Table of Contents

LIST OF TABLES ...........................................................................................
Organic Community Collaboration................................................................. 25
           Meaningful ...
Conclusion..................................................................................................... 53
    5.3...
List of Tables

Number and Title                                                                                Page Numbe...
Acknowledgements

                  An accomplishment is never made alone. Thank you to…


                               ...
Ana Gonzalez-Cosman
      for connecting me to Perspectives Charter Schools, listening to me talk endlessly
      about th...
Declaration



    I grant powers of discretion to the University Librarian to allow this dissertation to be
copied in who...
Abstract

The Art of Engaging Young People in Social Transformation

By Karen Beth Light



Empowering young people to tra...
1. Introduction

1.1 State of the Field

When working with young people, community artists, activists, and progressive hig...
and produce exciting results. Research is also surfacing around the intersection of
activism and education, contributing t...
for the field upon which policy can be collaboratively developed and funding can be
expanded.




1.4 Definitions

Social ...
Activist


Students were told that activists take action for a cause they believe in. The definition
was intentionally bro...
Social Justice Education


Jeff Duncan-Andrade’s article, “Gangstas, Wankstas, and Ridas: Defining,
Developing, and Suppor...
Community Cultural Development


In Making Exact Change, William Cleveland (2005) presents a case study of ten arts-
based...
Adams and Goldbard introduced the term CCD in Community, Culture, and
Globalization (2002). They discuss how the cultural ...
Jan Cohen-Cruz (2002). Imagination can hone empathy that can expand humanity as
one connects the issues to one’s heart. Th...
Conclusion


Although all sources discussed had pertinent theories, several were particularly
influential. They include “G...
2. Theoretical Framework

2.1 SJE and CCD Theory Relationships

SJE is struggling to take shape. Its work consists of alig...
the power structures that typically exist between teachers and students by
collaborating as partners to develop lessons th...
Community Collaboration


SJE
Oftentimes, SJE is actually the process by which subjects are taught rather than the
subject...
people’s shoes—to empathize (Greene 1995). Therefore, CCD practitioners strive to
create safe, supportive environments for...
CCD
CCD practitioners also seek to engage participants to take action for a better world.
The art-making process, itself, ...
SJE and CCD Shared                    SJE and CCD Shared                    SJE and CCD Shared
       Values              ...
Generally teachers and activists do not collaborate in the lesson’s development.
Instead, activists provide information an...
Connecting Ownership


For students to feel ownership, a real connection between their lives and the issue
must be establi...
Meaningful Investigation


The quest for answers to questions posed by those involved in SJE and CCD is about
discovering ...
protests to more inclusive, approachable activities such as exhibitions, performances,
 or educating fellow classmates (Cl...
3. Methodology

3.1 Methods

To determine if integrating CCD practices into high school SJE can increase the
participation...
Materials


A PowerPoint presentation created by AFSC staff was used as the starting point for
Phase One (AFSC 2009). It i...
identified with this part of the Crisis. The class began with an Imagining Story in which
the activist asked students to p...
be characterized by a desire to build “collaborative systems with the purpose of joint
problem-solving and positive social...
response on a scale of 1-5. Responses were totaled for each question and, then,
divided by 5 (the number of adult collabor...
Lack of time was also a limiting factor. Class periods were only 50 minutes and the
teachers only had four days that they ...
4. Results

4.1 Student Surveys

This section summarizes the pertinent results of the student survey as measured by
the qu...
Engagement


Along with Imagination Cultivation, engagement is another crucial factor in establishing
Connecting Ownership...
Most students who do not consider themselves activists and do not think they will ever
become one, reply that they simply ...
means. They noted that students “tuned out,” did not have “any overwhelming sense
of urgency,” and that they did not fully...
Engagement


Several collaborators replied that they did not observe any students being particularly
impacted during Phase...
display their activism, the hands-on approach, the art project itself, the opportunity for
self-expression, and the chance...
Action
When presented with a list of actions to take, not one student expressed interest in
doing something on behalf of t...
Engagement
In general, students were more enthusiastic when the collaborators were enthusiastic.
If they energetically ask...
integration into the artwork. Their responses were very emotional. Students seemed
to hang their work with pride, consciou...
5. Discussion of the Results

The SJE challenges identified in Chapter Two are indeed true for Phase One. This
chapter dis...
the percentages of those who found similarities with Iraqi refugees and of those who
found the workshop relevant decreased...
Challenge: The project’s meaning must reach beyond a school
assignment to students’ hearts to ignite a passion that is mor...
Dissertation Final
Dissertation Final
Dissertation Final
Dissertation Final
Dissertation Final
Dissertation Final
Dissertation Final
Dissertation Final
Dissertation Final
Dissertation Final
Dissertation Final
Dissertation Final
Dissertation Final
Dissertation Final
Dissertation Final
Dissertation Final
Dissertation Final
Dissertation Final
Dissertation Final
Dissertation Final
Dissertation Final
Dissertation Final
Dissertation Final
Dissertation Final
Dissertation Final
Dissertation Final
Dissertation Final
Dissertation Final
Dissertation Final
Dissertation Final
Dissertation Final
Dissertation Final
Dissertation Final
Dissertation Final
Dissertation Final
Dissertation Final
Dissertation Final
Dissertation Final
Dissertation Final
Dissertation Final
Dissertation Final
Dissertation Final
Dissertation Final
Dissertation Final
Dissertation Final
Dissertation Final
Dissertation Final
Dissertation Final
Dissertation Final
Dissertation Final
Dissertation Final
Dissertation Final
Dissertation Final
Dissertation Final
Dissertation Final
Dissertation Final
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

Dissertation Final

3,591 views

Published on

Published in: Education, Technology
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

