Teaching literacy through art.
Korn, R. (2007). Teaching literacy through art. New York: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Visitor Studies, Evaluation & Audience Research.
This study is an evaluation of the outcomes—for students, teachers and teaching artists—of participation in the Solomon Guggenheim Museum’s Learning Through the Arts (LTA) program, a teaching artist residency program implemented in New York City during the 2004-2006 school years. Using quantitative and qualitative measures, researchers compare: a treatment group of two schools where students receive LTA programming; a treatment group of two schools where students receive LTA programming and teachers receive LTA professional development; and two control group schools where neither students nor teachers participated in LTA programming. Numerous outcomes are cited concluding that treatment students showed more positive attitudes toward museums and exhibited better literacy skills during interviews. Classroom teachers and teaching artists also expressed positive experiences from participating in LTA.
- While all students had relatively positive attitudes toward museums, treatment students had more positive attitudes and were more likely to go with their families to a museum than control students.
- Treatment students provided interview responses using language associated with higher grade levels and with more words than control students.
- Treatment students regarded art as a process by which they engage in problem solving while non-treatment students felt frustration when their art didn’t turn out as they desired. Treatment students also saw artists as people with “good ideas” who “experiment with different materials” while non-treatment students viewed them as people who made beautiful objects.
- Classroom teachers in both treatment groups believed that most teaching artists’ lessons were connected to the curriculum and that they learned new strategies to integrate art into their lessons.
- Classroom teachers who received professional development found it enhanced their teaching, increasing their experience and confidence in using inquiry to look at both art and literacy texts.
- Overall, statistically significant differences between treatment and control students on the ELA test were not found. However, treatment students were more likely to have higher ratings of artistic engagement.
- There were increases in critical thinking and literacy skills among students who participated in LTA.
- Teaching artists felt that their participation in LTA led them to change their teaching practice by trying new things with students, especially finding strategies to reach below average students.