Abstract

What influences K–12 educators to change practice? How does research inform these changes? What can the field of visual art education glean about research from a K–12 perspective? This paper describes the findings of the survey completed by members of the National Art Education Association (NAEA) conducted in 2015. Following the survey, we focused on how the 440 K–12 visual art educators in the study understand, use, and conduct research. Using a grounded theory approach, we interpreted the responses to the question: “What changes have you made to your professional practice on the basis of your research or the results of others?” Change is defined by how educators enrich and expand their practice using research. For this study, we defined research broadly, from reading scholarly literature in the field, conducting research studies in their educational settings, or how professional learning experiences/degrees enrich or strengthen their practice. Findings from this survey suggest that K–12 visual art teachers use research to change their professional practice in the areas of curriculum, pedagogy, student-centered approaches, and assessment. As authors, we suggest providing professional learning around research in the field of art education and the value of collaboration between K–12 educators and those working in pre-service/graduate art education programs.

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