Dissertation Final

  1. 1. Table of Contents LIST OF TABLES ....................................................................................................... 4 LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS......................................................................................... 4 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS........................................................................................... 5 DECLARATION .......................................................................................................... 7 ABSTRACT................................................................................................................. 8 CHAPTERS 1. Introduction .......................................................................................................... 9 1.1 State of the Field .............................................................................................. 9 1.2 Hypothesis...................................................................................................... 10 1.3 Intentions........................................................................................................ 10 1.4 Definitions....................................................................................................... 11 Social Justice Education................................................................................ 11 Community Cultural Development................................................................. 11 Community Artist ........................................................................................... 11 Activist ........................................................................................................... 12 Transforming Society..................................................................................... 12 1.5 Literature Review ........................................................................................... 12 Research Methods ........................................................................................ 12 Social Justice Education................................................................................ 13 Community Cultural Development................................................................. 14 Conclusion..................................................................................................... 17 2. Theoretical Framework ....................................................................................... 18 2.1 SJE and CCD Theory Relationships .............................................................. 18 Ownership ..................................................................................................... 18 Community Collaboration .............................................................................. 20 Investigation .................................................................................................. 20 Imagination .................................................................................................... 21 Action............................................................................................................. 21 Conclusion..................................................................................................... 22 2.2 SJE Challenges.............................................................................................. 23 2.3 SJE and CCD Integration ............................................................................... 24 Connecting Ownership .................................................................................. 25   1
  2. 2. Organic Community Collaboration................................................................. 25 Meaningful Investigation................................................................................ 26 Imagination Cultivation .................................................................................. 26 Creative Action .............................................................................................. 26 3. Methodology ....................................................................................................... 28 3.1 Methods ......................................................................................................... 28 Participants.................................................................................................... 28 Materials ........................................................................................................ 29 Study Procedure............................................................................................ 29 Data Collection and Manipulation.................................................................. 30 3.2 Limitations ...................................................................................................... 32 3.3 Conclusion...................................................................................................... 33 4. Results ................................................................................................................ 34 4.1 Student Surveys ............................................................................................. 34 Relevancy...................................................................................................... 34 Engagement .................................................................................................. 35 Activism ......................................................................................................... 35 4.2 Collaborator Interviews................................................................................... 36 Collaboration ................................................................................................. 36 Relevancy...................................................................................................... 37 Engagement .................................................................................................. 38 Activism ......................................................................................................... 38 4.3 Researcher Observations................................................................................ 39 Phase One..................................................................................................... 39 The Collaboration Process ............................................................................ 40 Phase Two..................................................................................................... 40 5. Discussion of the Results ................................................................................. 43 5.1 Addressing Challenges .................................................................................. 43 5.2 Impacts of CCD Integration into SJE.............................................................. 50 Connecting Ownership .................................................................................. 50 Organic Community Collaboration................................................................. 51 Meaningful Investigation................................................................................ 51 Imagination Cultivation .................................................................................. 52 Creative Action .............................................................................................. 52   2
  3. 3. Conclusion..................................................................................................... 53 5.3 Model for CCD Integration into SJE ............................................................... 54 Start with the Students .................................................................................. 54 Collaborate .................................................................................................... 54 Lead the Learning.......................................................................................... 56 Create a Cultural Component........................................................................ 57 Take Action.................................................................................................... 58 Evaluate Results............................................................................................ 59 Repeat ........................................................................................................... 59 6. Conclusions........................................................................................................ 61 6.1 Main Findings ................................................................................................. 61 6.2 Implications for the Arts.................................................................................. 62 6.3 Recommendations for Further Research ....................................................... 63 Art Forms....................................................................................................... 63 Extending the Work ....................................................................................... 64 6.4 Conclusion...................................................................................................... 64 BIBLIOGRAPHY....................................................................................................... 66 APPENDICES A. Student Survey Results and Responses......................................................... 68 B. Collaborator Interview Results and Responses ............................................. 84 C. Protest Poster Project ....................................................................................... 93 C.1 Project Description......................................................................................... 93 C.2 Project Images............................................................................................... 94 D. Collage and String Project................................................................................ 96 D.1 Project Description......................................................................................... 96 D.2 Project Images............................................................................................... 97 E. Connecting Quilt Project................................................................................... 99 E.1 Project Description......................................................................................... 99 E.2 Project Images ............................................................................................. 100   3
  4. 4. List of Tables Number and Title Page Number 1. Survey Question 1 Results................................................................................... 68 2. Survey Question 2 Results.................................................................................... 68 3. Survey Question 3.1 Results................................................................................ 68 4. Survey Question 3.2 Results................................................................................ 69 5. Survey Question 3.3 Results................................................................................ 69 6. Survey Question 3.4 Results................................................................................ 69 7. Survey Question 4.1 Results................................................................................ 70  8. Survey Question 4.2 Results................................................................................ 71 9. Survey Question 5 Results................................................................................... 73 10. Survey Question 6.1 Results.............................................................................. 75 11. Survey Question 6.2 Results............................................................................... 76 12. Survey Question 6.3 Results............................................................................... 76 13. Survey Question 8 Results.................................................................................. 78 14. Survey Question 10 Results............................................................................... 81 15. Survey Question 11 Results................................................................................ 81 16. Survey Question 12 Results................................................................................ 82 17. Survey Question 13 Results............................................................................... 82 18. Survey Question 14 Results............................................................................... 82 19. Interview Question 7 Results.............................................................................. 88 20. Interview Question 8 Results............................................................................... 89 21. Interview Question 9 Results.............................................................................. 90 List of Illustrations Number and Title Page Number 1. Shared Values and Methods Leading to Shared Goal ......................................... 23 2. SJE Challenges and CCD Enhanced Components ............................................. 27   4
