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Lesson Plans

Re: The why in our research

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Linda Kelty (lckelty)
Sun, 4 Jul 1999 11:43:50 -0400

Michelle, This is very much what I was referring to. Many rank and file art
teachers don't have the time to research topics of this nature but could
certainly use the p.r. support. Please look at inserted responses. Thanks,
-----Original Message-----
From: Michelle H.Harrell <mmhar>
To: lckelty <lckelty>
Date: Sunday, July 04, 1999 9:04 AM
Subject: The why in our research

>Hi Linda!
>Is your question why do we need research and support art education

No, my thought is that we need evidence that supports the premise that art
is as important to the development of the human brain and the way it learns
as music, math, science, etc.

or was
>there another question you had in mind? There has been a tremendous amount
>of research done on this. I've been working on a 3 year (multi-million
>dollar grant) project with some great people at East Carolina University.

>They are researching ways that art increases spatial knowledge in math.
>Also, Harvard Project Zero is another research project that is finding new
>ways to support art in education.

This would definately be one aspect of the type of research I was referring
to. If it's been done, there would be no need to duplicate the research
unless it would be action research to further validate or refute the study
results. The research should be applicable to art classes and validate the
need for art programs in the overall preparation of students to learn and to
enhance intellectual development. I think the reason so much research
relies on math correlations is that it is more concretely proven. "If it
can't be crunched into numbers, it must not be valid" seems to be a
prevailing attitude on the part of many non-art people.

In my graduate classes, we've had to read
>a lot of anthologies by NAEA about how art teachers should use action
>research in the art classroom. Is this what you're referring to?
Essentially, but I'm thinking more that it should be a tool for use in art
classrooms by the time we're done. Evidence to support art in education for
those teachers who have to battle program cuts, budget and space
constraints. Resource compilations with critiques and recommendations for
ready use. Research results that validate program efforts for
administrators, parents and school boards. Bibliographies of research
articles, books for teachers, books for students.
I also think that as a group of art education professionals, we are
perfectly capable of formulating a hypothesis and setting out to prove or
disprove it. In an action research project of this nature, a core group
would have to take charge of compilation and writing after volunteers took
the research instrument to their classrooms for control and test groups.
This would be designed to prove the validity of art in the learning process
that goes beyond "how to" or anecdotal evidence. It would incorporate and
compare other studies, such as the ones you've mentioned as well as things
like multiple intelligences vs. right and left hemispheric thinking.
Michelle, my idea is to develop something that incorporates what has been
done with that which we, as a group, identify as a deficit, and work to
develop research of our own. Does that clarify things? Linda

>"Plenty of how to, very little of the why. It is the WHY that garners
>support with non-art people. So much has been written in support of music
>and it's impact on the learner in math and other academic areas."
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