ARE 6748Assessment proposalTeaching Art Criticism and Its Effects on Learning in the Elementary Art Classroom on Students Who Are Eligible for Free and Reduced Lunch By: Andrea McCatty
Introduction • Arts education has been pushed to the sidelines of curriculum, especially in lower income area schools. Visual arts has been on the chopping block for years, looked at as expendable due to the limited budgets and the pressure of high stakes academic accountability in other subject areas. The result is a “progressive degeneration” of authentic arts education for students who cannot afford opportunities elsewhere, which reduces these students capacity to compete with more affluent students, widening the achievement gap (Holloway & Krensky, 2001, p.354).
purpose • The purpose of this study if to determine if teaching students the methodology of art criticism throughout their curriculum, through the use of contemporary exemplars will have a positive impact on the students’ achievement in the visual arts. Closing the achievement gap between students who are eligible for free and reduced lunch and students who are not eligible is a desired result of this assessment study.
questions • 1) What effect will teaching students methodology of art criticism and critique have on student achievement? • 2) Will teaching students, who are eligible for free and reduced lunch, methodology of art criticism close the achievement gap with students who are not eligible for free and reduced lunch? • 3) What impact will the use of contemporary exemplars have on student achievement?
Current condition • There is a trend in recent years showing a gap in achievement between socio-economic challenged students and students who come from higher income households. Based off the most recent 2008 NEAP Visual Arts assessment of eight graders, students who were eligible for free and reduced lunch scored significantly lower than students who were not eligible for free and reduced lunch. Students who were eligible for free and reduced lunch averaged a score of 133, twenty-seven points lower than students who were not eligible, scoring on average 160 (See Appendix M). Based on data collected from principals and art specialists in the 2009-10 school year, only eighty percent of schools who had seventy-six or more percent of their students qualifying for free and reduced lunch offered visual arts to their students, in comparison to schools who have twenty-five percent or less of their students qualifying for free and reduced lunch, offered visual arts at ninety-two percent of their schools.
Rationale • Socio-economic status has proven to be a predictor of students’ achievement more times than not. Students coming from a low socioeconomic background have consistently been lower achievers in academic standing, visual arts included. It is important to find the disconnects for these students in order to promote success for every student regardless of socioeconomic standing.
hypothesis • After all data has been collected and organized, the results of my study, with any luck, will support the following: Teaching students the methodology of art criticism will have a positive effect on student achievement. Teaching the methodology of art criticism will close the achievement gap between students who are eligible for free and reduced lunch and students who are not eligible for free and reduced lunch. The use of contemporary art exemplars will enhance student learning by increasing students’ understanding through enhanced engagement, thus increasing students’ achievement on the assessment. Through the use of contemporary exemplars along with the understanding of the method of criticism, race will not be a predictive factor in student achievement.
Operational definitions • Free and Reduced Lunch Program: The National School Lunch program provides free lunches to students whose family income is below 130% of the federal poverty line; it offers reduced-price lunches to students whose family income is between 130% and 185% of the poverty line. Lunch program participation is often used as an indication of family income levels at the school (Keiper, Sandene, Persky, & Kuang, 2009, p. 20) • Contemporary Art: Works of art created in the past thirty years. • Bundled Assessment: Multiple measure assessment consisting of various forms of assessment (Brewer, 2011). • Exemplar: An ideal example of something, worthy of imitation. • Art Criticism: Spoken or written talk about artwork (Feldman, 1994, p. 1) • Describe: First stage of art criticism. Information gathering stage: artist, title, medium, date of work, and country of origin. Utilize language of line, shape, color, and texture. Critic should employ neutral, unloaded, value-free language. (Feldman, 1994, p. 25). • Analyze: Second stage of art criticism. Dealing with visual evidence, juxtaposition and combination of formal elements; line, shape, color, and texture (Feldman, 1994, p. 28).
