Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Re-search, Re-think, Re-interpret, Re-engage

So what is research?
Early in my schooling, I used to think that research was strictly going to the library, finding books or maybe journal articles on a particular topic, and writing a summary of what I read. Topics were usually not particularly interesting as they were assigned topics or had a very narrow window for selection.  I saw it as a static, rather passive task that needed to be completed as quickly as possible. Research was something to dread.

My idea of research has since changed. Research is based upon curiosity, interests, and questions. Research can take place by examining the written word, but it can also be done through observation, dialog, and experimentation. Research may lead to conclusions, or it may generate a whole new set of questions to answer. Research is investigating, interpreting, and analyzing. Research is about exploration and discovery. Research is about building connections and linking big ideas. Research is thinking actively, not passively receiving. Research is documenting. Research is dynamic and engaging. Research should be systematic, ethical, and trustworthy. Research should be rooted in meaningful questions and should have meaningful outcomes or results. Research is knowledge, and knowledge is power (a good life lesson learned from Schoolhouse Rock).

As an emerging researcher, I will seek out answers to questions not yet fully developed. I have many interests that are floating around right now. What topic(s) will be good for me to explore? That right now is my burning question. I've been such a generalist for years that I am interested in many things.

I am interested in:
  • ·      How art can be integrated across the curriculum
  • ·      The attitudes of pre-service elementary teachers toward art
  • ·      The resistance or apprehension of learning about art
  • ·      Art criticism, analysis, and writing
  • ·      Pedagogy and museum practice
  • ·      Art pedagogy in different cultures
  • ·      Incorporating art history into the curriculum in a meaningful way
  • ·      Children’s art and literature
  • ·      Traveling, travel guides, and how a traveler experiences a new cultural place
  • ·      Cartography, maps, and geography
  • ·      The influence of Italian art, from the Ancient Romans though the Renaissance
  • ·      How art appreciation textbooks have changed over the last few decades
  • ·      Pedagogy and architecture
  • ·      The influence of Froebel on Frank Lloyd Wright
  • ·      Islamic art, especially art of North Africa
  • ·      Art made for and in a religious context
  • ·      The spirituality of art
  • ·      Collections and collecting; Wunderkammer as a teaching tool
  • ·      Books and Bookmaking
  • ·      Printmaking
  • ·      Patterns- design, history, influence, and geometry
  • ·      Jewelry making, especially incorporating natural materials
  • ·      World War II and its effect on art
  • ·      Overcoming art education stereotypes
  • ·      And…and…and… (I may even throw Deleuze in here, once I read more of his work)

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