve the art problem, sketching the initial design

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STUDIO ART THINKING AND PRACTICES 28 Likewise, I witnessed a transference of ideas occur at this juncture when the excitement level of the class elevated. It was easy for the students to address multiple ideas when the y had the ability to talk through the diverse interpretations presented to the group as a team . Yet again the atmosphere lent itself for students to feel safe in their learning and permitted them to feed off of one another’s’ ideas and energy . Their willingness to take part in the project was evident due to their active engagement and participation in the collaborative brainstorming process . P erceptions o nce again played a key role in how the students responded to the independent project . When given the prompt , “ use what you learned from the mural project to create a work of art that represent s an emotional response , ” each and every student reacted to the prompt in a different manner. This freedom allowed the students’ to interpret the project in a way that was personally meaningful and allowed them to express their own interests in their own way . From my observations, I witnes sed each participant approac h the topic in a unique manner, utilizing th e ideation techniques examined earlier in the lesson . Table 1 d emonstrates how the students approached their art problem using the ideation techniques used during the mural project . As displayed in each category , the students adopted personal process es , some students used one method to approach the abstract idea and others used multiple methods while developing their ideas for the independent project. They were able to use the techniques that worked best for the m to organiz e and generat e their own ideas.

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STUDIO ART THINKING AND PRACTICES 29 Artistic Process As displayed in Table 1 , the students all demonstrated different methods of approaching the art problem . During this stage I found it helpful to have the students post four separate posts to their blog s while they worked on their project s . These posts helped me identify items tha t I may have missed during my observations. I found t he following two students (see Figure 6 and Figure 7 ) had the most interesting approaches to identifying the direction they intended to take on this project. Figure 6: Concept Map to finished product Table 1 : Analysis on student ideation techniques used for the independent projects

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STUDIO ART THINKING AND PRACTICES 30 The student in Figure 6 chose to use a Concept Map to sort out her ideas . S he happened to be the only student of the eight to us e this ideation technique. Also, unlike her peers, sh e was not interested in sharing her ideas with her classmates because the idea behind the artwork was very personal for her. In addition to completing the map , she did work in her sketchbook and interview ed her friends outside of class to gain insight and perspective into her chosen emotion ; the emotion one experiences when they are under pressure and working to meet a deadline. I was very impressed with this student’s effort on this assignment. She was not as engaged in the mural project as she was with th is assignment. I believe she is a great example of why students need to have personal and meaningful connection s to the work they create . Figure 7 is a screen shot of another student ’s blog post from her beginning stages of developing her independent proje ct. While other students used the research technique in their process she stood out because she went much more in depth , and was extremely intentional with every decision she made, you can see her finished product in Figure 8 . She felt it was necessary for her to have a strong understanding of the concept “emotion” before delving into the brainstorming process to come up with an idea for her project. In her post below, she states she want ed to make her project stand out and to convey the emotion she trie d to depict in her drawing. In addition to researching her subject, she worked extensively in her sketchbook developing multiple designs for her idea, and even changed her idea slightly in the process. Additionally as this student brainstorm ed , her artist ic skill evolved and challenged her as she took risks in working in pen and ink, something that she had not done before. The premise of her project was to capture the emotion that someone experiences when they are reading a story. As she used her imaginati on to develop this idea, she also considered and tried to illustrate the

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STUDIO ART THINKING AND PRACTICES 31 emotion one experiences when they use their imagination. I found her process and the ideation methods she chose to speak to not only her style but also to the development of her artis tic voice. Figure 7: Student blog post during ideation for the independent project

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STUDIO ART THINKING AND PRACTICES 32 C hallenges of Problem Solving According to t wo of my students reported that there was much more freedom to explore and interpret an independent assignment than they had previously encountered . W hile they liked coming up with the ideas they struggled to make a decision on what to actually do. They struggled with picking one idea, developing the idea, and rendering the idea as they saw it in their head. These decisions posed frustrating task s for the students and challenged them to not only think of many ideas but to narrow those ideas down to one specific idea in a limited amount of time . One of the reasons for the time crunch was because of extrem e weather in the Atlanta area which caused a loss of school days and resulted in a delay to the start of the study. In addition to days missed from inclement weather we also had spring break which fell shortly thereafter. With the study spanning over sever al weeks the students were required start and stop their projects multiple times. Further, t he intensity of the time table was also challenging for the students and caused the students to experience stress in developing the work to their liking in the desig nated timeframe. I found however, that this stimulated the studentsÂ’ motivation. Ultimately the students were challenged to work through their ideas quickly without getting too bogged down in the process. I suspect with time this phase of the process will get easier for the students . In the afor ementioned interview, the students did suggest developing the ideas for the independent project were much easier than it was for the mural. They also shared that if they were asked to create this independent project prior to taking part in the study they would not know where to start or how to interpret the assignment. Enhancing the Creative Self As explained by Goldstein (2001) creativity is rooted in the ability to understand the process in which we understand what we see and what we know ; and then how we use what we