Operational definitions • Interpret: Third stage of art criticism. Search for meaning, a statement that makes our descriptive and analytic observations cohere, making meaning of critical exploration from stages one and two of art criticism (Feldman, 1994, p. 30). • Judge: Form an opinion or conclusion about piece of work of art. Estimating the value in relation to another work of art. Is it successful? (Feldman, 1994, p. 36) • Formalism: Concern or excessive concern with form and technique rather than content in artistic creation (Feldman, 1994, p. 38). • Expressivism: An artworks capacity to communicate feeling and ideas honestly, vividly, and forcefully (Feldman, 1994, p. 39) • Instrumentalism: Artworks capacity to serve an institution that is seen as greater than Art, religious, government, political, business, etc. (Feldman, 1994, p. 40). • Mixed Method Research: an approach to inquiry that combines or associates both qualitative ad quantitative forms (Creswell, 2009, p. 4)
Review of literature • Keiper, Sandene, Persky, & Kuang’s“The Nation’s Report Card: Arts 2008 Music & Visual Arts & Arts Education in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools: 1999-2000 and 2009-10“ • Comparing statistical information. • Harwell and LeBeau’s “Students Eligibility for a Free Lunch as an SES Measure in Education Research& Sparks’ “NAEP Seeks to Test New Measure of Student Poverty” • New indicators being added for SES measures for students • Diket’s“Amending a Performance Assessment for Middle School Art Students & Diket’s“What did Students Do in Their Critical Analysis of 5 Mother/Child Artworks Presented in the 1997 and 2008 NAEP Arts with Whatever They Knew about Art, from Wherever Opportunity to Learn Source?” • Tying together critical thinking skills, strategies, & art criticism critical theory. • Wong’s The perfect marriage? Language and Art Criticism in Hong Kong Public Education. • Possible issues with written language and art criticism • Julia Marshall’s“Substantive Art Integration Equals Exemplary Art Education” • Benefits and characteristics of contemporary art education • College Board’s “Arts at the Core: Recommendations for Advancing the State of the Arts Education in the 21st Century” • Why limited access for socioeconomically disadvantaged, touches on importance for multiculturalism in exemplars
methodologies • Sample • Research Design • Instrumentation • Procedural Details • Data Analysis
Sample • A total of approximately 50 fifth grade students will be assessed, 25 students from school A and 25 students from school B. Both schools A and B will have at 75% of their student population eligible for free/reduced lunch. The teacher from school A will have taught and consistently focused on the methodology of art criticism (describe analyze, interpret, judge) throughout the year alongside the visual art curriculum. The teacher from school B will have not taught or implemented art criticism throughout the year.
RESEARCH DESIGN • This research is a quasi-experimental research design that will use a mixed method approach in gathering and analyzing both qualitative and quantitative data. Students at school A will receive treatments using instrument (See Appendix J). The Art Teacher at School A will utilize this treatment with every lesson; it can be used for an artist’s or student’s artwork. Students will be assessed twice, at the beginning of the year and at the end of the year, to measure independent achievement and to see how much growth that has been made by students who received the treatment in comparison to students who did not receive the treatment. Student demographic and teacher profile data will be used to further compare separate variables to determine if relationships exist between them.
Instrumentation • A demographics survey will be given to students to gather information on economic status, ethnicity/race, and gender (See Appendix A). A teacher profile survey will be given to the teacher to gauge educational experiences and the curriculum they implement (See Appendix B). The assessment will include and multiple choice / matching portion based on contemporary exemplar (See Appendix C), a critique portion (See Appendix D), and a planning and final creating portion (See Appendix E & F). Rubrics will be used to assess the students’ art criticism (See Appendix G) and drawing (See Appendix H & I) portions of the assessments.
Procedural details • This study will be conducted during the course of one school year, August until May, at two separate Orange County public schools. Fifty fifth-grade students, living in the greater Orlando area of Florida will participate in a pre / post bundled assessment. The pre and post assessment will be the same with the exception of the exemplars. The pre-test will be given in August, and the post-test will be given in May.
Procedural Details • Day One – Pre-assessment • Students will fill out demographics survey; teacher will fill out teacher profile. • Multiple choice portion of assessment will be given • Day Two – Pre-assessment • Art criticism writing portion • Day Three – Pre-assessment • Planning and Final Creating Portion • Day One - Post -assessment • Multiple choice portion of assessment will be given • Art Criticism writing portion • Day Two – Post- assessment • Planning and Final Creating Portion
Data Analysis • Once all data has been collected, data will be evaluated and compared, focusing on finding correlations between curriculum, achievement level, and students’ eligibility to receive free and reduced lunch. Correlations between curriculum, achievement level, and ethnicity/race and gender will also be looked at. Once all data has been analyzed all the hypothetical questions will be answered.
Assessment/pilot • This assessment is modeled after a portion of the 2008 NAEP and portions of Brewer’s Bundled Assessment (Brewer, 2011). • The assessment will consist of four separate, but relatable, sections. • Section One – Multiple Choice /Analysis • Section Two – Art Criticism • Section Three – Creating, Planning self-portrait sketch • Section Four – Creating, Final self-portrait drawing. • Two contemporary artists’ paintings are used as exemplars, Kehinde Wiley and Faith Ringgold. • There will be a pre and post assessment given. • Pre-assessment will cover a three-day period • Post-assessment will cover a two-day period.
