To what extent can the implementation of a critical studies model in the art classroom impact student’s abilities to write & talk about art?
This qualitative action-research study examines the experience of a novice secondary visual art educator who implemented critical studies focus into their curriculum, with the aim of fostering the development of the students’ literacy skills. The predominant instructional technique of mostly traditional, didactic teaching methods was shifted towards a more student-centered, interactive approach. Using field notes, focus groups, observations within the classroom and students work and simultaneous analysis of such data, the researcher inquired about the impact of implementing a change in curriculum focus and instructional delivery had on student engagement, learning, skills, and abilities.
Data revealed three categories with inter-related findings: Critical Studies in the Classroom – How not to use the Feldman Model for analysis of an artwork in the classroom. Deconstructing the Feldman Model – designing a range of student-centered learning activities to analyse artworks enhanced literacy skills. Interactive, student-centered learning environment and activities had an impact on students’ confidence in their own abilities.