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STUDIO ART THINKING AND PRACTICES 33 know to come up with ideas. It was in this process that I encountered my students’ us ing divergent and convergent reasoning to sort through the many ideas presented for both the mural project and fo r their independent projects. While the students were faced with many challenges along the way, the brainstorming techniques presented gave the students a framework to deal with the potential possibilities for the design s. As a result , the students’ idea s were u nique because they were directly influenced by the ir own experiences . Through these activities and projects, I viewed the students ‘ confidence increase as they shar ed their ideas with their peers . R ather than be inclined to “just” copy directly from Google or Pinterest images , the students creat ed something that was personalized . The nature of activities within this study helped to facilitate opportunities for the students to develop a sense of artistic integrity and originality. This c onfidence flowed into both the ir abilities to generate ideas and to take risks in using different materials that they were not as familiar with because of the ir positive experience with the mural project. In these instances I saw a significant shift in the students’ sense of ownership in their work. No longer was the work they created dictated by a step by step outline of what the teacher expected of them; rather, they found within themselves the solutions to the art problem and were able to depict their ideas throug h intentional choices and skill s based on an open ended idea . Post Study Observations Following the completion of my initial study I had the opportunity to continue my observations with my students as they put the ir finishing touches on the mural and on their independent projects. My initial goal for this study was to observe my students during the beginning phases of each project to determine how ideation inform ed their creative selves and conclude if the process of brainstorming had enhance d their artistic processes . Although the four -

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STUDIO ART THINKING AND PRACTICES 34 week timeframe had lapsed I continued to observ e my students progress ion. Fr om these observations I reached additional conclusions that I feel are noteworthy to include in my research . It was in these observations that I found a common thread emerge within three of my students as they finished working on their independent assignment. It was in those moments that I was able to witness the frustration my students were going through as they worked to depict their ideas. The students were coming in during their study halls and after school , spending two to three hours a day working on their project s . All three students expressed difficulty in the assignment; however their level of c ommitment was evident for the fact that they kept coming back until they were satisfied with the finished product . In addition to attempting to respond to a project that was open ended, t hey were also determined to master a new skill set of working with an unfamiliar material that each of them had limited experience with . As seen i n Figure 8 the student holds her completed art piece with pride. In the final stages of her castle design she became perplexed at how she would illustrate the words floating off the pages of the book as the scene within the book began to come alive. This student spent time with me experimenting with new materials and transferring techniques as well as research ing solutions to add ress her concerns. She was in constant conversation with both her myself and her peers as she worked through these challenges. It took her several attempts and numerous creative solutions to solve this art problem ; nonetheless she was able to accomplish he r goal of making her words take form. Her artistic choices in transitioning the letters between white and black provide evidence that she not only contemplated numerous solutions to her problem but she also tried them out in her sketchbook prior to committ ing to her actual artwork. Although the initial ideation process had passed, this student continued to demonstrate a strong

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STUDIO ART THINKING AND PRACTICES 35 understanding of how to use ideation to work through the problems she came across throughout her creation . In Figure 9 t his student also came across a troubling path when it came time to show depth in her painting and to also show the rays from the sun. This was one of her first experiences with paint and she was determined to capture this emotion she was t rying to depict. The student in Figure 9 challenged her artistic abilities as well as consulted her sketchbook for solutions to the obstacle she had before her. Like the student in Figure 8 she surveyed her peers for solutions to her problem and continued to ask questions as she grappled with this new Figure 8: Bringing t ogether imagination and creativity, completed independent project

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STUDIO ART THINKING AND PRACTICES 36 material . My last observation was with another ambitious student who adventured into uncha rte d territory with using paint as well as exploring her subject on a larger canvas (see Figure 10) . As with her peers, this student t irelessly experimented with her materials trying to figure out what she was d oing wrong and how she could overcome this impediment. This student left my room upset and frustrated after spending two extended periods (approximately three hours of time) trying to work through her mistakes and what she was doing wrong with her paint. The next day when she arrived to class she w ent straight to work determined to complete her emotional response project. I asked her how she was doing and she said she was feeling better and she thought she may have come up with a solution to solve the problem she was having the day Figure 9: Problem solving using new materials