  5. 5. Acknowledgements An accomplishment is never made alone. Thank you to… Philip Light for your encouragement, support, and unending love without which I would not be where I am today Mom (Laura Page) for the hours and energy you put into the editing and for the confidence and love you have always put into me Dad (Jeff Fuell) for always being the one to call during this process to ask about my work, support me every step of the way, and remind me of your love Shannon Fuell for our sisterhood and for always making it through your challenges, inspiring me to keep pushing through mine Jill Doub for enthusiastically partnering with me in the study, listening to me talk about it for the last year and a half, reading my thesis, and for applying the learning to program work at AFSC Carla Paynter for volunteering your time, energy, and talents to this study and for teaching me new things about teaching art Abbey Fox for enthusiastically reading every sentence, providing valuable feedback, and introducing me to Loose Leaf Lounge Dr. Kelly Cahill Roberts, Ph.D. for your deep friendship, mailing me a copy of your thesis, idea sharing, and taking time to help me even while writing your Ph.D. dissertation   5
  6. 6. Ana Gonzalez-Cosman for connecting me to Perspectives Charter Schools, listening to me talk endlessly about this study during our half marathon trainings, and proving to be an amazing friend in the process Rhiannon Borgia, David Doll, and Matthew Kayser for offering your classrooms, preparing your students, sharing your teaching ideas, and being excited, engaged collaborators in this study Kate Cichon and Perspectives Charter Schools – Joslin Campus Staff for welcoming me into your school and providing resources, expertise, and supportive smiles along the way Alison Meyric-Hughes for connecting me to Pan Intercultural Arts, encouraging me to write this dissertation, and getting me most of the way through it Vicky Woollard for jumping in at the last minute, offering invaluable feedback, and carrying me through the rest of the way Alex Page and Lynda Barckert for reminding me to take a break and always providing a wonderful place with great conversation to do so Susie Gorgeous for mentoring me at Pan Intercultural Arts where I fell in love with arts-for-social- change and for being a close friend despite the ocean between us Bill and Nancy Light for sending me care packages filled with art supplies, tea, and words of encouragement The American Friends Service Committee for providing the opportunity, all of my family and friends who saw me less, but supported me more, and to all of the young people who inspire me to work for a better tomorrow   6
  7. 7. Declaration I grant powers of discretion to the University Librarian to allow this dissertation to be copied in whole or in part without further reference to me. This permission covers only single copies made for study purposes, subject to normal conditions of acknowledgement.   7
  8. 8. Abstract The Art of Engaging Young People in Social Transformation By Karen Beth Light Empowering young people to transform society requires exploring vast, complex, and intertwining issues that are best addressed collaboratively. When these partnerships include cultural activities for social transformation through personal liberation, they are a part of the emerging field of Community Cultural Development (CCD). Social Justice Education (SJE) is simultaneously emerging and shares these goals. It investigates the intersection of activism and education, seeking to relate curriculum to the larger society. However, because SJE does not necessarily incorporate an arts component, research is invited that documents the impacts of including cultural activities. Can integrating CCD practices into high school SJE increase the participation of young people in transforming society? This question was explored by comparing workshops on the Iraqi Refugee Crisis—one without an arts component versus one that utilizes CCD methods. The study included three urban high school classes and required the partnership of three SJE teachers, an activist, and a community artist. Incorporating art-making was an accessible means of convincing students to dwell on the Crisis at a deeper level, which increased empathy. The process produced new levels of interaction, contributing to students beginning to take ownership in the project’s development. This, in turn, made them feel proud of their work and compelled them to implement creative actions. The data gathered from student surveys and collaborator interviews reveal tangible, long-term impacts. Integrating CCD methods into SJE resulted in a greater number of students believing that their ideas and opinions were valuable, feeling empowered to be part of a cause, and defining themselves as activists. Most collaborators believed that such impacts will increase the participation of these young people in future social transformation. [273] Dissertation Word Count: 16,841   8
  9. 9. 1. Introduction 1.1 State of the Field When working with young people, community artists, activists, and progressive high school educators share a common goal: To empower those of the next generation to participate in transforming society (Adams and Goldbard 2005; Adejumo 2008; Burnham 2003; Carter and Yenawine 2008; Cleveland 2005; Cohen-Cruz 2002; Duncan-Andrade 2007; Golden 2008; Greene 1995). Community artists achieve this through self-investigation and imagination (Adams and Goldbard 2005; Adejumo 2008; Schwarzman 1999; Greene 1995). Activists educate students on issues and solicit their involvement in taking action (Pers. Obs.). Progressive high school educators develop relevant curriculum and build a safe classroom where students can freely take risks (Ayers, Quinn, and Stovall 2009; Duncan-Andrade 2007; Golden 2008). The issues being explored are vast, complex, and intertwining and, therefore, may include representatives from various social contexts. This work is largely undocumented in the United States and difficult to define, but there is a movement to establish it as Community Cultural Development (CCD). A project is part of CCD if cultural activities are “undertaken in aid of the larger goals of social transformation and personal liberation” (Adams and Goldbard 2005). Potential CCD practitioners, community artists, activists, and high school educators face challenges that can be met through collaboration. For example, whereas artists make issues more accessible and engaging through creative activities, activists and educators provide ways for sustaining the learning and action beyond the life of the project. While activists supply action plans and statistics, artists and educators connect the issue to the students’ reality. Finally, as educators expose their students to topics that directly affect their lives, activists and artists offer in-depth information and methods for exploring personal opinions (Adams and Goldbard 2005; Adejumo 2008; Ayers, Quinn, and Stovall 2009; Burnham 2003; Carter and Yenawine 2008; Cleveland 2005; Cohen-Cruz 2002; Duncan-Andrade 2007; Golden 2008; Greene 1995). Indeed, studies measuring the impact of partnerships between arts and education and arts and activism have revealed many ways that they can complement one another   9
  10. 10. and produce exciting results. Research is also surfacing around the intersection of activism and education, contributing to a new movement in progressive education called Social Justice Education (SJE). SJE seeks to relate curriculum to the larger society. It encourages students to question and expand what they learned, to partner with teachers in the learning process, and to engage with issues (Adejumo 2008; Ayers, Quinn, and Stovall 2009; Golden 2008). Because these values resonate with CCD practitioners, SJE invites research that documents the strategies and impacts of integrating cultural activities into its processes. How can SJE teachers collaborate with CCD practitioners to create projects that teach students traditional curriculum while providing them with useful tools for initiating positive change? Can integrating CCD practices into high school SJE increase the participation of young people in transforming society? 1.2 Hypothesis The hypothesis of this study is: By integrating CCD practices into high school SJE, the participation of young people in transforming society will increase. Alternatively, by integrating CCD practices into high school SJE, the participation of young people in transforming society will not increase. 1.3 Intentions The hypothesis will be explored by comparing workshops on the Iraqi Refugee Crisis— one without an arts component versus one that integrates CCD methods. The researcher hopes that integrating these methods will help more students better understand the Crisis, have empathy for the refugees, and feel empowered to take action. The researcher intends to demonstrate the common values of CCD and SJE, leading to a model that can be replicated, expanded, and utilized for SJE and CCD collaborations. Lastly, the researcher aims to raise awareness of CCD in order to encourage conscious participation by progressive change seekers and promote its establishment as a recognized profession. This can contribute to building a greater support system   10
  11. 11. for the field upon which policy can be collaboratively developed and funding can be expanded. 1.4 Definitions Social Justice Education SJE demands that students take a close look at their schools, communities, and world to identify existing problems and their solutions. SJE educators are concerned with their students engaging in relevant lessons that are not inherently racist, classist, sexist, etc. and that compel them to become active in changing the world (Ayers, Quinn, and Stovall 2009). Community Cultural Development CCD work involves community artists, activists, educators, social service providers, and diverse community members uniting specifically for social transformation and personal liberation. “Community” signifies the collaboration of a group of people. “Cultural” indicates cultural activities as being the backbone of the work. “Development” represents the evolution that takes place within the community (Adams and Goldbard 2005). Community Artist Community artists “want to teach meaning as much as method, and…want to understand their work in a much larger context” (Cocke 2007). They collaboratively address today’s issues with the belief that creative activities are an effective way of establishing meaning and lasting social change (deNobriga and Schwarzman 1999).   11
  12. 12. Activist Students were told that activists take action for a cause they believe in. The definition was intentionally broad as expanding the meaning of an activist beyond its traditional notion was integral to the project. Transforming Society Transforming society is defined by the Seasons Fund for Social Transformation (2009) as “acts…that address the root causes of economic and environmental injustice and aspire to fundamentally shift social structures, institutions, patterns of behavior, cultures and/or relations of power.” It explains personal liberation as being integral to the process of changing “conditions at the individual, organizational, and societal level.” 1.5 Literature Review Research Methods The literature review explored theories explaining how SJE and CCD attempt to transform young people into empowered, participating members of society. It noted similar struggles and values, focusing on those relative to how CCD practices, especially the arts-making, can address challenges faced by educators and activists. As CCD and SJE are struggling to define themselves, research is scarce. SJE was investigated through reading recommended by SJE teachers. Current CCD developments were sought through the Community Arts Network, a central Internet resource for community arts related work, and review of a book of essays recommended by active practitioners.   12
