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 Department: Department of Art Education and Art History
 Degree Level: Doctoral
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
An Action Research Study of Community Building with Elementary Students in a Title I School
“In what ways does teaching with folk arts inspired visual arts-based instruction enhance community building among elementary students in a Title I school?” was the primary research question in this study. Agreeing with past and present day research that the construct of community is vital to social and cultural capital, this research attempts to determine how the notion of community benefits both students and teachers in the elementary art classroom. Folk art was utilized because this genre was accessible in terms of locality and familiarity among students and teachers. The purpose of this investigation was to produce teaching strategies and methods that show how community can be formed in the art classroom. The participants were elementary students, Grades 2 and 3, in a Title I school located in Denton, Texas. This investigation was conducted under an action research methodology. This approach to research is intended to be transformational, emergent, and accommodating. I recorded observations, field notes, and conversations from the participants. Emergent themes were discovered through content analysis and conceptual maps. Results from this investigation concluded transformation is only possible if the person wants change to happen. Data also showed that community and art education are symbiotic. Transformation, growth, and cultivation are demands that must be met in order for this relationship to flourish. In addition, data suggested that the role of folk arts-based lessons played a significant role in building community among second and third graders.
The Art Car Spectacle: a Cultural Display and Catalyst for Community
This auto-ethnographic study focuses on Houston’s art car community and the grassroots movement’s 25 year relationship with the city through an art form that has created a sense of community. Art cars transform ordinary vehicles into personally conceived visions through spectacle, disrupting status quo messages of dominant culture regarding automobiles and norms of ownership and operation. An annual parade is an egalitarian space for display and performance, including art cars created by individuals who drive their personally modified vehicles every day, occasional entries by internationally renowned artists, and entries created by youth groups. A locally proactive public has created a movement has co-opted the cultural spectacle, creating a community of practice. I studied the events of the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art’s Art Car Weekend to give me insight into art and its value for people in this community. Sources of data included the creation of a participatory art car, journaling, field observation, and semi-structured interviews. The first part is my academic grounding, informed by critical pedagogy and socially reconstructive art practices. The second part narrates my experiences and understandings of the community along with the voices of others. Dominant themes of exploration include empowerment, community, and art. I examine the purposes for participation by artists, as well in the practices of audiences and organizations that provide support for this art form. My findings have significant implications community-based art education and k-12 classroom educators. Relational and dialogic approaches to making art, teaching, and researching are tied to problem-posing education as a recommendation for art education.
A Collective Case Study of Veterans Inside an Arts and Crafts Room and Their Perceptions Regarding Empowerment
This dissertation is "A Collective Case Study of Veterans Inside an Arts and Crafts Room and Their Perceptions Regarding Empowerment." This research examined to what degree art making, and in what ways a community of learning contributed to veterans' self-worth and empowerment through their creative activities and interactions inside an arts and crafts room at the VA hospital in Dallas, Texas. Furthermore, an essential reason for this study is to examine veterans in the arts and crafts environment to explore whether their experiences were important, meaningful, and empowering, and especially important in this regard are the interactions among veterans. Empowerment in this context is defined as gaining self-esteem and motivation within oneself. This includes becoming more confident and positive, as well as gaining the ability to learn about one's own identity. It also described how the interactions between the participants are shaped by the social contexts within which they come together. Using post-modern feminist theory, narrative inquiry and care theory, this dissertation describes the ways that the processes and products of creative activity bring empowerment through dialogue and personal stories while using the component of caring during teaching and learning.
Creating a Heterotopic Space: Reflections on Pre-service Art Educators’ Narratives
My autobiographical research focuses on creating digital heterotopias through social media platforms, providing safe spaces which allow art teacher candidates the opportunity to reflect upon their practicum experiences and question the status quo of institutional myths and inherited discourses in teacher fieldwork. Functions of heterotopic space link together and reflect other pedagogical sites, including institutional spaces. Heterotopias are often designed to be temporal and hidden from public view but are necessary enclaves for exploring non-hierarchical paradigms. Such temporary communal spaces can lead one to a personal praxis in uncovering what sometimes is never fully explored, our own autobiographical narrative of teaching. By creating a digital space utilized by art education student teachers in the midst of their practicum, I recalled my forgotten autobiography of student teaching, where memories of inequities and suppression of difference emerged. Through the lenses of critical theory and resistance theory, this study examines possibilities of crafting digital spaces as forms of artistic resistance and identity reconstruction zones. As such, the goal of examining the student teaching practicum concerning; power inequities, evaluation methods, standardization of teaching, evolving teacher identities, and the social environment of teaching, is to illustrate hegemonic processes and visualize spaces of possibility to deconstruct self and (re) imagine alternative ways of being teachers. Weaving in multiple stories of fieldwork experience allowed for a collocation in visualizing a space of unfolding inquiry, recognizing multiple genres of knowing through the qualitative and emergent methodologies of narrative inquiry and arts-based research.
