Artful Citizenship: A Passport to Learning
The Wolfsonian-Florida International University, received a US Department of Education, Arts in Education, Model Development and Dissemination Grant Program to develop a pilot program for utilizing art as a tool to teach in core content areas in K-12 education. The result was Artful Citizenship: A Passport to Learning, an arts-integrated social studies curriculum project designed to provide third- through fifth- grade students and teachers with the tools necessary to develop visual literacy skills; implement social science content across academic content areas; and create opportunities for integrated artistic response.
I managed the study that the US Dept of Ed required as part of the development of the project. The research project included longitudinal research on the academic achievement benefits of using art to build visual literacy and critical thinking skills, as well as formative assesments of the curriculum.
I worked closely with Kate Rawlinson and Mark Osterman to develop a curriculum that offers object-based learning teaching strategies, examples of curriculum materials, an arts infused pedagogical approaches to teaching twenty-first century skills.
Artful Citizenship: A Passport to Learning. (2002-2005). The Wolfsonian-FIU, Miami Beach, FL.
The Artful Citizenship evaluation sought to understand the relationship between visual literacy and other academic skills. Visual Thinking Strategies was a major component of the Artful Citizenship curriculum. The evaluation produced significant findings about the efficacy of the VTS curriculum in classroom practice. Significant findings:
* Students who received VTS for three years had significantly higher growth rates in visual literacy than comparison group students;
* There was a strong relationship between growth in visual literacy and growth in both reading and mathematics;
* VTS promoted good citizenship skills, cooperation, respect, and tolerance for the views of others; and
* VTS was especially effective with students with limited English proficiency.
The study concluded that curriculum enhancements like VTS, may be the best test preparation the schools can provide. To full report may be found here.