  13. 13. Social Justice Education Jeff Duncan-Andrade’s article, “Gangstas, Wankstas, and Ridas: Defining, Developing, and Supporting Effective Teachers in Urban Schools” (2007) identifies five indicators of effective SJE teaching. These teachers believe that their students will change the world. They are always learning and, thus, create relevant curriculum. They stress education as part of the path to freedom and justice, possess a sense of responsibility for each student to succeed, and are committed to building trust by focusing on the humanity of each student and demonstrating vulnerability. The author also finds that successful teachers provide hopeful curriculum. Linda Christensen, SJE teacher, agrees. In “A Conversation with Linda Christensen on Social Justice Education” (Golden 2008), she stresses the importance of explaining how people overcame past injustices so that students can learn ways to battle contemporary injustices. Additionally, Christensen states that students must participate in developing relevant curriculum, question practices, and listen with empathy so that the classroom is a safe place for investigation. K. Wayne Yang, in “For and Against: The School-Education Dialectic in Social Justice” (Ayers, Quinn, and Stovall 2009), finds humanizing students to be a common thread. He argues that today’s school systems are deteriorated and questions why teachers enforce these broken policies on students. Instead, students should be consulted on how they need to be taught. This can lead to the emancipation process, which is a necessary first step in participating in society. “The goal of SJE is freedom,” states the authors of “Teacher Education for Social Justice: Critiquing the Critiques” (Ayers, Quinn, and Stovall 2009). Freedom is spoken in the sense that curriculum is being aligned with larger educational goals that address the needs of the common good. Therefore, lessons must be on the pulse of what society and the students need. Gustavo E. Fischman and Eric Haas point out that the inherent oppression in schools is often challenging. In “Critical Pedagogy and Hope in the Context of Neo-Liberal Education” (Ayers, Quinn, and Stovall 2009), they find that teachers and students must question such structures and understand the sources of oppression. They should focus on how these injustices can be transformed by emphasizing educating students about the issues as well as the system they will need to navigate to effect change.   13
  14. 14. Community Cultural Development In Making Exact Change, William Cleveland (2005) presents a case study of ten arts- based programs. Representatives from each were asked the same questions to identify best practices. The answers revealed theories behind why CCD practices are particularly successful in motivating people to participate in change. The Grassroots Arts and Community Effort’s artists focus on creating a safe environment for participants to ask questions and experiment. This gives them space to develop their creativity with the intention of participants eventually being able to develop and implement their own projects. In every project, community artists teach arts techniques, providing tools for expression and expanding possibilities. The Northern Lakes Center for the Arts believes that culture is a crucial component because art itself is action that requires participants’ active involvement as opposed to passive observation. Furthermore, the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild has found that art is what reconnects people with their repressed and oppressed spirits. This brings meaning back into their lives and, when life has meaning, their actions become more important. All organizations in the report spend a significant amount of time building community relationships in order to offer a wide range of expertise to their participants. They work together by focusing on long-term goals and developing creative ways to enhance one another. Don Adams and Arlene Goldbard, in Creative Community: The Art of Cultural Development (2005), explain the importance of students being partners in CCD projects. Traditional power structures need to be re-evaluated by practitioners. They should learn from participants in order to ensure relevance and instill ownership. These authors argue that art is critical to effecting social transformation since many of today’s issues are cultural. Artists empower participants with a cultural vocabulary and artistic process to give voice to their desires. If the work, in its approach and aims, is aligned with participants’ wishes, CCD projects are successful in motivating people to contribute to society.   14
  15. 15. Adams and Goldbard introduced the term CCD in Community, Culture, and Globalization (2002). They discuss how the cultural component is key to breaking down stereotypes. As participants process their feelings and find their identities, they can express the truth about their lives, refuting messages portrayed in mainstream media. This can enable them to take control instead of being victims. The authors see this as part of changing one’s operating system. As one thinks more imaginatively, creative solutions and actions can be developed, breaking old habits. Maxine Greene agrees with this in her essays, “Imagination, Breakthroughs, and the Unexpected” and “Imagination, Community, and the School” (1995). She states that imagination leads people to conceive of a better future instead of being resigned to the way things are. Therefore, it is a necessary precursor to taking action, for one must first envision the world as they wish it to be. Greene’s second referenced essay concentrates on how today’s education system lacks the ability to see students as individuals. To reverse this oppressive trend, she argues that teachers and students must be able to imagine what it is like to be someone else so that they can empathize and enhance their humanity. When people feel genuinely seen and valued, they can begin to feel that they are worthy of a better future. In “Seeking Contexts” (1995), Greene suggests teachers find empathy with their students by taking into account their entire background. The reality is that students bring their personal issues with them to school and, so, these issues should be a part of their education. Combine them with art and students become actively engaged in working on their challenges. Tom Borrup is particularly interested in this concept of active versus passive participation. In his essay, “Higher Ground: Informal Arts, Cultural Policy, and the Evolving Role of Nonprofits” (2007), he argues that the arts are a natural part of activism because making art requires students to actively and fully think about the topic as they shape their work to best express the message they want to share. Actively engaging participants builds their capacity to continue taking action—their agency. Touching participants’ hearts is also a component of inspiring action, for change is a personal endeavor, as stated in “An Introduction to Community Art and Activism” by   15
  16. 16. Jan Cohen-Cruz (2002). Imagination can hone empathy that can expand humanity as one connects the issues to one’s heart. The heart is the pathway to passion. In this same essay, CCD practitioners discuss the role of artist and activist. They conclude that all collaborators should navigate wide networks to ascertain a project’s success and should contribute to every stage of its development to best ensure cohesiveness and relevance to participants’ lives. While activists can provide expertise and action plans, artists can safeguard against activists’ tendency to impose an opinion through projects that invite participants to explore their own opinions. Matt Schwarzman wrote in “It’s About Transformation: Thoughts on Arts as Social Action” (1999) that these collaborations are a result of artists and activists recognizing that, together, they can address challenges. With the rise of social injustices and accompanying apathy, activists are pursuing new methods of engagement and artists aspire to use art to change people’s perceptions about themselves and the world. In “Conversations at the Intersection of Art and Activism” by Linda Frye Burnham (2003) CCD practitioners also find great benefits to working with activists, adding that they are especially skilled at ensuring measurable outcomes. Because today’s issues are closely connected, these practitioners integrate diverse partnerships throughout the life of the project. The idea that participants should be equal partners in CCD projects is again discussed in “Art Action for Social Change: Kids on the Hill” by Mark Carter and Rebecca Yenawine (2008). The authors also recommend that their education be experiential, inspiring them to shape their own art project that will best express their viewpoints. Lastly, the young people should decide how they will take creative action. This process ensures that the project is about them, for them, and from them. As they learn and experience new things, they discover innovative answers to old recurring questions. Christopher O. Adejumo suggests that one way to create a community in which this process can thrive is by questioning the competitive atmosphere present in most educational settings. In “Promoting Self and Community Empowerment” (2008), he finds that it is more effective to emphasize cooperative learning—learning from one another and using the skills and talents of each person for the good of the whole.   16
  17. 17. Conclusion Although all sources discussed had pertinent theories, several were particularly influential. They include “Gangstas, Wankstas, and Ridas” (Duncan-Andrade 2007) and “An Interview with Linda Christensen” (Golden 2008), as they depict the authentic voices and concerns, successes and failures of SJE teachers. In the field of CCD, Making Exact Change, Creative Community (Cleveland 2005) and “Community, Culture, and Globalization” (Adams and Goldbard 2002) are noteworthy because of the extensive research into a wide variety of organizations and projects. This made the identified common threads valid and the theories behind successful results convincing.   17
  18. 18. 2. Theoretical Framework 2.1 SJE and CCD Theory Relationships SJE is struggling to take shape. Its work consists of aligning educational goals with what is needed for the common good for “there is an intrinsic relationship between educational and social transformations” (Ayers, Quinn, and Stovall 2009, pg. 569). Linda Christensen explains that teachers and students should always ask questions such as, “Who benefits? Who is being marginalized? Why are these practices fair or unfair?” (Golden 2008, pg. 61). Doing so, students realize that their education is not only intended to be academically rigorous, but also intended to provide them with the thinking and skills necessary to respond to social issues. Teachers emphasize that their ability to act critically for the betterment of their life and society as a whole is the path to freedom (Duncan-Andrade 2007). Simultaneously, CCD is seeking to define itself. In CCD projects, artists join with communities to make art that transforms people’s perceptions so they might imagine how they could effect change (Schwarzman 1999). As this type of creation can lead to self-actualization, it is emphasized that the process is as important as the product (Adams and Goldbard 2002; Adams and Goldbard 2005; Schwartzman 1999). Ultimately, CCD projects, like SJE, are completed in the search for freedom—freedom to define one’s own being, freedom to imagine the world as it could be, and freedom to act for social transformation (Adams and Goldbard 2005). SJE and CCD practitioners work towards accomplishing similar goals by utilizing many similar methods. Both fields involve five crucial components: Ownership, Community Collaboration, Investigation, Imagination, and Action. Ownership SJE Development of a relevant curriculum that is not inherently racist, classist, sexist, etc. is integral to motivating high school students to become active participants. SJE teachers can accomplish this through lessons that relate directly to students’ lives and that encourage them to critique schools and society. This process includes dissolving   18