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STUDIO ART THINKING AND PRACTICES 37 prior. This state ment struck me and I could not help but be impressed at this studentÂ’s dedication and passion for her artmaking. Conclusion In the end I believe the ideation process explored at Mount Pisgah Christian School truly impacted my students Â’ abilities to maneuver through difficult and challenging situations. T hrough all of the trials my students experienced through this study , their pride and commitment persevered as they were able to resolve their difficulties . From those la t ter moments I observed of trial and error , I came to realize my students continue d to use many of the methods of ideation we examined and explored during the mural project . This observation was important for me to recognize because it was in those moments that I realized, like with Design Thinking, the process of designing consists of a continuous and evolving stream of changes and challenges that need constant analysis and problem solving. Figure 10: Overcoming technical problems with materials

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STUDIO ART THINKING AND PRACTICES 38 Moreover, I find that as I continue to observe the students ’ performance in my class during the remaining weeks of the semester, I have noticed they continue to show evidence that the ideation process examined during the study has not only informed their creative habits but has become a part of their artistic process as a whole to engage in purposeful artmaking . In addition , the students’ ideas are much more complex and original as well. No longer are they fixed on using photographs as they see them, they are thinking of how to change or manipulate what they see and experience to make their pieces unique and more interesting . They have begun to demonstrate they are making artistic and stylistic choices , which affirms they are making ideation a habit of the mind. Recommendations To conclude , I am extremely pleased with the resu lts I have witnessed in my classroom as a result of this project . I strongly recommend and encourage other art educators to explore the possibilities th e process of collaborative learning as a method of in troducing ideation as a central phase can have on their students’ creative and artistic processes. This method not only impacted my students’ critical thinking abilities, it challenged them to become independent and mindful of all of their potential creat ive choices in a much more meaningful way than in the past. Further , the collaborative environment facilitated a safe and engaged learning atmosphere where my students felt the desire to participate freely without the fear of judgment or rejection. Finally, I would like to share a final statement made by one of the students at the completion of this study, “ you did not teach us how to brainstorm , you taught us to enhance the way we brainstorm, making it easier to come up with more ideas.” This statem ent reaffirm s my original assumptions . In addition it will stand as motivation to continue to challenge myself with invest ing time in educating students on how to think more efficiently. I believe that by providing

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STUDIO ART THINKING AND PRACTICES 39 my students with the tools and resources needed for creative problem finding and problem solving they will be more successful with solving art problem s . Brainstorming is a natural process that is used frequently in schools and in the corporate world , so it is necessary to educate students on how to generate ideas more quickly and efficiently. Through art education we can provide our students with a real world skill by providing them the tools for ideation to enhance their experiences. The tools used in this study, ( found on my professional website ) , can help students to be more creative and original as they go off into the world beyond high school . These skills can help to influence their daily lives whether in the art studio or when addressing a problem they see in their life. Figure 1 1 p rovides evidence of how one idea can be transformed into an entirely new idea when time and energy is put forth to being creative in how we see the world and how we interpret its meaning . The ability to think creatively is not just a skill; it is something that ma kes learning more enjoyable. To me thinking creatively is one of the most important skills to have because it is the ability to think outside of the box, to think of unique solutions to specific problem, and is a way to be innovative with how we approach l ife Â’s situations.

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STUDIO ART THINKING AND PRACTICES 40 Figure 11: Completed mural project

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STUDIO ART THINKING AND PRACTICES 41 References Demir, C. (2005). Enhancing creativity in art education through brainstorming. International Journal of Education through Art, 1 (2), 153 160. Freedman, K. (2007). Artmaking/troublemaking: Creativity, policy, and leadership in art education. Studies in Art Education, 48 (2), 204 217. Freedman, K. (2010). Rethinking creativity: A definition to support contemporary practice. Art Education , 63 (2), 8 15. Goldstein, J. ( 2001). Concept mapping, mind mapping and creativity: Documenting the creative process for computer animators. ACM SIGGRAPH Computer Graphics , 30 (2), 32 35. Gude, O. (2010). Playing, creativity, possibility. Art Education, 62 (2), 31 37. Gude, O. (2007). Pr inciples of possibility: Considerations for a 21 st century art & culture curriculum. Art Education, 60 (1), 6 17. LeCompte, M. D. (2000). Analyzing qualitative data. Theory into Practice, 39 (3), 146 154. Lotan, R. (2003). Group worthy tasks. Educational Lea dership, 60 (6), 72 75. McNiff, J. (2002). Action research for professional development: Concise advice for new action researchers . (3rd ed.). Retrieved from http://www.jeanmcniff.com/ar booklet.asp Milbrandt, M., & Milbrandt, L. (2011). Creativity: What are we talking about? Art Education , 64 (1), 8 13. Milbrandt, M. K., Felts, J., Richards, B., & Abghari, N. (2004). Teaching to learn: A constructivist approach to shared responsibility. Art Education , 57 (5), 19 24,33. La OÂ’, B. (2009). Design thinking in the classroom [Audio file]. Crosscurrent Public Radio. KALW News. Retrieved from http://kalwnews.org/audio/design thinking classroom

