On the campus of Northern Arizona University is a research foundation that
provides undergraduates with funds to look into topics of importance.
Research proposals are typically submitted from the hard sciences and
mathematics; therefore, guess who has received the money year after year?
But not this year!
Three of my art education students wrote a proposal and won an award that
will fund a research project in art education for two complete semesters.
This is the first time the award has gone to anyone in the art department
and -- even better -- it is one of the largest awards ever given. We are
running with the big dogs now!
The research project is one that holds potential importance for the field.
These students propose to replicate successful components of the Ideas
Factory (Tate Museum/London Public Schools art-based literacy project) in
Northern AZ public schools. http://www.tate.org.uk/britain/ideasfactory/
Using the Tate/LPS model to develop lessons that utilize our local art and
artists, my students will measure pre/post art understanding/appreciation in
elementary and secondary students and their art teachers; measure pre/post
writing content, fluency, and length of writing; and provide lessons and
resource materials to the teachers. Next year these students will present
their findings to local, state, and national entities. These students, under
my mentorship, will develop strong-as-garlic milkshake art-based lessons
that they teach during their student teaching experiences. They'll be
walking into their student teaching armed with dynamic lessons that we can
measure for effectiveness.
Needless to say how proud I am of these three students and their willingness
to try something far and above what is expected of most undergraduates.