This research paper used investigative inquiry called qualitative research. The question addressed was: How do third grade students learn when a variety of art forms are used as vehicles for expressing ideas, understanding, and knowledge? In the literature reviewed I found a variety of authors who have researched art in education. Hanna (1992) and Gallas (1991) are teachers agree that the arts provide a means for students to succeed academically. Elliot Eisner (1992) was a profound figure in my review. He advocates the use of artistic expression as a vital tool in human development and discovery.
The conceptual framework was developed from Elliot Eisner's theory which proposes that minds are developed from experience. Much of that experience for children is in school. Eisner asserts that the arts teach problem solving, creativity, rationality, and expression. Therefore, the arts should be a vital part of education. The methods used for collecting data consisted of observations, interviews, and artifacts gathered from students and teachers in a private school in the Northwest.
Within my own classroom I observed activities which included art integrated into the subject areas. Some activities provided me with information on art as expression and others gave me data on assessing children through their art. From this research I was able to conclude that the arts provide a variety of modes for students to express their ideas, understanding, and knowledge
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