Culturally Situated Arts Based Learning Presentations


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From and for Advancing STEM Through CSABL participants and their communities.

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  • Cultural astronomers combine knowledge and methods from the fields of astronomy, anthropology, and history. The Aztecs developed an intricate stone calendar to let them know when to plant and harvest crops, as well as pray to the gods for the success of the crops.
  • The rows of small linear shotgun houses are the remains of an African technology that reached considerable elegance among people of middle means in the 19th century.
  • By redesigning cars in ways that go against their intended purposes and in painting their cars so that they reflect and hold meanings from Mexican culture, lowriders create cultural and political statements that go against the more prevalent Anglo culture.
  • Cultural astronomers combine knowledge and methods from the fields of astronomy, anthropology, and history. The Aztecs developed an intricate stone calendar to let them know when to plant and harvest crops, as well as pray to the gods for the success of the crops.
  • These methods tap into the artistic process as a primary mode of inquiry, creating various forms of art as a way to collect data, conduct analysis, and/or represent social science research.
  • The Leimert Park Youth Voices project begins with an exploration of each student's understanding of their neighborhood. Students are asked to critically examine their neighborhood on a geographical, social, and personal level. The students brainstorm ideas through exercises such as PMMs as a way to build a foundation for multimedia neighborhood stories.
  • Portraiture (also called social portraiture) can be seen as an early innovation in modern Arts-Based Research.This method employs several ABR approaches and two of them relate directly to this study. Portraiture pays close attention to context as an important tool for interpreting meaning and Portraitists not only listen to stories, but also do what Lawrence-Lightfoot calls “listening for a story,” a process of co-creating compelling narratives with participants complete with characters, metaphors, and a central narrative arc (or theme).Portraitists can collect data in numerous ways, including in-depth interviews and observation.
  • 4th and 8th grade students first learn about the history of traditional African American quilts, how quilt makers created stories uses collage and appliqué which is the technique using a smaller ornament or device applied to another surface. Next, they learn how to use math to create their own designs or vision maps. The final step is adding a layer with text descriptions about the meaning of different elements of their vision maps.
  • The words I use to describe techno-vernacular creativity are tinkering and DIY (techno-culture). Sampling, remixing and mashups. The cultural heritage artifacts and visual vernacular in arts and crafts become data to be repurposed and recombined using technology. My research takes the spirit of this type of creative practice and explores how it can used to motivate underrepresented ethnic learners in STEM.
  • DJ Grandmaster Flash is credited with the invention of the first cross-fader or audio mixer by reclaiming parts from a junkyard in the Bronx, NY. Hip-hop pioneer and artist Rammellzee designed costumes made of technological and industrial scraps. Kelvin Doe, also known as DJ Focus, is a young African engineer who taught himself engineering and built his own radio station in Sierra Leone.
  • Augmented Reality in Open Spaces (AROS) was part of the ISEA2012 Visiting Artist program. I co-facilitated a three-week workshop with eight high school students from the ¡Explora! science museum internship program to create an interactive, physical mural which can be seen at the Wells Park Community Project. The objectives for this workshop were for participants to learn about and relate ancient Mimbres designs to their daily lives; to use existing software that shows the mathematical principles embodied in the designs they construct; and to create an interactive mural using mobile augmented reality (AR) software.
  • Culturally Situated Arts Based Learning Presentations

    1. 1. ADVANCING STEM THROUGH CULTURALLY SITUATED ARTS-BASED LEARNING March 28 – 29, 2014 Digital Media Program Georgia Tech This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. NSF 1345424. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
    2. 2. Workshop Overview This workshop explores the potential for combining culturally situated design, cultural arts and crafts, and digital media/technology to better understand the role that culture and art plays among underrepresented ethnic students that, as studies show, are increasingly uninterested or disengaged in STEM.
    3. 3. CSABL Conceptual Framework Culturally Situated Design & Learning Arts-Based Research & Learning Vernacular Arts/Crafts & Tech Concept Maps Portraiture Interviews, observations & surveys UEGs Digital Media & Tech
    4. 4. Agenda Day One • Three (3) short 15-minute Overview presentations will be followed by Research Goals Brainstorms breakout sessions in each topic area • Artist Keynote Day Two • Summarize recommendations for New Research Directions in culturally situated arts based learning for informal science education • Artist Keynote
    5. 5. Research Goals Brainstorms • Research culturally situated design strategies • Brainstorm arts-based learning activities with artists • Create concept maps based on art, culture & STEM • Develop project ideas for researchers and educators • Identify collaboration opportunities and projects
    6. 6. Group Activities • Session 1: Culturally Situated Design Tool (CSDT) is a Web-based software program that focuses on individual facets of ethnic cultures and art where math plays a role in design. • • Session 2: Arts-Based Concept Map is a tool for “representing a set of concept meanings embedded in a framework of propositions” [Novak, 1998]. • Creative Social: Create a project based on ideas thrown out by participants.
    7. 7. CULTURALLY SITUATED DESIGN & LEARNING Culturally situated design strategies challenge the “primitivist” view that indigenous societies use only simplistic science & technology.
    8. 8. Science • Cultural astronomers study the practices and traditions of lay experts and non-experts who relate to the sky.
    9. 9. Technology • The combination of technology and vernacular in the construction of shotgun houses. Images: Top: Courtesy of John Michael Vlach; Bottom: John Biggers. “Shotguns (detail),” 1987.
    10. 10. Engineering • Lowriders are modified to appeal to certain cultural aesthetics, or to alter the vehicle's performance.
    11. 11. Mathematics • Cultural artifacts that reflect mathematics principles are part of what is known as ethnomathematics. Images: Courtesy of Dr. Ron Eglash.
    12. 12. ARTS-BASED RESEARCH & LEARNING ABR is an emerging set of methods that are very diverse, but united by their ambitions to blur the lines between social science and art.
    13. 13. Personal Meaning Maps (PMMs) Layer one identifies hot spots or key locations in Leimert Park. Layer two adds description and meaning to the hot spots. Leimert Park Youth Voices: anbiya-smith.html
    14. 14. Portraiture • W.E.B. Du Bois captured the interdisciplinary nature of portraiture through his analysis of double consciousness. Image: Hank Willis Thomas in collaboration with Sanford Biggers. “Wayfarer series,” 2013..
    15. 15. Vision Map Project • Combines culturally situated arts-based research to explore math and visual vernacular, e.g. quilts.
    16. 16. Vision Map Project
    17. 17. Group Activity: Concept Maps
    18. 18. DIGITAL MEDIA & LEARNING The intricate dynamics of young peoples' social and recreational use of digital media including the use of mobile devices.
    19. 19. Techno-Vernacular Creativity
    20. 20. Techno-Vernacular Creativity
    21. 21. Augmented Reality in Open Spaces
    22. 22. Cultural Art & Computing
    23. 23. Remixing and Mobile Tools
    24. 24. New Research Directions • What broad questions or issues came out of the breakout sessions? • Are there general strategic approaches that can be applied to future research in the enhancement of culturally situated arts-based learning? • What else can the National Science Foundation and other funders do to support these issues?
    25. 25. References • Barone, Thomas, and Elliot Eisner. "Arts-based educational research." Handbook of complementary methods in education research (2006): 95-109. • Eglash, Ron, et al. (2006). Culturally Situated Design Tools: Ethnocomputing from Field Site to Classroom. In American Anthropologist. 108:2; 347. • Gaskins, N. (2013) “Advancing STEM Through Culturally Situated Arts-Based Learning.” Journal of the New Media Caucus, Vol. 9, N. 3.
    26. 26. URLs • Workshop Website: • Flickr Group: • For more information contact: