A Qualitative Action Research Study using Differentiated Teaching Strategies in a Secondary Digital Arts Classroom

William Blenk, Buffalo State College

Description

ABSTRACT

As a visual arts educator, I notice that many secondary school students enter digital arts classrooms with varying degrees of knowledge, ability and learning styles in the use of computer software and applications to fulfill their creative endeavors. Although the application of differentiated teaching practices to core subjects, such as English and Science, have been acclaimed and have been proven beneficial to students, I am finding little regarding its application to the digital arts, where students are faced with creative as well as technical challenges.

The focus of my action research study is to see if secondary visual arts students would benefit from the application of differentiated teaching strategies in their digital arts classroom.

The purpose of this study is to discover how to structure and execute a secondary school digital arts program to successfully teach students of varying knowledge and ability the creative and technical skills necessary to foster engagement and complete their digital arts assignments.

For three weeks, I am working with one high school digital arts classroom applying differentiated teaching strategies to their Visual Culture Unit that involved utilizing Adobe Photoshop techniques. Through observations, group discussions, student and teacher surveys, and an interview with the art teacher that I am working with, I am discovering that high school students benefit from the application of differentiated instruction as it fosters engagement with the digital arts, both “teacher to student” as well as “student to student” communication, and a better understanding of the individual needs of each student in their digital art-making experiences.

KEY WORDS

differentiated instruction

digital arts

secondary students

engagement

visual culture

Adobe Photoshop

technology

 
Apr 26th, 2:10 PM

A Qualitative Action Research Study using Differentiated Teaching Strategies in a Secondary Digital Arts Classroom

Edwards 106

ABSTRACT

As a visual arts educator, I notice that many secondary school students enter digital arts classrooms with varying degrees of knowledge, ability and learning styles in the use of computer software and applications to fulfill their creative endeavors. Although the application of differentiated teaching practices to core subjects, such as English and Science, have been acclaimed and have been proven beneficial to students, I am finding little regarding its application to the digital arts, where students are faced with creative as well as technical challenges.

The focus of my action research study is to see if secondary visual arts students would benefit from the application of differentiated teaching strategies in their digital arts classroom.

The purpose of this study is to discover how to structure and execute a secondary school digital arts program to successfully teach students of varying knowledge and ability the creative and technical skills necessary to foster engagement and complete their digital arts assignments.

For three weeks, I am working with one high school digital arts classroom applying differentiated teaching strategies to their Visual Culture Unit that involved utilizing Adobe Photoshop techniques. Through observations, group discussions, student and teacher surveys, and an interview with the art teacher that I am working with, I am discovering that high school students benefit from the application of differentiated instruction as it fosters engagement with the digital arts, both “teacher to student” as well as “student to student” communication, and a better understanding of the individual needs of each student in their digital art-making experiences.

KEY WORDS

differentiated instruction

digital arts

secondary students

engagement

visual culture

Adobe Photoshop

technology