Eating from the Tree of Knowledge: The Impact of Visual Culture on the Perception and Construction of Ethnic, Sexual, and Gender Identity
This study explores the way that visual culture and identity creates understanding about how the women in my family interact and teach each other. In the study issues of identity, liminality, border culture, are explored. The study examines how underrepresented groups, such as those represented by Latinas, can enter into and add to the discourses of art education because the women who participated have learned to maneuver through the world, passing what they have learned to one another, from one generation to the next. Furthermore, the study investigates ways in which visual cues offer a way for the women in my family to negotiate their identity. In the study the women see themselves in signs, magazines, television, dolls, clothing patterns, advertisements, and use these to find ways in which to negotiate the borderlands of the places in which they live. Although the education that occurred was informal, its importance is in creating a portal through which to self reflect on the cultural work of educating.
The Enameling Arts in Kuwaiti Pre-service Art Teacher Education
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The purpose of this study was twofold: (1) to examine the knowledge, skills, and experiences in the enameling arts and the attitudes and perceptions of in-service (n = 12) and pre-service Kuwaiti art teachers (n = 170), art supervisors at the Ministry of Education (MOE) (n = 3) and art education faculty members at the College of Basic Education (CBE) and Kuwait University (KU) (n = 8) about what they believed pre-service art teachers should know and be able to do in order to teach the enameling arts, and (2) to use this information to inform and guide the development of a content outline for an enameling course for pre-service Kuwaiti art teachers that is educationally (how to perform enameling arts skills and how to teach what they know), practically (safety issues, workshop management, etc), and culturally (its relation to Islamic culture) suitable. Both quantitative and qualitative approaches were used. Most of the respondents revealed limited knowledge and skills and modest experiences in the enameling arts. All interviewees in the study expressed positive perceptions and attitudes about the enameling arts. Most agreed that a revision to the current art education curriculum at the CBE was needed and made suggestions about how the curriculum should be revised. It was clear that there is a disconnection and miscommunication between the MOE and the CBE with regards to the information about enameling that should be covered and taught in the art education classes. All respondents expressed support for the inclusion of a course in enameling in the art education curriculum at the CBE. Because of the limited knowledge of the participants in the study, they were not able to provide guidance in shaping the content for a course in the enameling arts. The researcher had to rely on the literature review and his expertise as an enameling artist to develop a content outline that was educationally, practically, and culturally suitable for the pre-service Kuwaiti art teachers. Further study was recommended in regard to curriculum issues, especially those related to the inclusion of Islamic culture, and methods of delivering instruction in the enameling arts.
Engaging Lives: a Nomadic Inquiry Into the Spatial Assemblages and Ethico-aesthetic Practices of Three Makers
This research is a nomadic inquiry into the ethics and aesthetics of three makers’ social and material practices. Deleuze’s concept of the nomad operated in multiple ways throughout the process, which was embedded in performative engagements that produced narratives of becoming. Over four months, I built relationships with three people as I learned about the ethico-aesthetic significance of their daily practices. The process started by interviewing participants in their homes and expanded over time to formal and informal engagements in school, community, and agricultural settings. I used Guattari’s ecosophical approach to consider how subjectivity was produced through spatial assemblages by spending time with participants, discussing material structures and objects, listening to personal histories, and collaboratively developing ideas. Participants included a builder who repurposed a missile base into a private residence and community gathering space, an elementary art teacher who practiced urban homesteading, and a young artist who developed an educational farm. The research considers the affective force of normalized social values, the production of desire by designer capitalism, and the mutation of life from neoliberal policies. Our experiences illuminate the community-building potential of direct encounters and direct exchanges. The project generates ideas for becoming an inquirer in the everyday and reveals possibilities for producing pedagogical experiences through collective and dissensual action. Ultimately, the project produces hope for performative and anti-disciplinary approaches to education, rupturing false divisions that fragment the force of thought, to produce, instead, aesthetic experiences that privilege processes and are based in direct and collective engagements with life.
