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Title:"Painting the lily": An examination of 5th grade students' learning experiences in an arts-infused curriculum
Author(s):Radhakrishnan, Ritu
Director of Research:McCarthey, Sarah J.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):McCarthey, Sarah J.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Bresler, Liora; Higgins, Christopher R.; Ndimande, Bekisizwe S.
Department / Program:Curriculum and Instruction
Discipline:Curriculum and Instruction
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Critical pedagogy
Arts education
Middle school
Abstract:This study examines how a recreated art-infused curriculum shapes 5th grade students’ learning experiences. The curriculum was re-envisioned to include more critical theoretical approaches to instruction. Particularly, I looked for ways in which social studies and art could be integrated in a more holistic and thematic curriculum. Since the inclusion of NCLB, instruction in social studies education and the fine arts has significantly decreased. My study seeks ways to make students’ learning more connected, rather than segmented by discrete content areas. In my research, I highlight how a newly conceptualized curriculum offers authentic learning opportunities through student engagement, student agency, and development of student voice. These opportunities are often not enacted as a result of constraining standards and assessment practices. In my analysis, I suggest that students’ hesitancy in expressing voice and agency may be seen as a result of a restraining and standardized curriculum. I suggest that reconceptualizing, or re-envisioning, curriculum towards more holistic and critical pedagogical approaches is a significant part of offering students opportunities to increase their engagement in their learning, to develop agency and voice in their learning, make relevant and personal connections to learning, and to develop critical awareness and higher-order thinking skills.
Issue Date:2014-05-30
Rights Information:Copyright 2014 Ritu Radhakrishnan
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-05-30
Date Deposited:2014-05

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