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Title:Differentiation in art education: Exploring two art teachers' responsive pedagogy in an elementary school in Taiwan
Author(s):Chen, Wei-Ren
Director of Research:Bresler, Liora
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Bresler, Liora
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Hertzog, Nancy; Parsons, Michael J.; Parsons, Marilyn A.
Department / Program:Curriculum and Instruction
Discipline:Elementary Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):differentiated instruction
artistically talented education
Confucian heritage
Abstract:This qualitative study explores the ―operational curricula‖ (Goodlad, Klein, & Tye, 1979) of art teachers in both the general and the artistically talented classes in an elementary school in Taiwan. Specifically, I investigated the responsive pedagogies of two art teachers that focused on the differentiation aspects for diverse learners, including those identified as artistically talented. The value systems embedded in their responsive pedagogies were also studied. The responsive pedagogies of the two teachers included two facets: curricular modification and instructional adjustment. In terms of curricular modification for the two types of classes, the teachers organized art projects and choices of concepts and products that were appropriate for the students in learning art in a studio-orientated class structure. As for instructional adjustment, one teacher used various instructional strategies to attune to the diverse levels of readiness, interests, and learning styles in art of students in both settings. Her adaptive instructional approaches consisted of occasional exceptions, personalized guidance, student choice, flexible grouping, and station work. The other teacher drew on individualized instruction in the artistically talented class and instructional adjustment was not found to any significant extent in her general class. I discuss the two art teachers‘ responsive pedagogies in light of the Confucian heritage. The community- and issue-based art projects designed by the two teachers aimed to cultivate students‘ sensitivity to human concerns. It reflects the concept of nurturing a Jian Zi (君子, a superior person), who has both talent and virtue (才德兼備, Cai De Jian Bei). Through guided discovery, the teachers helped artistically talented students make connections between their intrinsic traits (質, Zh, substance) and disciplined knowledge or dispositions (文, Wen, refinement). The teachers played the role of connoisseurs in personalizing guidance to bridge iii different class elements with individual students‘ unique readiness levels, interests, and learning profiles. As such, they were not only attuned to multiple dimensions of the students‘ ―artistic selves‖ (Walsh, 2002), but they also integrated the students‘ unique potentials into a cooperative effort of ―harmony but not uniformity‖ (和而不同, He Er Bu Tong). The two art teachers‘ pedagogical approaches reveal the value placed on differentiation in the Taiwanese educational context. The implications for the field and future research are discussed as well.
Issue Date:2011-05-25
Rights Information:
Copyright 2011 Wei-Ren Chen
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-25
Date Deposited:2011-05

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