Teacher Mediated Learning-Inspiring Concept through Visual Investigation in Art Education: A study into the extent to which a teacher mediated visual investigation of primary sources, supports students into deeper research and concept development for a design project.
‘The subtle social interaction between teacher and learner in the enrichment of the student’s learning experience’. (Presseisen & Kozulin, 1992)
This action research report examined pedagogical practice in the art room and explored the extent to which mediated learning for visual investigation supported students into deeper visual research and enhanced concept in their design projects. The research study was conducted through a visual art & design project: Nature and the Natural Environment- finding the extraordinary in the ordinary for the Junior Cycle Art Curriculum.
The objective of the study was to enhance learning for young people and is supported by the new Junior Cycle Visual Art Curriculum. More specifically through developing key skills of being creative in visual art processes. being numerate through reasoning and problem solving. Managing information and thinking critically through their drawing and recording and managing themselves through a reflection of their own learning and artistic choices.
I conducted this research to support my own classroom practice as a teacher and seek evidence of the possible benefits of placing emphasis on making connections between Art practice to make meaning and encourage higher order thinking and problem-solving skills.
The findings of this research study revealed that students require in-depth mediated supports and tools for visual investigation, to construct further on their own knowledge and enhance skills. Having the right supports and tools enabled a truthful experience that gave students a firm basis to build on their skills of observation. A visual investigation framework that included these supports provided an opportunity to make meaning, allowing students to draw from their own resources of knowledge, methods, and experience.
Student artwork evidenced that student-centred structured activity for learning where there was a positive balance of formative feedback and summative assessment, supported students to engage in a deeper level of visual research. This was supported further where students were empowered in the co-creation of criteria for success. Concept development happened naturally were there was an obvious connection and direct reference.