Jeff Broome is an associate professor and director of the doctoral program in art education at Florida State University. Jeff’s research interests include narrative inquiry, cultural diversity, multi-age art education, and caring approaches to art curricula. Jeff is currently the Director of the Higher Education Division of the National Art Education Association. Previously, Jeff worked for the University of North Texas, the University of Georgia, and as a public school art teacher in Florida.
Research Items (19)
Recent educational initiatives have emphasised the importance of fostering critical thinking skills in today's students in order to provide strategies for becoming successful problem solvers throughout life. Other scholars advocate the use of critical thinking skills on the grounds that such tools can be used effectively when considering social justice issues. In this article we make the case that the teaching and learning strategies of analytic art criticism can serve as fundamental tools used not just for the study of art but can also centre critical thinking and analysis in all aspects of the art education curriculum. Our argument begins with a review of literature on the use of art criticism for critical thinking and meaning making. Then we describe our efforts to address critical thinking with our students by using the critical analysis model of art criticism and applying it to learning environments for forming reasoned judgments about teaching and learning, and also as springboard for examining social justice issues. We believe that promoting this form of affectively driven, intellectually guided critical thinking makes our students potentially more successful not just in their encounters with art and education, but also in their lives as human beings beyond school.
This article presents the results of a national survey conducted with 223 arts teachers working in public schools that feature mixed-age classrooms rather than traditional grade levels. The purpose of the survey was to identify the professional development needs of arts teachers working in these unique environments, and to offer suggestions for policy makers who might provide appropriate training or foster the development of multiage school sites. The results showed that most respondents (73.1%) were in favor of developing new multiage training for arts teachers, and revealed their preferences for workshop content related to organizational strategies, collaboration with colleagues, assessment, integrated curriculum, collaborative student work, research, and thematic instruction. The results also revealed respondents’ preferences for venues, formats, and the scheduling of such professional development experiences. The implications of these findings provide a number of options for policy makers to weigh in planning optimum training opportunities for multiage arts instructors.
Multi-age classrooms feature the purposeful grouping of students from 2 or more grade levels in order to form communities of learners. During the past 40 years, multi-age education has been examined in literature and research in many different ways and contexts. In the subject area of visual art, however, little literature can be found that addresses the practice of multi-age art instruction. This study begins to remedy this situation by gathering foundational information on the topic of multi-age art education. A questionnaire was mailed to art teachers working in multi-age elementary schools in Florida. Results showed that most multi-age art classes consisted of 2 or 3 consecutive grade level combinations. Most of the respondents were assigned multi-age classes (94.44%) and very few had received multi-age training (8.33%). The most frequently expressed advantage of multi-age art education related to the use of scaffolding techniques and cooperative grouping. The most frequently expressed disadvantages related to the presence of differing developmental levels among students. In spite of the lack of training and professional autonomy offered to the multi-age art teachers, most of the respondents supported multi-age grouping in art education (55.56%). The study concludes with implications for implementing multi-age models of art instruction and recommendations for further studies on multi-age art education as an alternative to graded practices.
Considering that the physical space where art is taught can have an essential impact on the learning and creating experience, there are many practical options that educators may consider when arranging or reorganizing their classrooms.
Systems thinking offers a critique of traditional methods of analytic problem solving and presents new possibilities for conceptualizing the interconnected nature of all parts of unified systems. In this article, a collective group of scholars speculates on how systems thinking might be applied to art education, arts administration, and museum education as a way to reconceptualize entrenched problem solving practices in interrelated arts professions. The article begins with a brief literature review before presenting arguments related to (a) the congruency of systems thinking with interdisciplinary and informal learning approaches, (b) a critique of current educational systems built upon rigid uncreative traditions, (c) recent research supporting learner-centered pedagogies as effective approaches for breaking away from linear systems of schooling, and (d) the application of eco-feminist systems thinking to visitor-centered museum education. The article concludes with a discussion of the reoccurring themes and lingering questions that emerged within the respective arguments.
