Portland State University. Center for Science Education
Date of Award
Master of Science in Teaching (M.S.T.) in General Science
1 online resource (v, 71 pages)
Science -- Study and teaching (Primary), Art -- Study and teaching (Primary)
Elementary education has become increasingly divided into subjects and focused on the demand for high math and reading scores. Consequently, teachers spend less time devoted to science and art instruction. However, teaching art and science is crucial to developing creative and rational thinking, especially for observation and questioning skills. In this study, third grade students attending an urban school in Portland, Oregon received instruction of an art strategy using observational and quantifying drawing techniques. This study examines, "Will an art strategy observing the local environment help students make observations and ask questions?" and "In what ways are student learning and perspectives of science affected by the art strategy?" The independent variable is the art strategy developed for this study. There are three dependent variables: quality of student observations, quality of questions, and themes on student learning and perspectives of science. I predicted students would develop strong observation and questioning skills and that students would find the strategy useful or have an increased interest in science. The art scores were high for relevance and detail, but not for text. There were significant correlations between art scores and questions. Interviews revealed three themes: observations create questions, drawing is helpful and challenging, and students connected to science. By examining science through art, students were engaged and created strong observations and questions. Teachers need to balance unstructured drawing time with scaffolding for optimal results. This study provides an integrated science and art strategy that teachers can use outdoors or adapt for the classroom.
Cone, Christina Schull, "Using Art to Teach Students Science Outdoors: How Creative Science Instruction Influences Observation, Question Formation, and Involvement" (2014). Dissertations and Theses. Paper 2098.