Evaluating the Cultural Plan of Austin, Texas
This is a concurrent, mixed methods study of the impacts of Austin, Texas’s cultural plan, CreateAustin. In the study, trend analysis and a t-test were used to examine variables before and after the cultural plan was in place. At the same time, interviews with cultural planners were used to uncover other effects. My research addresses a gap in the literature between understanding the desired and actual outcomes of a cultural plan. Cultural plans are being developed by many communities in an effort to attract creative workers but they are rarely evaluated. Evaluation using a mixed methods approach is necessary to capture all the outcomes of a cultural plan, rather than the limited scope of impacts that are captured by qualitative or quantitative analyses alone. My analysis of the quantitative variables showed some significant differences between when the plan was in place and the years prior to its creation. Interviews with key stakeholders revealed the formation of new networks as a powerful outcome of the planning process. The results allowed me to gauge the overall impact of CreateAustin and make some observations about the cultural planning process in general, as well as uncover new directions for future research.
Examining Visual Art Experiences for Relationship Building in Shared-site Locations
This study explored the perceptions of 74 activity directors responsible for the intergenerational programming that is currently taking place at shared-sites, facilities where older adults and young people receive services and programs simultaneously in a co-located space. Data for this study was collected through a national survey of 149 shared-sites collected from the Generations United data base. the questionnaire asked respondents about their facility’s intergenerational programming, demographic information, and perceived sense of community exhibited by participants in the intergenerational program. Descriptive data regarding the location, primary emphasis, ages and number served, and specific program characteristics, including visual art programming, at IGSS facilities were collected and analyzed. Results from the analysis were reported with limitations. There was a statistical significance suggested in the association of the frequency and duration of art activities with some of the sense of community variables. the study is valuable in determining the current demographics of IGSS facilities that offer visual art programs. Further research needs to be conducted to answer questions regarding the specific role that the visual arts play in creating a sense of community among intergenerational participants at shared-site facilities.
"image"/ "i" / "nation": A Theory and Practice of Becoming an A/r/tographer
One can argue that embracing technological models may produce students who are illiterate in the "proper" methods of communication. With rapid technological change, some fear traditions in their "original" form may be lost. Practices such as trying to recapture the artist's intent should be abandoned as a way of opening up literacy discourse to multiple narratives. Failing to critically explore the possibilities of emerging models of thinking, teaching, and learning in a technological culture can produce a loss equal to the loss of tradition. An a/r/tographer works toward a fluid practice between the domains of artist, researcher, and teacher in order to negotiate emerging forms of visual/tactile/auditory communication which include the body as a networked organism situated recursively within the larger structure of society. This study occurred during two separate semesters of an art education course for pre-service elementary teachers. Through interaction with hypermedia, social networking, installation art, and mash-ups, the teacher and students became artists, researchers, and teachers in a community of practice. A new form of teaching practice was envisioned that opens the possibility for both collective and individual understandings in the formation of curricula. A set of guiding principles was invented through practice as a way of producing a deeper understanding of culture and self. The following principles were derived from engagement with emerging technologies: In<SCRIPT>ion, Flip the Script, (H)Activation, Sample, (Re)mix, and Avatar. (H)Activation produces a learning environment that disrupts the flow of teaching, learning, literacy, art, technology, etc., as a way of programming practice for the inclusion of multiple narratives. Utilizing bricolage or a Do It Yourself approach, an apparatus for programming emerged, "image"/"i"/"nation". The term "image"/"i"/"nation" is a play on the concept of the imagination. Through reflexive application the imagination is split allowing connections and disconnections through practice. By engaging in its application the teacher and students became better able to formulate new ways of negotiating curricula, literacy practice, and artistic production.