  19. 19. the power structures that typically exist between teachers and students by collaborating as partners to develop lessons that reflect the culture of the students while extracting educational materials that further oppressive stereotypes (Ayers, Quinn, and Stovall 2009). Demonstrating vulnerability can establish such partnerships. This can show students that the teachers are beside them in the struggle for a better world and can build trust between them (Duncan-Andrade 2007; Golden 2008). Focusing on the humanity of their students is another method. To instill a sense of “positive self-identity, purpose, and hope” as pre-requisites for achievement (Duncan-Andrade 2007, pg. 635), each young person needs to be viewed as capable of forming opinions instead of being constantly imposed on by a broken system (Ayers, Quinn, and Stovall 2009). CCD Similarly, CCD theory deems that in order to achieve ownership, it is imperative that participants be seen as equal partners in determining the project and its desired outcomes (Adams and Goldbard 2005; Adejumo 2008; Cohen-Cruz 2002). Ownership is needed if one is to direct one’s course and participate effectively in the life of a community (Adams and Goldbard 2002). CCD practitioner, Alice Lovelace, notes “by taking the pieces of vision, ideas, thoughts, dreams, etc. of a group of people and putting them together, you are demonstrating that they are a community” (Burnham 2003). This idea of community can be furthered by emphasizing the cooperative over the traditional competitive approach found in most educational institutions (Adejumo 2008). CCD practitioners also instill confidence in the participants’ inherent capabilities knowing that “what moves people beyond themselves to change their lives is regard, responsibility, imagination, and a love for them as worthy human beings” (Greene 1995, pg. 40). Indeed, at the core of CCD work is the notion that to be fully present in life one must realize one’s identity, strengths, and abilities (Adams and Goldbard 2005). This is often enforced through Participatory Action Research, which involves participants gathering their own information on the topic in order to self-direct their learning (Carter and Yenawine 2008).   19
  20. 20. Community Collaboration SJE Oftentimes, SJE is actually the process by which subjects are taught rather than the subject matter itself (Duncan-Andrade 2007). Therefore, SJE teachers occasionally seek partnerships with local activists and invite them into the classroom to share their expertise. These activists present ways that students can become part of real action by leading them in using methods that history-makers have utilized to transform lives (Golden 2008). Educators hope that more young people will feel empowered to participate in social transformation by teaching not only the issues, but also the system that must be navigated to find solutions (Ayers, Quinn, and Stovall 2009). CCD Likewise, CCD practitioners often find collaborations with activists to be vital to their work. Activists can ensure that projects lead to measurable outcomes and can influence government bodies on behalf of the greater good (Burnham 2003). Community artists particularly covet their ability to cultivate a network to channel voices and give participants options for turning their opinions and agency into action that effects real social change (Cohen-Cruz 2002). Investigation SJE As students build skills, realize how they can be part of change, and become real partners in shaping their learning experience, a new sense of empowerment often emerges. Practicing it, though, requires an environment where they feel safe to experiment (Adejumo 2008). SJE teachers accomplish this by establishing that, in cultural matters, there are no wrong answers, just different perspectives. Students are encouraged to question everything with a sensitivity to beliefs and ideas of others, leading to new perspectives, wider understanding, and deeper empathy—critical ingredients in motivating them to transform society (Golden 2008). CCD Engaging in art-making on a specific issue can inspire such critical questions as, “Says who? Why? Is that what I think? What does that say about me? How do I feel about it?” Participants are encouraged to use their imaginations to put themselves in other’s   20
  21. 21. people’s shoes—to empathize (Greene 1995). Therefore, CCD practitioners strive to create safe, supportive environments for individuals and communities to explore these inquiries (Cleveland 2005). As answers are sought and participants feel free to form and express their developing opinions and ideas, freedom to choose their own identity is accomplished (Adams and Goldbard 2002). Imagination SJE The classroom is used as a microcosm and as a place for students to begin breaking down the barriers that keep them and those they know from living the life they deserve. Students are encouraged to imagine, “What kind of society would I like to live in? How can I get there?” and are, then, challenged to create solutions to those questions (Golden 2008). CCD CCD processes entail visualizing how things could be different as a first step towards action. Participants address the same questions listed above as they believe that tapping into the imagination can rouse abandonment of old, habitual ways of thinking. They can “break what is supposedly fixed…see beyond what the imaginer has called normal…and carve out new orders in experience…to glimpse what might be” (Greene 1995, pg. 19). Each generation faces the same difficult challenges, but by integrating cultural activities, CCD practitioners seek to break the cycle and “find new solutions to old problems” (Carter and Yenawine 2008). Action SJE SJE teachers strive to compel students to be active in changing the world (Ayers, Quinn, and Stovall 2009). They illustrate how people have historically worked together to overcome injustices. This helps to keep students from feeling hopeless and from accepting the world and their lives as they are. Instead, SJE teachers intend for students to feel outrage at injustices and to feel hopeful about being able to effect change (Duncan-Andrade 2007; Golden 2008).   21
  22. 22. CCD CCD practitioners also seek to engage participants to take action for a better world. The art-making process, itself, requires active participation, which stirs a sense of agency (Borrup 2007). “Art is action” (Cleveland 2005, pg. 57) and society becomes more equitable as more people participate (Adams and Goldbard 2005). As individuals begin to express their identities, the divide between what they hold to be true and how society views them is slowly closed (Adams and Goldbard 2002), shortening the distance between those who have and those who have not (Shifferd and Lagerroos 2006). “The root of CCD is the imperative to fully inhabit our lives, bringing to consciousness the values and choices that animate our communities and, thus, equipping us to act as subjects—not objects—in history” (Adams and Goldbard 2002). Conclusion SJE and CCD share similar values and employ similar methods to accomplish their common goal of increasing participation in social transformation through personal liberation (Adams and Goldbard 2005; Ayers, Quinn, and Stovall 2009). CCD practitioner, Tony Stanley, explains it well by saying, “For me it’s all about the connectedness—us as individuals helping other people connect with their own imaginative lives…the connectivity between people and, through that, the building of cultures and the sustainability of cultures” (Adams and Goldbard 2002).   22
  23. 23. SJE and CCD Shared SJE and CCD Shared SJE and CCD Shared Values Methods Goal Freedom Creating Relevant Curriculum Self-Empowerment Experimenting Increasing Participation Developing a Safe Active Participation in Environment for Questioning Breaking Down Stereotypes Collaborating Social Transformation Providing/Creating Paths to Empathy through Action Hope Partnering with Participants Personal Liberation Cultivating Strategic Ownership Community Partnerships Creative Thinking Exploring Power Structures Participants' Inherent Eradicating Inherent Creativity and Capabilities Oppression Illustration 1. Shared Values and Methods Leading to Shared Goal 2.2 SJE Challenges SJE teachers have experienced many positive results, explaining the trend to develop the field. However, there are key challenges that prevent it from realizing its full potential. Solely bringing activists into classrooms rarely motivates students to become part of transforming society. Their expertise can be critical, but they typically present traditional methods of activism, such as attending a protest, signing a petition, calling a representative, etc. Students will not likely participate in these activities without feeling genuinely connected to the issue. They may participate for the duration of an individual project, but an element of passion inspires a lifelong practice of activism (Cohen-Cruz 2002). Activists also bear a formed, fervent opinion on a topic that can create a judgmental atmosphere. Thus, students who think differently may not engage for fear of looking unintelligent to their peers and students who have not yet formed an opinion may not feel free to explore the issue (Cohen-Cruz 2002). Even if they share the same opinion, students may not place much emphasis on the issue if they cannot relate to it.   23
  24. 24. Generally teachers and activists do not collaborate in the lesson’s development. Instead, activists provide information and, perhaps, action plans while SJE teachers plan activities to connect it to the current lesson. Playing separate roles is not the most effective way to address issues nor fill the divide between those issues and students’ lives (Burnham 2003; Cohen-Cruz 2002). Even if SJE teachers can relate the issue to students’ lives, the information is usually conveyed through traditional methods: lectures and presentations. These methods require only passive student participation. When they have not fully engaged in the experience, the transition from learning to taking action is particularly challenging (Borrup 2007; Cleveland 2005; Greene 1995). Likewise, instituting agency is difficult without developing innovative, inspiring ideas. Even though students are asked to envision creative answers, their ideas will likely be based on traditional thinking, resulting in traditional action choices that they often view as intimidating and unexciting. It could be compared to asking students to use a tool without demonstrating how to use it. Before they can employ creativity, methods to develop that creativity need to be established (Adams and Goldbard 2002; Greene 1995). 2.3 SJE and CCD Integration “In our era, many pressing social problems–racism, homophobia, conflicts over the nature of public education and conflicts over immigration, etc.–are understood to be essentially cultural. Cultural responses are required to address them” (Adams and Goldbard 2005, pg. 65). CCD practitioners argue that placing an art-making experience at the center of learning is vital to moving participants to take an active role in society (Adams and Goldbard 2002; Adams and Goldbard 2005; Cleveland 2005; Cohen-Cruz 2002). By adding this element to the five critical components shared by SJE and CCD, the potential of the arts to increase participation in social transformation through personal liberation is explored as a solution to challenges faced by SJE.   24
  25. 25. Connecting Ownership For students to feel ownership, a real connection between their lives and the issue must be established (Adams and Goldbard 2005; Cohen-Cruz 2002). Both SJE teachers and CCD practitioners strive for this, but the arts tell stories through which connections can be made between the learning and the young people’s personal struggles (Greene 1995). Artists shape these connections by blending symbolic imagery, creative techniques, and cultural vocabulary to create an artistic expression that records the participants’ engagement in processing their feelings on the issue (Adams and Goldbard 2005). To create the environment needed for non-judgmental reflection, the arts ask, “Imagine if,” rather than state, “This is.” Cultural activities naturally provide a shield against activists’ tendency to convince others to believe just as they do (Cohen-Cruz 2002). Organic Community Collaboration SJE teachers can become static when the activist’s role is independently developed. CCD involves more organic and integrated collaborations with all partners contributing to all stages of the planning, implementation, and follow through. This intertwines the goals so that learning is focused, methods are effective, and desired results are achieved (Burnham 2003; Cohen-Cruz 2002). CCD practitioners customarily involve as many collaborators from varying sectors as the project requires. Community artist, A.B. Spellman, observes this is because “problems and issues are not segregated—they are complicatedly connected” (Burnham 2003). Navigating complex partnerships without succumbing to rigid roles is difficult; however, past CCD experiences reveal that a project is only as good as these relationships. Therefore, collaborators must approach it creatively and openly—an ability that is nurtured through developing and implementing cultural activities, which require out-of-the-box thinking (Cleveland 2005).   25