ASSESSMENT / PILOT • Section One • Multiple choice section. Students will study the two exemplars (see appendix K & L) and answer eight multiple choice questions about the works (see appendix C). Students will have thirty minutes to study the works of art and answer all eight questions. Questions are directly related to the exemplars. • Section Two • Art Criticism section. Students will choose one of the two exemplars to critique. Students will describe, analyze, interpret, and judge their work of choice on the sheet provided (see appendix D). Students will be given sixty minutes to complete this section of the assessment. Students’ responses will be graded using a rubric (see appendix G). • Section Three • Creating / planning sketch section. Students are asked to sketch one idea for a self-portrait to later be finalized. Students should include characteristics that portray self-identity. Students should reference the exemplars used for section one and section two. The sketch should be relatively complete and represent a cohesive idea. Students will use pencil to sketch. Students will be given thirty minutes to complete this section of the assessment (see appendix E). A rubric will be used to assess the sketch (see appendix H) • Section Four • Creating / final drawing. Students will be asked to create a finalized self-portrait using the insight and knowledge they have gained from previous sections. The final self-portrait should be a finalized version of the planning sketch (see appendix F). The drawing should show the student as the main subject and the student’s personal identity. It should be an organized, cohesive, work that uses good craftsmanship. The final drawing should also show evidence of the student’s understanding of the elements of art and principles of design. Students will be given a pencil, eraser, and crayons to finish this work. Students will be given sixty minutes to complete this section of the exam. The final self-portrait will be assessed using a rubric (see appendix I).
Implications for teaching • Curriculum • Art Criticism • Critical thinking skills • Contemporary exemplars • Teachers • Professional development in these areas • Willingness to reshape the way they teach
results • This research proposal has resulted in a four-section assessment tool that can be used to gather data. The rubrics created for this assessment can be used as a means to assess the data collected, and the student demographics survey and teacher profile can help to compare and contrast achievement gains and gaps in student achievement to configure answers to the hypothetical questions stated previously. The contemporary exemplars used in this assessment could also be looked at as a variable that effected student achievement. Since this assessment has not yet been implemented, no results are available to be included in this proposal.
Conclusion • I have moved past the point of debating whether or not to assess the arts. Assessment is more than a way to prove visual arts place in education, it is the way to a quality, authentic, and effective visual arts education. My research has shown the ever-valuable critical thinking skills that can be gained, and perhaps a means to attain them. • It is clear through my experience in teaching and research, students who come from low-income backgrounds struggle to make the same academic achievement gains as student who comes from a more affluent background. The reasoning is varied, but the result is the same. Since I teach at a school with one hundred percent of the student population fitting into the category of low-income backgrounds it is my duty as an educator to find a means to close this achievement gap and make success available to every single student, regardless of their socioeconomic status.
Exemplar Artist: Kehinde Wiley Title: Napoleon Leads the Army Over the Alps Year: 2005 Size: 108 in x 108 in Medium: Oil on canvas
exemplar Artist: Faith Ringgold Title: Dancing at the Louvre Year: 1991 Size: 73.5 in x 80 in Medium: Acrylic on Canvas, pieced fabric border
References • Brewer, T. (2011). Lessons learned from a Bundled Visual Arts Assessment. Visual ArtsResearch, 37(1), 79-95. • College Board. (2009). Arts at the core: recommendations for advancing the state of arts education in the 21st century. Retrieved on June 8, 2012 from http://advocacy.collegeboard.org/sites/default/files/arts-task-force-report.pdf • Creswell, J.W. (2009). Research Design: Qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods approaches (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks: Sage. Chapter One. • Diket, R. (2012). What did Students Do in Their Critical Analysis of 5 Mother/Child Artworks Presented in the 1997 and 2008 NAEP Arts with Whatever They Knew about Art, from Wherever Opportunity to Learn Source? Paper presented at AERA 2012, Vancouver, BC. • Diket, R., McCulloch, S., & Siegesmund, R. (2001). Amending a performance assessment for middle school art students. National Art Education Association, • (43) 1, 45-56. • Feldman, E. B., & Woods D. (1981). Art criticism and reading. Journal of Aesthetic Education, (15) 4 , 75-95. • Keiper, S., B.A.Sandene, H. R. Persky, and M. Kuang. (2009). The Nation’s Report Card: Arts 2008 Music & Visual Arts (NCES 2009-488) National Center for Education Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, D.C. Available at: http://nationsreportcard.gov/arts_2008/ • Marshall, J. (2006). Substantive Art Integration Equals Exemplary Art Education. Art Education, (59)6, 17-24.
references • National Center for Educational Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences, National Assessment of Educational Progress. (2008). Visual Arts Assessment. Retrieved from http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/naepdata/ • Parsad, B., and Speigelman, M. (2012). Arts Education in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools: 1999-2000 and 2009-10 (NCES 2012-014). National Center for Education Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. Washington, DC. • Pistone, N. (2002). Envisioning arts assessment: a process guide for assessing arts • education in school districts and states. Washington, DC: Council of Chief State • School Officers. • Ringgold, Faith. (1991). Dancing at the louvre. [Oil on canvas]. Private collection. Retrieved from: http://www.faithringgold.com/ringgold/d11.htm • Sparks, S. D. (2012). NAEP seeks to test new measure of student poverty. Education Week. (32)14, 6-8. • Wiley, Kehinde. (2005). Napolean leading the army over the alps. [Oil on canvas]. Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn. Retrieved from: http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/opencollection • /objects/169803/Napoleon_Leading_the_Army_over_the_Alps • Wong, S. L. (2012). The perfect marriage? Language and art criticism in Hong Kong public education. (Unpublished paper).