JENNA ROBINSON

MA IN ART EDUCATION WITH AN EMPHASIS IN SPECIAL POPULATIONS

(SHE / HER / HERS)
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THESIS: CREATING A SENSE OF BELONGING THROUGH CULTURALLY RESPONSIVE PEDAGOGY, CULTURALLY RELEVANT TEACHING, AND INVITATIONAL THEORY IN ART EDUCATION

In what ways can CRP, CRT, and IT be utilized to shift curriculum design to increase students’ awareness of their peers’ experiences in order to build belonging in the art room between majority and minority students?

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ABSTRACT & FINDINGS

This qualitative research study was conducted to measure how utilizing Culturally Responsive Pedagogy (CRP), Culturally Relevant Teaching (CRT), and Invitational Theory (IT) in curriculum design would increase participants’ awareness of their peers’ experiences and build belonging among majority and minority students (i.e., students of color, non-Catholic students, students with diverse learning needs, and students who are not heteronormative) in the art classroom. The majority of research on CRP and CRT has been conducted in urban inner-city schools with very diverse populations. However, there are major research gaps regarding the use of CRP methods, CRT strategies, and IT in a single-sex, private secondary school in which the minority population is much smaller than the majority. Data was collected through interviews, observations, and written responses (such as artist statements), participant self-reflections, essential questions, group activities, peer critiques, and artwork. Data were analyzed using inductive reasoning, thematic coding, and the constant comparative method to see if the three participants felt that a curriculum based on CRP, CRT, and IT principles helped build a sense of belonging between majority and minority students. The findings of this study confirmed that the three participants came away with an increased awareness of their peers’ lived experiences by identifying and recognizing biases, stereotypes, and power imbalances. A study of this nature can help the art education community by giving teachers (and pre-service teachers) a practical example of how curriculum design can help to create equitable learning environments.

KEYWORDS

culturally responsive pedagogy, culturally relevant teaching, invitational theory, social justice, inclusion, diversity, curriculum design, youth culture, single-sex education, and art education.

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