  26. 26. Meaningful Investigation The quest for answers to questions posed by those involved in SJE and CCD is about discovering creative solutions and about finding a deeper meaning that inspires action. It asks, “How does this make me feel? Why does this matter? Is it important to me to be part of changing something?” These are questions of the heart, the place where real change takes place (Cohen-Cruz 2002). Cultural activities can potentially bring “deeper meanings of experience to the surface so they can be explored and acted upon” (Adams and Goldbard 2005, pg. 64). When participants create while thinking about the questions surrounding the issue, they unearth their own feelings and eventually connect to their spirits (Cleveland 2005). Once their hearts and spirits are engaged, passion can follow. Imagination Cultivation Because CCD practitioners have high expectations for the product, they teach an array of artistic techniques they can use to yield satisfying results (Cleveland 2005). They do not simply ask participants to be creative; they show them how. Through the art-making process, participants learn a repertoire of tools and possibilities. Eventually, they can progress beyond what they have been taught to imagining new ways of combining those tools and possibilities. This can lead to innovative answers to the questions—answers for which participants can feel ownership and which help them imagine a better world and how they can be a part of effecting change (Greene 1995; Schwarzman 1999). Creative Action “CCD aims to change our ‘operating systems’ by providing new and fundamental tools of comprehension, analysis, and creative action” (Adams and Goldbard 2002). Indeed, imagination cultivates new ways of acting, providing more accessible paths for people to become history-makers rather than passive subjects of the human story. The idea of activism is expanded beyond the traditional methods of petitions and   26
  27. 27. protests to more inclusive, approachable activities such as exhibitions, performances, or educating fellow classmates (Cleveland 2005). Additionally, by taking part in a cultural activity, participants are already taking action. As opposed to being passive students, they are physically forming a work of art and their lesson. Practicing action has a greater potential to lead to further action as participants become familiar with the process (Borrup 2007). CCD Enhanced SJE Challenges Components The issue needs to be thoroughly connected to students' lives in order for them Connecting Ownership to feel motivated to tackle the problem. The project's meaning must reach beyond a school assignment to students' Meaningful Investigation hearts to ignite a passion that is more likely to inspire life-long activism. Imagination Cultivation / Students need more accessible, approachable ways to take action. Creative Action Students need freedom to formulate their own thinking on an issue - not simply Connecting Ownership inherit an activist's formed opinion. In collaborations, completely separate roles make it difficult for SJE teachers to Organic Community ensure the issues remain relevant to students' lives. Collaboration It is a big leap for students to transition from passive participation in learning Creative Action about an issue to taking action on its behalf. Methods to develop creativity need to be part of the work in order for students to Imagination Cultivation imagine creative solutions in which they can and want to participate. Illustration 2. SJE Challenges and CCD Enhanced Components   27
  28. 28. 3. Methodology 3.1 Methods To determine if integrating CCD practices into high school SJE can increase the participation of young people in transforming society, this study analyzed two different workshops with one common topic: the Iraqi Refugee Crisis. The first workshop, Phase One, utilized the traditional lecture method, and the second workshop, Phase Two, used CCD practices to develop an arts-centered experience. Results from both were collected through student surveys, collaborator interview questions, and the researcher’s observations. These results were analyzed to create a model for utilizing CCD to teach social justice issues in a way that could increase the potential of students becoming life-long activists. Participants Facilitated by the researcher, the study included an activist, a community artist, three high school SJE teachers, and as many as 59 high school students. The activist, Jill Doub, works at the Chicago office of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), an international organization dedicated to peace and social justice. The community artist, Carla Paynter, teaches art in conjunction with several non-profit organizations. The three SJE high school teachers, Rhiannon Borgia, David Doll, and Matthew Kayser, teach at Perspectives Charter School–Joslin Campus, a high school in Chicago. Students attending this charter school come from a variety of neighborhoods and most are African-American or Latino. Both phases were carried out in one class of each teacher, including a ninth grade A Disciplined Life class, tenth grade Humanities class, and eleventh grade History class. During a recent project, AFSC established a good working relationship with teachers and administrators at this school. It was selected because the school was founded and driven by SJE values.   28
  29. 29. Materials A PowerPoint presentation created by AFSC staff was used as the starting point for Phase One (AFSC 2009). It included background on events leading up to the Iraqi Refugee Crisis, images from refugee life, statistics, and ideas on how the U.S. can move forward in addressing the issue. Phase Two utilized images from Iraqi life and statistics on the Crisis, poems from Battlefield Without Borders (Smith-Ferri 2008), and three articles, “The Militias in Middle East Classrooms” (Moskowitz 2008), “Children of Iraq Make an ‘Appeal’ to Government Leaders” (Dahyi 2008), and “Teenage Iraqi Refugees Focus on Career in Damascus Exercise” (Van Gendersen Short 2008). Students created artwork with markers, colored pencils, oil pastels, photocopies of images of Iraqi people, various types of paper, fabric, string, glue, and scissors. Study Procedure Phase One Phase One consisted of an introduction to the project followed by the Iraqi Refugee Crisis PowerPoint presentation given by the activist. Afterwards, students briefly discussed the Crisis and, then, they completed a short survey that gauged their activist tendencies, what they found impactful and relevant about the workshop, and their perceptions about their own ability to effect change. The researcher, community artist, and teachers noted students’ reactions and what needed improvement and all collaborators were asked interview questions. The following week, the researcher and collaborators met to share their goals, provide feedback on the presentation, and to discuss the student survey results. Based on this information, a new workshop was developed using CCD practices as a mode of transferring the information and engaging students in the issue. Phase Two Two class periods were needed for students to learn more information, create art, and develop an action plan in Phase Two. During the first class, the activist and community artist focused on Iraqi refugee youth as the surveys showed that students   29
  30. 30. identified with this part of the Crisis. The class began with an Imagining Story in which the activist asked students to put themselves in the shoes of the young Iraqi in the story, making parallels between his life and theirs. Students were, then, each given one of three different articles to read. Each article was about one of the top three facts students previously identified as particularly impactful. Students were broken into groups according to their article where they answered discussion questions with their group members. When finished, the community artist recited a poem about one of those three facts as the activist showed images. The group with the article on that fact shared the message of their article and what they thought about it. This process repeated itself for the other two facts. Lastly, students were presented with a variety of ideas for producing art projects on the new information. Students voted for their favorite idea, each class choosing a different project. Before creating the art project next class, students engaged in a discussion on what they could do to make it activist art. Each class displayed their project in a different part of the school to educate fellow schoolmates. One class decided to write postcards to their government representatives. Two classes wanted to hang graffiti walls by their artwork, showing statistics about the Crisis and leaving space for others to write comments. All three classes crafted a morning announcement, informing the school about the project. It was determined that the comments on the graffiti walls and postcards could be sent to government representatives in one package. Finally, the community artist guided students in creating visual artwork. There was not enough time during this second class to finish, so teachers facilitated the completion of their students’ projects. The researcher returned to conclude the study and assist in installing the final product. Once again, students were given the same survey as in Phase One and collaborators were interviewed. Data Collection and Manipulation To determine a research posture, the researcher answered questions presented in “Navigating the ‘Seven C’s’: Curiosity, Confirmation, Comparison, Changing, Collaborating, Critiquing, and Combinations” (Chenail 2000). Because this study can   30
  31. 31. be characterized by a desire to build “collaborative systems with the purpose of joint problem-solving and positive social change” the author recommended Collaborative Action Research Methods. This method is most commonly used in classrooms. It requires little interference in teachers’ primary role of teaching and is centered around the development of methods pertinent to the classroom dynamic. The Center for Collaborative Action Research (2006) further explains that “because practices involve other people, action research is participatory, often highly collaborative, and employs both qualitative and quantitative methods.” Quantitative Data The researcher compiled answers from student surveys completed after Phase One and Phase Two (Appendix A). The first section of the survey asked students to rate their responses on a scale of 1-5. It was determined how many times each number was circled and multiplied by the circled number. Those totals were divided by the total number of students who completed the question to arrive at the average number for each question. Students also had to answer “yes,” “no,” or “maybe” and “true,” “false,” or “maybe” on some questions. How many times each was answered on each question was counted and the totals were divided by the total number of students who completed those questions to ascertain percentages. Lastly, students were asked to define certain relevant terms to which they either answered it correctly, partially correctly, incorrectly, or they did not answer it. An answer was partially correct if it included only parts of the entire definition. How many times it was answered each of those ways was totaled and divided by the total number of students completing the question to compute percentages. The researcher compared the averages and percentages of the first and second surveys to see if they increased, decreased, or remained the same after Phase Two in order to determine whether or not integrating CCD practices increased the participation of these young people in transforming society. The Interview Questions (Appendix B) given to the activist, community artist, and SJE teachers after Phase One and Phase Two included three questions requiring a   31
  32. 32. response on a scale of 1-5. Responses were totaled for each question and, then, divided by 5 (the number of adult collaborators) to reach an average. The averages of each phase were compared to see if they increased, decreased, or remained the same. Qualitative Data In addition to answering quantitatively, students were invited to write their thoughts on many questions. Those thoughts were compiled under the question being asked to gauge an overall perception and to sense the differences in opinions, attitudes, and ideas (Appendix A). Many of the interview questions asked collaborators to share observations on how students engaged within the workshops and why, as well as their ideas on what should be changed. Their responses helped to portray the atmosphere of the experience and students’ reactions, which can be difficult to capture in measurable ways (Appendix B). The students’ art projects also provided insightful information. One class designed protest posters around a fact of their choosing on the Iraqi Refugee Crisis. They drew images and came up with actions for viewers to take. Another class created collages with images and words that described their emotions on some of the same facts. The last project involved students drawing themselves, transferring images, and writing one wish that they had for Iraqi refugees. (See Appendices C–H.) Finally, the researcher was present for all of the components of the study, directly participating in both phases as well as the collaboration procedure. Observations were noted during the process and used in addressing the hypothesis. 3.2 Limitations A lack of funding for this project meant that the community artist was not paid for her time. Therefore, the researcher developed art project lessons and helped install the artwork while the community artist taught the lessons, helping students with techniques. This also meant that the art materials were limited to what the researcher already possessed, contributing to students not being able to completely develop the concept of the art project themselves.   32