- Sep 2016
This book chapter utilizes autobiographical narrative inquiry techniques to present the experiences of an art educator who worked for eight years at an elementary school within a predominantly migrant Hispanic community. The first part of the chapter focuses on establishing the initial context of these experiences, including (a) the background of the instructor as a first year art teacher and outsider to the community, (b) relevant socio-economic factors impacting the school and its Title I status, (c) the transient nature of many of the students’ families in relationship to the availability of low-wage manual farm work, (d) the high percentage of English language learners at the school, and (e) the unique multi-age organizational structure of the school that accentuated mixed-age collaboration over individual competition. The second part of the chapter presents relevant stories from the art teacher’s experiences working in this context. These stories address a number of themes including the instructor’s gradual adjustment from his preservice training that featured a discipline-based Euro-centric approach emphasizing examples from Western art historical canons, to one that featured greater diversity and connections to local culture and customs. As a result, the art teacher realized the importance of furthering his own understanding of the local meanings attributed to significant visual culture icons often appearing in student artwork or in class discussions. Such icons included the Virgin Guadalupe and low-rider automobile art, as well as chulos, vatos, and other imagery often associated with Latino street culture. The art teacher also describes the school’s use of multi-age classrooms, involving the purposeful heterogeneous grouping of students from two or more traditional grade levels, as a way to build caring communities of learners. The concluding section of the chapter discusses emergent themes within the art teacher’s stories and synthesizes the results in the form of suggested instructional strategies relevant to teaching art with English language learners, migrant populations, and diverse socio-economic cultural groups. The art teacher reflects on the successes of instructional experiences that were culturally sensitive and transformative in nature, as well as his difficulties in creating learning situations that led to authentic social action. Concluding discussions also address the possibilities presented by multi-age models of instruction for providing collaborative learning experiences and a caring atmosphere conducive to interethnic solidarity and the acceptance of diversity. Classroom structures that emphasize cooperative learning over individualistic competition may mirror the values of many minority cultures that regard community and family connectedness with extreme importance.
Multi-age classrooms feature the intentional grouping of students from consecutive grade levels for the purpose of fostering a nurturing classroom atmosphere. While an abundance of research on multi-age education has been produced throughout the past 50 years, only recent efforts have seen researchers turn their attention to the experiences of art teachers working with mixed-age groups. The purpose of this article is to characterize the qualities of mixed-age instruction for an art teacher and a group of homeroom teachers through the collection of qualitative observations and interviews at a selected school site, with the intent of describing the congruities and incongruities in their instructional practices and organizational strategies. The results detail subtle organizational differences, yet congruent practices related to thematic instruction and cooperative learning, and emergent findings related to the importance of forming communities of multi-age practice and adopting an ethic of caring.
The purpose of this article is to share the stories of three art educators who have experience working with multiage groups. Our intention is to contribute practical suggestions—but not mandatory axioms—to others in similar teaching situations. Since our approach involves the telling of individual stories and then identifying common themes within these narratives, we have incorporated elements of narrative inquiry (Clandinin & Huber, 2010) and multiple case study analysis (Stake, 2006) into our methods for presenting and interpreting these experiences.
This study re-examines survey data collected from multiage art teachers working in public elementary schools with a new purpose of uncovering factors that may impact art teachers’ perceptions of multiage education. The re-analysis involved the tabulation of crossbreak tables that explored relationships between teachers’ overall support or opposition for multiage education with other self-reported variables. The results showed that respondents with fewer years of teaching experience were most uncertain in their opinions of mixed-age instruction. Art teachers who had participated in training were more supportive of multiage art education than those who had not. Respondents who experienced inconsistent student rosters due to flexible regrouping practices were less supportive of mixed-age instruction than those who had consistent rosters. The article concludes with suggestions for structuring multiage art education at other schools.
In this article I explore what role art education might play in fostering caring and sensitive relationships and experiences for children, in some small way paving a path for a more harmonious society. I first describe systemic, academic, humanistic, and socially reconstructive curricular theories, and apply these theories to trends that have dominated art education over the last six or seven decades. In consideration of the recent accentuation on individual competition in U.S. schools and increasingly frequent reports of violence, bullying, and outbursts of public vitriol, I make an argument for a renewed emphasis on updated versions of humanistic curricula in art education as a way to nurture students’ social and emotional learning. I recommend the implementation of instructional units based on humanistic themes, the use of cooperative and collaborative group activities, and the willingness of art teachers to adopt caring personas with their students. In conclusion, I reflect on how humanistic curricula can be blended with other strategies in a comprehensive fashion, recognizing that such approaches do not offer a cure-all, yet urging art educators concerned with similar societal issues to adopt the humanistic orientation and practices outlined within the commentary.
