01 SES 09 C, Teacher Resilience in Adverse Contexts
The purpose of this study is to design and test a new conceptual framework for developing teacher artistry of instructional design. Specifically, it is to investigate the effects of a professional development program Learning Through the Arts, designed by the Royal Conservatory of Music for generalist teachers who want to learn how to teach through an arts integrated approach. I ask: What are the capabilities distinctive to artistic teachers that empower their artistry of instructional design?
Artistic teachers use arts integration to facilitate learning in other subjects. I distinguish artistic teachers here as those who thrive in the artistry of their work: they are excited by the creative processes of learning design (they love to engage students through the senses), who constantly invent new ways to do things (they rarely do the same thing twice), and who curate exhibits of student learning as masterpieces to be socially celebrated (they take this just as seriously as any art gallery). Indeed, for artistic teachers, student learning is their art form, and the artistic processes that take place in the design of it are the same as those engaged in by artists (Csikszentmihalyi, 1997; Eisner, 1980; 2002; 2017).
One reason for teacher resistance to teaching through the arts is a belief that they, themselves, are not artistic. According to social learning theory, without a belief in one’s capabilities to do something, there will be less motivation to do it (Bandura, 2000; Dweck 2006). I propose that increasing teachers’ artistic capabilities will increase their artistry of instructional design, and have a positive effect on their perceived efficacy as artistic teachers.
Artistic teachers approach planning differently - with flexibility embedded within the framework to allow for student agency, emergence, and surprise (Martin, 2018). This requires a different way of thinking, such as a design thinking approach. Research shows that exposure to and use of design-thinking can foster a growth mindset (Blackwell, Trzesniewski, & Dweck, 2007) while at the same time, conditioning teachers to be experimental within their practice.I propose that increasing teachers’ design capabilities will increase their artistry of instructional design, and have a positive effect on their perceived efficacy as artistic teachers.
Artistic teachers pay attention on a different level – they dig into juicy inquiry topics alongside their students and free up the schedule to be generative and emergent. Ego can certainly be a barrier to teachers letting go, as can fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of losing control. Such fears can be lessened when teachers learn the skills required for teachers to work within a generative learning environment, rich with listening, noticing, wonder and response. This can be achieved with a focus on the affective, expressive, and somatic, with dedicated time to linger in the unknown and the wonderous. I propose that increasing teachers’ aesthetic capabilities will increase their artistry of instructional design, and have a positive effect on their perceived efficacy as artistic teachers.
Thus, we derive a new conceptual framework for teacher professional learning to develop teacher artistry of instructional design through the aggregated effects of increased artistic capabilities, design capabilities, and aesthetic capabilities. As a causal model, an increase or decrease in each of these capabilities in turn will moderate levels of artistic teacher efficacy.
There little research dedicated to the development of creative pedagogical capabilities (Eisner, 2002). Little is known about the cognitive processes that occur during creative instructional design and practice with a notable void informing professional development. Thus, I make a novel contribution to both fields while providing psychometric ways to measure the impact of professional development in arts education.
Method. This study employed a quasi-experimental, one-way within-subjects design. Pre and post program surveys were used to capture quantitative data using psychometrics to measure changes in variables of the framework. The sample consisted of 65 generalist teachers interested in learning how to teach through the arts in the core subjects from schools in a large school division. All participants completed the same 70-item, on-line survey before and after the program. A series of demographic items were followed by measures of Artistic Capabilities (8 items), Design Capabilities (16 items), and Aesthetic Awareness (10 items), and a scale for Artistic Teacher Efficacy (24 items) revised from the Teacher Efficacy scale by Tschannen-Moran & Hoy, 2001. Based on the theoretical framework of this study, we predicted that the three capabilities of artistry of instructional design (arts, design, and aesthetic) will each be positive antecedents to artistic teacher efficacy. Given the newness of the scales, we assessed levels of internal consistencies for scale reliability, keeping in mind limitations of a sample size. To test relationships of the model, four independent samples t-tests were employed to examine whether significant differences occur in participants before and after the program.
In testing scale reliability, all four scales performed well and obtained functioning coefficient alpha values: • arts capabilities (.96); • design capabilities (.85); • aesthetic awareness (.88); • artistic teacher efficacy (.97). Beyond an evaluation of missing data and whether parametric statistics can be employed, an evaluation of baseline performance on the measures of perceived arts capabilities, design capabilities, aesthetic capabilities, and artistic teacher efficacy were assessed. The obtained data were examined to determine whether the underlying assumptions of the proposed statistical techniques could be inferred and warrant their utilization. No outliers were identified to occur within the obtained sample. The total score for all factors examined in this study demonstrated acceptable central tendency, skew and kurtosis properties and warranted the use of parametric approaches. I hypothesized a positive relationship between artistic capability and artistic teacher efficacy, to find an increase in the first led to an increase in the second. I also found that when perceptions of aesthetic capabilities increase, there is a statistically significant increase in artistic teacher efficacy. There was no significant change in design capabilities before and after the program and this is discussed in the paper. Anecdotal evidence suggests that, by the end of the year, teachers were using more terminology from the design world, and were visibly more comfortable with taking risk.
Bandura, A. (1977). Self-Efficacy: Toward a Unifying Theory of Behavioral Change. Psychological Review, 84, pp. 191-215. Bandura, A. (1997). Self-Efficacy: The Exercise of Control, New York: Freeman. Blackwell, L. S., Trzesniewski, K. H., & Dweck, C. S. (2007). Implicit theories of intelligence predict achievement across an adolescent transition: A longitudinal study and an intervention. Child development, 78(1), 246-263. Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1997). Finding flow: The psychology of engagement with everyday life. New York: Basic Books. Dweck, C. (2006). Mindset: The new psychology of success. Random House. Eisner, E.W.(1972). Educating artistic vision. New York: Macmillan Publishing. Eisner, E.W.(1980). Artistic thinking, human intelligence and the mission of the school. The High School Journal. 63, 326-334. Eisner, E.W. (2002). The State of the Arts and the Improvement of Education. Art Education Journal, 1(1). Eisner, E. W. (2017). The enlightened eye: Qualitative inquiry and the enhancement of educational practice. Teachers College Press. Tschannen-Moran, M., & Hoy, A. W. (2001). Teacher efficacy: Capturing an elusive construct. Teaching and teacher education, 17(7), 783-805. Uhrmacher, P.B., & Moroye, C.M. (2017). Prologue in The enlightened eye, Qualitative inquiry and the enhancement of educational practice. Teachers College Press.
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