A Meaningful Task: Investigating Into the Culture of Assessment in the Art Classroom of the Schools in Denton
This is an enterpretivist cultural study on how the lively idea of assessment is enacted by the art teachers, students and administrators in Denton school art education, North Texas, the United States. This ethnographic research aims to extend understanding on assessment as vivid cultural and social dynamics that both reflects and enlivens varied and interconnected values promoted and shared among the people involved. Through a perspective of the culture of assessment, this study is expected to facilitate insights on art education as lived, purposeful experience bearing suggestions on a certain social environment and historical implications. Such insights as sought further illuminate specific understandings on art education in different cultural societies, such as China. From a Chinese native viewpoint, the researcher broadens her horizons on connection and independence important for informative performance of art education in the discourses of modern nation and schooling, as well as globalization. It is hoped that this study will interest other art educators, teachers, and researchers to make multiple and continuous efforts in further exploring the culture of assessment with cultural and historical consciousness and knowledge.
Sexual Orientation and the Advanced Placement Art History Survey
This two-part study included a content analysis of an AP art history text and a survey together with interviews with AP art history teachers that embraced both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies. The first phase of the study examined one of the more popular art history survey texts in the AP art history program, Gardner’s Art through the Ages, in terms of how inclusive it is in addressing issues of sexual orientation and, particularly, same-sex perspectives. In addition, the text was examined for evidence of sexual orientation ignored – particularly same-sex perspectives ignored and for heteronormative hegemonies. The second phase investigated the understandings and opinions of AP art history teachers toward the inclusion of sexual orientation and same-sex perspectives in their curriculums and classrooms. Recent recognition of gay, lesbian, and same-sex perspectives in the study of art history has challenged art educators and art historians to begin to consider opening up their curriculums and writings to include these perspectives. These ignored perspectives produce important understandings that enrich and deepen the discourse of art history. The inclusion of gay and lesbian content and same-sex perspectives to the study of AP art history, not only effectively serves the needs of AP art history teachers, but it provides a more equitable and comprehensive visual arts education to students. The implications of this study are broad and complex. If students are to be well and comprehensively educated in the history of the visual arts, including discussions about the sexual orientation of gay and lesbian artists as well as artworks depicting same-sex perspectives is important. Similarly, their teachers must be well-informed and believe that including such material in the curriculum is important. There is definitely a need for designing more balanced and equitable AP art history programs that include gay and lesbian artists as well as same-sex perspectives. From a multicultural art education perspective, this study reveals that gays and lesbians are marginalized in a major AP art history survey text. It illuminates how an AP art history survey text and AP art history teachers’ attitudes and knowledge base on same-sex perspectives inform their curriculums, specifically concerning what’s important to teach in an AP art history classroom. If approved AP art history survey texts as well as the influential annual AP College Board art history exam included issues of sexual orientation, particularly same-sex perspectives, it would encourage more AP art history teachers to include gay and lesbian artists and same-sex perspectives in their curriculums.
Visual Culture in the Context of Turkey: Perceptions of Visual Culture in Turkish Pre-Service Art Teacher Preparation
This study explored the state of art education in Turkey as revealed by pre-service art education university instructors, and the potential of incorporating visual culture studies in pre-service art education in Turkey. The instructors' ideas about visual culture, and popular culture, the impact it might have, the content (objects), and the practices within the context of Turkey were examined. Visual culture was examined from an art education perspective that focuses on a pedagogical approach that emphasizes the perception and critique of popular culture and everyday cultural experiences, and the analysis of media including television programs, computer games, Internet sites, and advertisements. A phenomenological human science approach was employed in order to develop a description of the perception of visual culture in pre-service art education in Turkey as lived by the participants. In-person interviews were used to collect the data from a purposive sample of 8 faculty members who offered undergraduate and graduate art education pedagogy, art history, and studio courses within four-year public universities. This empirical approach sought to obtain comprehensive descriptions of an experience through semi-structural interviews. These interviews employed open-ended questions to gather information about the following: their educational and professional background; their definitions of art education and art teacher education and what it means for them to teach pre-service art education; critical reflections on the educational system of Turkey; perceptions of visual and popular culture; and finally individual approaches to teaching art education. This study was conducted for the purpose of benefiting pre-service art teacher education in general and specifically in Turkey. It provided the rationale, the nature, and pedagogy of visual culture as well as the why and how of visual culture art education in the context of Turkey. Furthermore, it provided insights into the potential contribution of the concept of visual culture to the understanding of art and improvement of art teacher training in the context of Turkey.