Date of Award
Morgridge College of Education, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
Kent Seidel, Ph.D.
Linda Brookhart, Ph.D.
Arts education, Balanced intelligence, Culture of thinking, Intelligence, Learner-centered classrooms, Thinking
To be successfully intelligent in the 21st century, students must be able to think well in at least three ways: creatively, critically, and practically, with complexity and wisdom. The purpose of this research was to explore the differences in middle school students' quality of thinking in arts classrooms that are designed to be learner centered to a greater or lesser degree. Classroom environments which foster balanced intelligence in analytical, creative, and practical ways toward depth of understanding were the focus of this study. A better understanding of the impact of learner-centered environments on students' perceptions of their learning and understanding in these classrooms was also sought. This research study supported theory in the area of balanced intelligence, toward the realization of students' increased capacity to learn and achieve.
Results of this mixed model comparative study indicated that classrooms designed to be more learner-centered (utilizing inquiry, connection-making, and self-direction to a greater degree) had a positive effect on students' overall quality of thinking as demonstrated in a balanced way. Results also indicated that more learner-centered classrooms also had a positive effect on students' self-beliefs regarding their intelligence and understanding in the context of visual art.
This study suggests that infusion of best practice research toward the development of balanced thinking and overall cognitive development in the arts is beneficial to students and provided insight into the ways in which personal belief systems about capabilities and intelligence drive motivation, which may in turn drive learning goals and overall achievement. The mixed model exploratory design led to an emerging theory regarding a systems approach to the development quality thinking, as driven by the learning and thinking culture, belief systems, and dynamic classroom environments.
This study provides insight into how dynamic learning systems may better nurture the kind of flexible, adaptive thinkers--at all levels of the learning organization--needed in a complex world.
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Delane Ingalls Vanada
Received from ProQuest
Ingalls Vanada, Delane, "An Exploratory Comparative Study of Students' Thinking in Arts Classrooms" (2010). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 830.
Art education, Philosophy of education, Educational tests & measurements