The Museum is the Object: An Action Research Study in How Critical Theory Curriculum Influences Student Understanding of an Art Museum
Description: The purpose of this action research study was to determine how a critical theory curriculum implemented in a college-level art appreciation course impacted student understanding of an encyclopedic art museum. A critical theory-based curriculum unit was designed and implemented, and students were given assignments to assess their learning. The most significant assignment centered on a self-guided student visit to the art museum in which students made detailed observations of the museum spaces and responded to articles critiquing museum practices. These documents, together with class discussions and my personal observations, were analyzed and described in this research study. The data revealed that students had a high level of regard for and interest in art museums, were capable of understanding how history and context influences museum practices, detected multiple instances of bias in art museum galleries, and self-reported high levels of cognition and empowerment based on their experiences. The data suggested that, in college students, both art appreciation instructors and museum educators have an ideal audience in which to facilitate sustained, higher-level, critical theory-based museum learning experiences.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Elizondo, Kristina Kay
Partner: UNT Libraries