An action research study of negotiating the visual arts curriculum with Grade 8 students
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The focus of this thesis is negotiating a visual arts curriculum with Grade 8 students. The action research study offered me a way to transform and revitalize my classroom practice to counteract the disengagement experienced by many students at this age level. I aimed to provide an example of curriculum negotiation with middle years art students in a western Canadian context. The study was guided by five research questions dealing with implementation, meeting curricular outcomes, increasing student engagement, valuing the artistic experience, and empowering students. Data collection took many forms: questionnaires, interviews, field notes, and a survey. During the study, I implemented three pedagogical action strategies that gradually transferred responsibility and ownership for visual arts learning to the students. The students’ artwork provided evidence that curriculum negotiation positively impacts students’ valuing of the artistic experience, sustains students’ levels of engagement, increases students’ sense of empowerment, and positively impacts students’ artistry.