  33. 33. Lack of time was also a limiting factor. Class periods were only 50 minutes and the teachers only had four days that they could devote to the project. Therefore, the researcher and artists could not spend the time necessary to enable students to imagine and create a project of their own invention. Instead, various options were made available and projects were adjusted if suggestions for improvement were made. Additionally, the creative actions were squeezed into the end of the school year and, therefore, were a bit rushed. What students were moved by and what they felt was relevant was the basis for Phase Two. However, to gauge this, a wide range of issues on the topic of Iraqi refugees needed to be presented. As a result, some aspects of Phase Two relied on Phase One, and this must be taken into consideration. Lastly, the same students were not necessarily present for all sessions of the project and not all students who returned surveys completed all of the questions. 3.3 Conclusion Despite the limitations, the study produced a plethora of data worthy of examination. Time constraints and funding issues are typical challenges that CCD practitioners and SJE teachers face and need to effectively resolve. The most crucial concept is that Phase One was completely devoid of an arts component and that Phase Two integrated the arts using CCD practices. As a result, it appears that conclusions can be drawn as to whether or not the methods applied in Phase Two increase the participation of young people in transforming society.   33
  34. 34. 4. Results 4.1 Student Surveys This section summarizes the pertinent results of the student survey as measured by the quantitative and qualitative data collected after Phase One and Phase Two. Please refer to Appendix A for all results in table and written form. Relevancy It is imperative that the issue’s relevance be established to create the Connecting Ownership and Meaningful Investigation that inspires agency (Adams and Goldbard 2005; Cochran-Smith et al. 2009; Cohen-Cruz 2002; Duncan-Andrade 2007). One way to achieve this was to involve students in exploring commonalities between themselves and Iraqi refugees. Table 9 reflects that 11.94% less students saw these similarities after Phase Two than after Phase One. Phase One responses demonstrated that this is because they do not share the exact same experience, whereas following Phase Two, many students seemed to say “no” because they did not experience things at the same level. This was apparent in comments like, “not really because they have everything worse.” Likewise, Table 13 demonstrates a decrease of 14.17% from one phase to the next in the number of students who found the workshop to be relevant to their lives. Some students who did find it relevant, especially after Phase One, explained that they have new knowledge that can be used as a resource. This subtly shifted in Phase Two, which revealed that learning about the plight of the Iraqi refugees made students feel grateful for what they have. There were also several more action-oriented responses after Phase Two: it alerted them to the problem so they could help, it showed them how to help, and it changed their way of thinking. It is also interesting to note that a significantly greater number of students who found relevance included a written response in comparison to those who did not see its pertinence.   34
  35. 35. Engagement Along with Imagination Cultivation, engagement is another crucial factor in establishing Connecting Ownership and Meaningful Investigation. These are all pre-requisites for taking action (Borrup 2007; Cleveland 2005). When asked why students participated, the most common response after both phases was, “My teacher told me to.” After Phase One, some students participated because they thought that it was interesting or because they learned something new. Only one student made an action-oriented statement. There were slightly more responses after Phase Two and many were increasingly thoughtful, such as “making the happiness of others” or “the safety of the world.” The cultural component was noted several times as students commented that they enjoyed making drawings and exploring their creativity. Table 14 shows that 89.80% of students already found creative activities to be enjoyable and this number slightly increased to 90.57% after Phase Two. Activism Table 1 and Table 2 demonstrate that, after Phase Two, students were slightly more likely to take action if they believe in a cause than they were after Phase One. In terms of relevant issues, Tables 2 through 6 depict that the students’ interest in discrimination and refugee rights increased by a small amount, while they felt slightly less strongly about immigration and terrorism following Phase Two. Table 7 shows that 5.11% more students considered themselves activists after Phase Two. Students offered reasons as to why they might become an activist, many indicating that they want to fight for what is right. Some are written in the present tense, implying that they already possess an activist attitude. A few provided insight into why they are not activists: they feel too young, they want to have money to support the cause, and they feel too shy or not smart enough. A handful of students might become activists if a cause they really believe in presents itself, while others were worried about more practical issues like having the courage to participate in a traditional mode of activism or knowing how they can help.   35
  36. 36. Most students who do not consider themselves activists and do not think they will ever become one, reply that they simply do not care or that they do not like to get involved. Twenty-six of those students wrote responses, but 15 of those responses seemed like their answers should have been “maybe” as their reasons included not liking protests or speaking up, not having a cause, and only being able to change little things. Table 15 depicts that those who think it is important to care about the world decreased by 8.45% from one phase to the next. The same number of students circled “yes,” but five more students answered the question and they circled “no.” This is then contrasted by a 10.20% increase, following Phase Two, in the number of students who believe that their ideas, opinions, and beliefs are valuable, as well as a 13.30% increase in the number of students who found that they have the ability to be a part of making change happen. (See Tables 16 and 17.) 4.2 Collaborator Interviews The three SJE teachers, community artist, and activist were asked the same series of interview questions for each phase. Following Phase Two, there was one additional question asking them to compare the effectiveness of the two phases. Refer to Appendix B for all results in table and written form. Collaboration Organic Community Collaboration establishes relevancy while aiding partners in achieving their goals (Burnham 2003; Cohen-Cruz 2002). Therefore, the first interview question asked collaborators to list their goals for the project. The responses revealed common reasons for them to be involved, such as expanding students’ minds to other cultures and inspiring empathy and activism. Each collaborator also had unique reasons for participating. Teachers were interested in enhancing their lessons, the community artist wanted to create an engaging artistic experience for high school students, and the activist sought to develop a replicable model for her organization. All collaborators saw some validity in Phase One’s ability to help them achieve their goals, but the SJE teachers clearly demonstrated that it was not the most effective   36
  37. 37. means. They noted that students “tuned out,” did not have “any overwhelming sense of urgency,” and that they did not fully make the connection between themselves and the issue. Four out of five collaborators responded to the question following Phase Two of which all were positive. Phase Two involved students in “the art of doing something,” it “was essential in breaking down stereotypes,” “students were much more engaged,” and they were “enthusiastic about the art activity.” SJE teachers were asked if they found each phase to be helpful to their teaching. One did not find Phase One to be very helpful, although she appreciated the information. Another liked that it provided an opportunity to discuss current events, and the last teacher found it useful to observe others teaching his students for insight into what does and does not engage them. All were in agreement that Phase Two was helpful. They reported that it assisted in opening students’ minds, engaging them, and evoking empathy. It also presented an opportunity to discuss current events, connected students to things happening outside of their lives, and taught the teachers techniques in leading an art project. Relevancy Following Phase One, the relevance of the project was averaged at 2.80. This increased to 4.00 after Phase Two, as indicated in Table 19. After Phase One, there were three comments. One SJE teacher offered that it was less relevant to those students who suppported the Iraq war. The other two comments reflected that the topic was “too far from home” and that students cannot grasp the concept of war and its ensuing suffering. Following Phase Two, only one comment was made. The community artist said it would be difficult for any student to find the topic relevant unless they were told it was relevant and made a personal connection.   37
  38. 38. Engagement Several collaborators replied that they did not observe any students being particularly impacted during Phase One. During Phase Two, it was noticed that the thoughts students wrote in their artwork confirmed that they were being affected. Two collaborators observed students getting “wrapped up” in the art-making, approaching it with excitement and concentration. The activist witnessed a debate on whether the students shared similarities with Iraqi refugees. Table 20 shows that the level of student engagement was determined to be 2.50 after Phase One and 4.20 after Phase Two. Four collaborators commented and all agreed that, during Phase One, the level of engagement was not high enough. Reasons given included that more time was needed to clarify misunderstood information and that the presentation was too long and beyond the students’ comprehension level. Following Phase Two, the community artist commented that she observed students being “very engaged during the art project workshop.” Activism On average, the collaborators found the effectiveness of Phase One to be 2.90 and Phase Two to be 4.11. Table 21 depicts this increase. Two SJE teachers did not find Phase One to be very effective, saying students were not engaged enough and did not talk about the experience after the visiting collaborators left. However, it was noted that “the kids did get something out of it and their interest was peaked.” The community artist thought that good information was presented “clearly and effectively.” One SJE teacher replied, “I believe you accomplished exactly what you intended to” in Phase Two. The community artist thought that Phase Two was “most effective in terms of absorbing the students’ attention and allowing for their self-expression,” but Phase One was more effective in informing students about the Iraqi Refugee Crisis. Four out of five collaborators agreed that Phase Two was more effective. Their reasons include the level of engagement, the ability for students to choose how to   38
