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School-to-work relating to the visual arts

1 May 1998


The purpose of this qualitative study was to answer two basic research questions: 1) How will a school-to-work program work for the field of visual arts, and how are students motivated to pursue a career in visual arts? My research addressing these questions was based on the work of M. A. Hamilton and Hurrelman. Hamilton and Hurrelman studied the school to career transition in Germany and found that students begin career transitions at a young age and apprenticeships are related to their future career. This study took place at at rural 9 -12 high school in the Pacific Northwest. The participants were freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors involved in the art department. Information was gathered in the class room and on field trips and observing guest speakers through a variety of methodological approaches, including observations, taped interviews, and written surveys. In order to protect the participants privacy and anonymity I have provided a pseudonyms for all participants in this study. After collecting and organizing extensive field notes, interviews and survey responses, various patterns emerged in the way students are motivated to consider a career in art. My research found that exposing students to working artists, art schools and a school based art business that students have a clearer vision of the path in art related fields. It was found that an apprenticeship in an art related field made the vision in an art career more realistic (Anderson 1998).


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