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STUDIO ART THINKING AND PRACTICES 42 Riel, M. (2010). Understanding action research. Center For Collaborative Action Research, Pepperdine University (Last revision Sep, 2013). Accessed Online on 12/1/2013 from http://cadres.pepper dine.edu/ccar/define.html . Roland, C. (1991). Creativity and art education: A new look an old relationship. NAEA Advisory. Retrieved from http://www.artjunction.org/archives/creativity91. pdf . Wood, R. (1970). Brainstorming: A creative way to learn. Education, 91 (2), 160 165. Sagor, R. (2011). The action research guidebook: A four stage process for educators and school teams . (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks: Corwin A Stage Company. Retrieved from http://books.google.com/books?id=JNsBgcc0m8kC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_g e_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=falseStage%20Process%20for%20 Educators%2 0and%20School%20Teams%20%20books&f=false Sagor, R. (2005). The action research guidebook: A four step process for educators and school teams. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press. Scheer, A., Noweski, C., & Meinel, C. (2012). Transforming constructiv ist learning into action: Design thinking in education. Design and Technology Education: An International Journal, 17(3), 8 18.Wright, J. (1990). The artist, the art teacher, and misplaced faith: Creativity and art education. Art Education , 43 (6), 50 57. Wye, P. (1999). Rethinking studio art education. Art Journal, 58 (1), 3. Zimmerman, E. (2010). Reconsidering the role of creativity in art education. Art Education, 63 (2), 4 5.

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STUDIO ART THINKING AND PRACTICES 43 Appendix A

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STUDIO ART THINKING AND PRACTICES 44 Appendix B

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STUDIO ART THINKING AND PRACTICES 45 Appendix C

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STUDIO ART THINKING AND PRACTICES 46 Appendix D

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STUDIO ART THINKING AND PRACTICES 47 Appendix E

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STUDIO ART THINKING AND PRACTICES 48 List of Figures with Figure Captions Figure 1 : Idea boardÂ…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â… ....Â… Â… Â….. . 1 9 Figure 2 : Sharing of ideasÂ…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â… ... Â… Â….. Â…. 19 Figure 3 : Discussing ideas for the muralÂ…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â… ...Â… Â…... . 2 4 Figure 4 : Ideation techniques, PowerPo int presentation titleÂ…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â… .... . .. ... ...... 2 5 Figure 5 : Working together to solve the art problem , sketching the initial designÂ… Â… Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â….Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…. .. . ....... . 2 7 Figure 6 : Concept Map to finished productÂ…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â… .... .. ....... . 2 9 Figure 7 : Student blog post during ideation for the independent projectÂ…Â…Â… Â…Â….. Â… 3 1 Figure 8 : Bringing together imagination and cr eativity, completed independent p rojects Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â….Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â….. Â… Â…Â… 3 5 Figure 9 : Problem solving using new materialsÂ…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…. Â…Â… . . . ........ 36 Figure 10 : Overcoming technic al issues with materialsÂ…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…. Â…Â…... . . ........ .. 37 Figure 11 : Comple ted mural projectÂ…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â… Â…Â…Â… Â…Â….. ... .40

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STUDIO ART THINKING AND PRACTICES 49 Author Biography Tiffany D. Searcy grew up in rural eastern Connecticut with her parents and three siblings. Searcy left Connecticut in 2004 to attend college at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, GA. She graduated in 2008 with a B . A . in studio art and a concentration in education. She settled in At lanta and went on to work for Marist School as the Assistant to the Dean of Students. After five years of working with school administration on school operations , she began her first year teaching in 2013 as the Upper School Visual Arts teacher at Mount Pi sgah Christian School in Johns Creek, GA. There she teaches all levels of studio art ranging from introductory level courses to AP Studio Art. Searcy will graduate from the University of Florida with her masters in Art Education in August 2014. Her main in terest in art education is curriculum development and developing creative artistic habits of mind . Her artistic focus is in digital photography , painting, and exploring new art mediums. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her husband, family, an d friends and adores being out on the open water. Contact tiffanysearcy@gmail.com