The Madness in my Methods

Lately my personal and family life has required more of my heart and my brain than usual.  As such, grad school got shoved onto a back burner where (I hoped) thoughts would magically bubble and brew into a delicious research proposal.  That’s not exactly what happened…

My mother, a seasoned educator, believes that it is extremely important for students to be emotionally ready to learn.  I’ve recently experienced this in full force, and I agree with her theory.  I’m just now getting my heart and my head back in the game, and I want to share with you where I’m headed with my research.  There’s going to be plenty of madness in my methods, but I’m looking forward to it. 🙂  I’ve honed down my broad, ambiguous, and elusive subject of “play” into a more concrete research goal:

  • My research goal is to develop strategies that encourage student contributions in the art classroom.  My end goal is NOT a curriculum.  It is a set of practices/activities/prompts/questions designed to invite students to bring more from their own worlds and lives into their art making.
  • My study will take place in a unique setting, a summer art camp at the Renee Foosaner Education Center in Eau Gallie, Florida from June 3rd to August 1st.
  • This research is of interest to me and to the field of art education because it is capable of addressing a wide range of issues in the art classroom such as play, collaboration, motivation, agency, and personal voice…yet it will provide specific strategies for encouraging student contribution.
  • This research is relevant to art educators who wish to provide more opportunities for their students to “bring something to the table” in the creative process.  It is relevant to the lives of students who will have an outlet to share and creatively build upon their collections/ideas/creations/findings and the contributions of their peers that come from outside of the classroom.  It is also relevant to parents who might see their children looking at the world with wider eyes and developing their own methods for recording the world around them so that they share what they experience with their art teacher and their peers during the creative process…and, ultimately, they may share these experiences with viewers who see their artistic products.
  • My research lies tangent to (but does not include) collaboration in the art classroom, found art, non-traditional art making materials, and the Reggio Emilia approach.
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One thought on “The Madness in my Methods”

  1. [insert excited applause here] This sounds really exciting and beneficial… To the world. My nephew is in the 8th grade and while his art teacher last year was really good at getting the kids interested in creating, I thought it would have been nice to see something more along the lines of what you’re reaching for. So thank you for the work you will be doing.

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