Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The effect of visual arts education on at -risk students' critical thinking skills and the Maryland English II High School Assessment
by Alo, Theresa, Ph.D., College of Notre Dame of Maryland, 2009, 181; 3387322
Abstract (Summary)

The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) federal legislation mandated that states establish standards and create assessments to measure students' acquisition of specific skills. To meet the federal mandates, the State of Maryland has compiled standards and assessments in the areas of English, mathematics, social studies, and science through the Maryland Voluntary State Curriculum (MVSC).

The purpose of this study was to examine the possibility of discovering a pedagogical bridge between English achievement and visual arts education through an exploration of students who exhibit at-risk tendencies. To serve this purpose, data were collected from five counties across the state of Maryland. A statistically significant difference was uncovered between the Maryland English II High School Assessment (EHSA) scores of those students who have taken visual arts classes in the ninth grade and those students who did not take such classes.

The results present evidence that students who take visual arts in the ninth grade tend to have had lower English Middle School Assessment (EMSA) scores, putting them in the category of at-risk students. In this at-risk group, students who did take visual arts in the ninth grade outperformed their counterparts who did not take a visual arts class in the ninth grade.

As schools increasingly feel the pressure to institute standardized achievement measures, instruction in the visual arts may contribute to reaching those ends for students who demonstrate at-risk tendencies. The results of this study are encouraging and hopeful in light of the effects of using visual arts education to improve the EHSA scores for at-risk students. Visual arts as part of at-risk students’ curriculum, aims to help students achieve success on the EHSA.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Mahoney, Margaret E.
Commitee: Firmani, Dominick, Slather, Catherine
School: College of Notre Dame of Maryland
Department: Department of Education
School Location: United States -- Maryland
Source: DAI-A 70/12, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Art education, Educational tests & measurements, Secondary education
Keywords: Art, At-risk, At-risk students, Critical thinking, English, English II High School Assessment, High school assessments, Maryland, Visual arts
Publication Number: 3387322
ISBN: 978-1-109-53335-4
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