Friday, March 03, 2006

Thesis Questions with 10 yards to go

This has been a very challenging topic for me to tackle. To compare my thesis experience to a sports analogy it is like I have the football and am running cross field looking for a place to cut the corner and finding nothing but a wall of really angry defensive linemen ready to knock me down with questions and issues I am not ready for. This may be a little over dramatic but I feel like I have found a place to cut the corner, juke the last blocker and make my way for the 1st down!

I was afraid if I asked a question I would spend my thesis time trying to answer it as if there is one answer to the questions I am concerned with. This is not true. It is a just a place to begin to focus the inquiry a bit and get a handle on the specific areas I want to take on. With that said here is my first draft of my thesis question.

Remember it is in progress...

Thesis Question:
What can be done in the Art Appreciation classroom to make the class content critical and relative to the students?

sub question one:
Space? What effects does the space of a community college have on the art appreciation classroom, student, and teacher?

sub question two:
methods of inquiry? What methods (art historical, ethnographic, anthropological, revisionist) of inquiry open up the topic of art appreciation and allow current issues and students experience to play a vital role?

sub question three:
What skills does an art appreciation teacher need to create a meaningful and critical classroom experience?


Bad Andy said...

I am not sure if this is necessary for your thesis, but how does one measure how critical and how relative content becomes. Once a place where criticism is welcomed and is full of resources that are relevant in the lives/community of the students, and after students are given the tools and power to engage current issues and experiences to participate with (and in a way drive) the classroom content, and with teachers who have the skills to encourage and facilitate this new dynamic.... how do we measure successes? (it may be easier to see that things are not working or are not present) Is there even a need to be able to measure those results?

Sarah said...

Practically speaking rubrics are hlepful for measuring.

Theoretically speaking measuring success has to be redefined the same way the class structure was. Is it meaningful? critical? transformative?

Students have to learn to appreciate and value these things over a subjective grade from their teacher. That is the hard part!