Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Art, pride and heritage: Learners responding to multicultural images
by Waller, Angela Rae, M.A.Ed., East Carolina University, 2012, 47; 1518561
Abstract (Summary)

Do students naturally select artwork that is of their own heritage or do they choose what they find inspiring for other reasons? The purpose of this study was to detect if students prefer artwork based on what they find visually appealing or is it based on their racial background ethnic and cultural traditions. The answers to these questions may provide art teachers better insight on developing art lessons to teach learners to value cultures other than their own.

The sample for this study was selected from a total of 98 elementary, intermediate, middle and high school classes comprised of Caucasian, African American and Latino heritages. The participants in elementary are in 3 rd grade, 5th grade for intermediate, 7th grade for middle, and 9th through 12th for high school. Their ages ranged from 8 to 18 years. The measuring instrument was a PowerPoint presentation. This was viewed by students and was followed by a closed ended questionnaire. Items were selected from a large data base of artwork used nationally and selected by the classroom teacher according to curriculum standards. The results of the study were tabulated and presented in graph form.

It was hypothesized that students in elementary school would choose artwork that they found interesting for a broad range of reasons. Students in high school would choose artwork along racial lines and that students in intermediate and middle school would show mixed results.

The data did not support the hypothesis. Results showed that elementary students choose artwork along racial lines. Caucasian artwork was chosen most frequently by high school, intermediate and middle school students, even though Caucasians comprised the least amount of participants in the study.

The results could give educators more insight in the need to motivate our elementary students to value artwork from many cultures. Perhaps with earlier introduction to the content of other cultures and encouraging techniques from teachers, elementary students will appreciate art that is not only based on familiarity but from a place of inspiration. Diverse artwork can be a viable educational tool in a variety of subject areas with both cognitive and psychological benefits for all students. Art teachers should be consistent in providing this introduction to world visual cultures at an earlier grade level. In the age of multiculturalism, it is important that educators take advantage of every available tool with which to increase students' personal and global understanding, motivation, and academic achievement.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Quinn, Robert
Commitee: Arnold, Alice, Bickley-Green, Cynthia, Drought, Michael, Gemperline, Paul, Song, Borim
School: East Carolina University
Department: Art Education
School Location: United States -- North Carolina
Source: MAI 51/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Art education, Multicultural Education
Keywords: Art, Art education, Diversity, Images, Learners response, Multicultural
Publication Number: 1518561
ISBN: 9781267608116
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