  39. 39. display their activism, the hands-on approach, the art project itself, the opportunity for self-expression, and the chance to explore what was learned by doing something. The focus on the pictures and real life stories, the open format, and the fact that it resulted in a tangible object were also noted. The community artist, though, observed that the phases would be most effective combined because there would be an “information gap” without the PowerPoint presentation. Because they knew the students best, the SJE teachers were asked if they thought this effectiveness would translate into activism. Two of them said “yes” after Phase One, guessing that 8% to 10% would become more active. One teacher did not find it likely, but “wouldn’t rule it out.” He explained that this is because the lesson was more about Iraqi refugees rather than activism. After Phase Two, two of the teachers responded “yes,” guessing 10% and 5-10%. The same teacher who responded “no” previously had the same answer, explaining that the connection to activism was not strong enough. 4.3 Researcher Observations Phase One Relevancy Phase One did not include any components that sought to establish relevancy. Engagement During Phase One, the researcher noticed that most students were paying attention at the beginning of the PowerPoint presentation. Some began loosing interest after 15 to 20 minutes and, by the end, one-third to one-half of each class appeared to no longer be listening. Evidence included stretching, fidgeting, shifting in seats, yawning, and several students had their heads down on their desks. A few discussions were took place around several issues in which four to five students in each class participated. Overall, students seemed interested in certain aspects, but were mostly passive in their engagement.   39
  40. 40. Action When presented with a list of actions to take, not one student expressed interest in doing something on behalf of the Iraqi refugees. There were a few clarifying questions asked, demonstrating that they did not yet fully understand the topic, much less their relation to it. The Collaboration Process The researcher facilitated the collaboration process between the SJE teachers, community artist, and activist. After Phase One, collaborators responded to interview questions thoughtfully and in a timely manner. Everyone arrived at the collaboration meeting prepared to give feedback and participate in the process of creating an effective workshop. The researcher noted that co-teaching could be challenging. A variety of teaching styles had to be navigated and it seemed that some SJE teachers were extra conscious of their students “behaving” for visiting collaborators. It was observed that, at times, the discipline being administered by an SJE teacher was a bit overbearing resulting in the students’ dampened spirits. Upon completion of the project, all SJE teachers expressed interest in working with the activist and facilitator in future projects. They were interested in seeing the results of the survey and the conclusion of this study. Phase Two Relevancy With the exception of one or two in each class, students took the time to carefully read the articles, but when collaborators circled the room to see how they were answering the comprehension questions, it was obvious that many found it difficult to fully understand what they were reading. Therefore, each collaborator concentrated on a group and, with a bit more understanding, students were engaged in conversations and debates on the topic.   40
  41. 41. Engagement In general, students were more enthusiastic when the collaborators were enthusiastic. If they energetically asked the students to do something and read with emotion, students listened more attentively and responded. Overall, the variety of activities worked well as different students shined during different parts of the workshop. It seemed to address the numerous ways that young people learn and feel comfortable expressing themselves. When presented with a choice of art projects, students listened attentively to the descriptions of each. They were very excited to have a chance to vote on which project their class would complete. There were many students trying to convince their friends to vote the same way. When engaged in making the artwork, it was not necessary for the SJE teachers to discipline anyone. Students asked visiting collaborators many questions that helped make everyone feel more comfortable with one another. They also had interesting relative questions that, in one case, dispelled a common misconception. Action Initially, students were unsure about how to use art to take action. After being presented with examples, though, they began to offer ideas. Again, they were excited to be a part of determining what their class would do. Overwhelmingly, their favorite idea was the graffiti walls, which was a new concept to most. Because time ran short on the scheduled workshop days, the researcher returned once more to help students hang their work and bring closure to the project. It was obvious that the Protest Poster project was the weakest (Appendix C). The finished pieces demonstrated students were moved and wanted Iraqi refugees to get help, but the visual result was not impressive. Approximately three-fourths of the class was enthusiastic about hanging their work in the middle school hallways to teach those students about the Iraqi Refugee Crisis and the posters were very informative in nature. The researcher also assisted another class in installing their work. This was the Collage and String project and the results were visually impressive (Appendix D). The project required students to record their thoughts on certain Iraqi refugee statistics for   41
  42. 42. integration into the artwork. Their responses were very emotional. Students seemed to hang their work with pride, conscious of them being straight and evenly spaced. Many were asked if they liked their finished project and all said, “yes.” The last class had already hung their work, but the researcher stopped in the classroom to thank students for their participation and to see what they thought about the project. Students, in turn, emphatically thanked the researcher for taking the time to do the project with them. Several students described which piece was theirs and all were happily surprised with how they were able to capture their own likeness in this self-portrait Connecting Quilt project (Appendix E). They wanted to know if they would get to do another project like it. The SJE teacher commented that his other classes were jealous. In this project, each student wrote poignant wishes that they had for the Iraqi refugees on their artwork. Their pieces hung near the collage pieces and several teachers were in the hallway looking at them. These teachers, as well as a school administrator, complimented the researcher on the work. With the exception of installing the work, the actions in the action plan seemed to be rushed. This plan entailed creating an announcement to be read over the school PA system in order to entice fellow schoolmates to write responses on the graffiti walls by their artwork and compiling their comments to include in a mailing with postcards asking government representatives to take appropriate action. The community artist and the activist left these activities with the SJE teachers, who indicated that they would follow through. However, the researcher observed them feeling stressed and overwhelmed as the end of the school year drew near.   42
  43. 43. 5. Discussion of the Results The SJE challenges identified in Chapter Two are indeed true for Phase One. This chapter discusses whether or not Phase Two, which incorporated CCD methods into the workshops on the Iraqi Refugee Crisis, addressed those challenges by enhancing the components that they share. Furthermore, the resulting short-term and long-term impact of Phase Two is presented in order to determine if integrating CCD practices into high school SJE increases the participation of young people in transforming society. The compilation of this information results in a model for CCD collaborations focused on SJE. It is a summary of the best practices learned from this study that can produce results in accordance with the hypothesis. 5.1 Addressing Challenges Challenge: The issue needs to be thoroughly connected to the students’ lives in order for them to feel motivated to tackle the problem (Adams and Goldbard 2005; Cochran-Smith et al. 2009; Cohen-Cruz 2002; Duncan-Andrade 2007). Following Phase One, students, overall, felt like the Iraqi Refugee Crisis was irrelevant and that they did not share similarities with the Iraqi people because they were not refugees themselves. Only a few realized that they shared some of the same experiences and desires. The collaborators agreed. When asked to rank the relevance of the first phase to students’ lives, their responses averaged 2.8 on a scale of 1–5 (Appendix B, Table 19). To increase this average, Connecting Ownership was needed (Adams and Goldbard 2005; Cohen-Cruz 2002; Greene 1995A). Phase Two involved students in envisioning themselves as Iraqi refugees through story-telling and exploring their own thoughts through discussion and art-making. It was also based on what they found most impactful during Phase One. Several student survey and collaborator interview questions gauged the effectiveness of these particular practices. The numeric results of the student surveys alone would indicate that Phase Two was not successful in establishing Connecting Ownership as   43
  44. 44. the percentages of those who found similarities with Iraqi refugees and of those who found the workshop relevant decreased from one phase to the next. When asked how strongly they felt about the related issues of Discrimination, Immigration, Refugee Rights, and Terrorism, students’ responses changed by miniscule amounts. However, the averages in both phases signified that students already felt strongly about these issues. Upon evaluation, it is apparent that a real opportunity was overlooked. Students identified with discrimination and immigration issues that could have been used as relevant entry points into discussing the Crisis. Additionally, students were highly concerned about terrorism and a connection between that, war, and how refugees are treated could have made the information more pertinent. Despite the quantitative results after Phase Two, the creation process did cause students to grow more empathetic. As shown in written survey statements, classroom comments, and messages in their artwork, it seems that, as they empathized, they felt less like Iraqi refugees due to the number of problems refugees face at a such a severe level. It was not that students could not relate to their issues, it was that they just could not relate to the depth of despair. As they struggled with this, it was apparent that their concern for the refugees grew. The collaborators, on the other hand, rated Phase Two much higher in relevance to students’ lives. Perhaps it was because they noticed the way students were being affected or because they are more able to see the big picture. It is a difficult topic to make significant to students, but it is the students who need to understand that relevance (Adams and Goldbard 2005; Cochran-Smith et al. 2009; Cohen-Cruz 2002; Duncan-Andrade 2007). Therefore, it appears that while these CCD practices did take steps towards Connecting Ownership, they could have been done more effectively.   44
  45. 45. Challenge: The project’s meaning must reach beyond a school assignment to students’ hearts to ignite a passion that is more likely to inspire life-long activism (Adams and Goldbard 2005; Cleveland 2005; Cohen- Cruz 2002). When asked why students were motivated to participate in Phase One, most stated that they had no choice – it was part of their grade. This workshop was like a typical class in that it was taught using the traditional lecture method with the activist in the front of the room presenting and asking comprehensive questions. As a result, only a handful of students in each class interacted. CCD practices demand a more interactive approach in order to challenge students to see beyond a school project to an issue that needs their attention. This necessitates students taking part in Meaningful Investigation (Adams and Goldbard 2005; Cleveland 2005; Cohen-Cruz 2002). Therefore, in Phase Two, students read things for themselves, moved around the room for group discussions, closed their eyes to picture themselves somewhere else, and created art in order to find deeper meaning. These techniques were integral to students achieving a better understanding of the Crisis and becoming moved by the refugees’ plight. As students investigated the issue during Phase Two, their level of engagement was reported as significantly higher. Although many still replied “my teacher made me,” there were more comments reflecting that students now genuinely cared about what happened to the Iraqi refugees. Challenge: Students need more accessible, approachable ways to take action (Cleveland 2005). The final slide of the PowerPoint presentation in Phase One included traditional methods of how students can take action. The same list was given to teachers to share with their students. Not one student expressed interest nor asked any questions about the actions. Students were asked if they considered themselves activists and 43.10% of them did after Phase One, which is a surprisingly high amount. However, the majority still did   45

×