Teacher reflection has been shown to have a positive influence on educators’ professional growth. This article features the author’s autobiographical reflection on his eight years working at an elementary school within a predominantly migrant Mexican American Hispanic community, with specific attention paid to his mistakes while implementing a lesson on the indigenous Huichol culture of Mexico. Through the author’s critical self-reflection, a number of common missteps in multicultural instruction are discussed, including the selection of lessons that call for shallow reproductions of cultural artifacts, the error of false assumptions of cultural homogeneity, and the culturally-insensitive practice of assuming privileged roles of academic authority that treat indigenous people as exoticized subjects unable to describe themselves and their lived experiences. The article concludes with a synthesis of lessons learned from the author’s errors, and encourages other educators to engage in similar teacher reflection to further their own growth as culturally sensitive educators.
This book chapter describes the use of survey research methodology suitable for the needs of art teacher researchers. Survey research is most appropriate for exploring research questions that can be answered by collecting responses from large groups of people who can self-report descriptive information about themselves, their practices, and their opinions. In this chapter, I introduce appropriate approaches for generating research questions suited for survey research, and how such instruments can be designed for use in either quantitative or qualitative studies. The chapter includes suggestions and options for writing surveys, selecting participants, administering surveys, and enhancing response rates. I also provide resources to aid in the analysis of collected survey data and draw attention to existing examples of survey research in art education.
The goals of gifted art education traditionally concentrate on the identification and development of talented individuals with special skills in the visual arts. An analysis of these goals reveals significant congruency with modernist perspectives on art and culture. However, prevailing trends in contemporary art education appear to be increasingly postmodern, rather than modern, potentially leaving gifted art educators to feel out-of-step with the current professional landscape. The purpose of this paper is to explore the apparent incongruities between the traditional goals of gifted art instruction and current trends in visual arts education. The Art for Life model is discussed for its potential in providing a comprehensive bridge connecting aspects of modernism and postmodernism in a manner that may be suitable for gifted art educators. Suggestions are also made for including gifted art students in collaborative work, with multi-age models of instruction used as a reference point for fostering group functionality.
This paper uses autobiographical narrative inquiry methods to present the remembered childhood experiences of the author as an academically gifted student and artistically talented child growing up in a rural community. The narrative includes personal descriptions of the evaluation process used to identify academically gifted students, the gifted program itself, and the author’s perceptions of the available resources offered to talented visual art students within the school and rural community. A concluding section discusses the implications emerging from the narrative, and shares resources for educators working with artistically talented students and gifted children in rural areas.
While the Art for Life model of authentic visual arts instruction is receiving continued attention from higher educators working in preservice preparation programs, it has yet to be determined how such a program may work in public school classrooms. This article details the collaboration between a fifth grade teacher and a professor of art education as they create and co-teach an Art for Life inspired instructional unit with specific emphasis placed on the interdisciplinary possibilities provided by the approach. The resulting thematic unit concentrates on the impact of environmental forces on our lives, and integrates the subject areas of visual art, science, and language arts within its curricular framework. The article concludes with a discussion of the successes and failures of the instructional unit and offers suggestions to those who may be interested in exploring an integrated approach to the Art for Life model.
Multiage education, characterized by the intentional grouping of students from multiple grade levels, is receiving growing attention in Australia. Despite this growth, the subject has rarely been examined in art education. This study characterizes qualities of multiage art instruction through the collection of observations and interviews with a selected primary multiage art specialist-teacher. The results detail suggested organizational changes that may be necessary when structuring multiage art curricula, as well as the effective use of thematic instruction and cooperative learning in the multiage art classroom. The article concludes with implications for organizing multiage art education at other school sites.
This article explores the development of modern schooling through the lens of Ritzer’s (2004) theories of McDonaldization. Many aspects of society are becoming like fast food restaurants in an effort to become more efficient, calculable, and predictable. However, an over reliance on such characteristics can create a system of education that allows for less differentiation and decision-making on the part of instructors and creates a dehumanizing atmosphere for students. Multiage models of instruction are discussed as an alternative to the McDonaldization of education. Teachers may turn to multiage education as a more naturalistic and humanizing way to scaffold students’ learning.
Awards & Achievements (9)
Award · Jan 2018
Nominated: University Teaching Award, Florida State University
Award · Oct 2016
Florida Higher Education Art Educator of the Year Award , Florida Art Education Association
Award · Mar 2016
Elected Member of Council for Policy Studies in Art Education (USA, National)
Award · Jan 2016
Nominated: University Teaching Award, Florida State University
Award · Jan 2015
Nominated: University Teaching Award, Florida State University