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AED 502 poster

Description: Examination of past and present research in art education, an introduction to general methods of research, and critical evaluation of research in art education.

Purpose: To assist graduate students in understanding research processes and practices and, subsequently, to initiate students' preparation for conducting scholarly research and writing. A third goal is for students to learn to critically read both quantitative and qualitative research.

Worldviews & Research Methodologies: Research requires creativity, ingenuity, and thoroughness. There are several different approaches to research design. Students will be introduced to a range of research methodologies. The deliberate choice of a design increases the likelihood that the data will yield information on the research question. However, worldviews influence research design choices. Therefore we will identify worldviews embedded in research methodologies. We will:

1. Examine how knowledge is constructed and deployed.

2. Examine transdisciplinary approaches to research with attention to building capacities of translate-ability, sense-ability, and response-abilities.

3. Examine how critical methodologies (i.e., postcolonial, feminist) reframe knowledge through attention to standpoint, metaphor, power dynamics, and contexts of race, gender, and other social constructs.

4. Explore social justice research that listens, witnesses, stops, and envisions.

5. Find, formulate, limit, and state a research problem from an identified theoretical perspective; conduct critical literature reviews; and select/combine appropriate research methodologies informed by the course readings and discussion and with an understanding of research design parameters for strategies to collect, analyze, interpret, and present information.

Course Objectives to Enable Students to:

I. Recognize philosophical implications for choosing research methods and procedures.
  a. Descriptive (usually qualitative, may be quantitative) research includes naturalistic methodology, ethnography, & the methodology of constructivist inquiry.
  b. Historical (usually qualitative, rarely quantitative)
  c. Experimental (quantitative, controlled variables)
II. Formalize research.
  a. Analysis of the problem (finding, formulating, limiting, and stating the research problem)
  b. Address the problem (defining strategies to address the problem; determining research methodologies; gathering, analyzing, interpreting data; drawing and summarizing conclusions consistent with the purpose of the study)
III. Conduct literature (re)searches.
  a. Awareness of different databases and indexes, along with the specific limitations of each.
  b.  Access specific literature databases, conduct searches. and use advance features to limit searches.
  d. Obtain selected sources from database searches.
  e. Begin to build a topical bibliography based on your research interests using a digital citation manager.
 IV. Select appropriate research methodology with an understanding of research design parameters for strategies to collect, analyze, interpret, and present information.
   a. Consider research design (overall plan) (e.g., case study, experimental design, analytic design, historical inquiry, action research, arts-based research, narrative inquiry, discourse analysis, and content analysis methods)
   b. Consider methods of data collection (strategies, techniques, & tools)
   c. Consider methods for data analysis (strategies, techniques & tools, e.g., observation (recording units), interview, qualitative analysis (triangulation, arts-based), documents (text analysis), statistical analysis (descriptive and inferential statistics, e.g., survey)
   d. Presentation of research (dissertation components, writing styles appropriate to research design, style manuals, & ethical considerations)

Final grades will be based on the following scale of points:
94-100 A, 90-93 A-, 88-90 B+, 83-87 B, 80-82 B-, 79-77 C+, 76-73 C, 72-63 D, below 62 F

Course projects (specifics will be provide when the assignment is introduced--see calendar); and distribution of points toward the final grade is as follows:

 20% Preparation for class including completed reading assignments, informal presentation & discussion, Zotero building of topical bibliographies, emerging researcher blog entries, evolving problem statement drafts & mapping of research
 20% Essay: Interview and qualitative analysis (due 11/1--changed to 11/15)
 20% Three critiques, using appropriate "standards of adequacy" criteria, of published research (due 11/15)
 20% Conduct a search on a specific research problem—prepare an outline of a lit review chapter based on a problem statement, code your documentation from the search, and create Book Spine poetry from selected books (due 11/29)
 20% Final: Write & present a preliminary research proposal including the proposed research design (presentation due on 12/13 and written proposal due on 12/18)

Required readings will be placed on electronic reserve or in the ANGEL course site. In developing a preliminary research proposal you will discover many pertinent sources that will provide theoretical and methodological grounding for your inquiry, thus you will select several of the readings for course.

Texts on Conducting Research: Visit the topical linked bibliography

Facilities & Technology Support:

The Patterson Building computer labs are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All technology classrooms are equipped with a telephone. If you experience problems with computers or printers please call the Hotline at 8-777-0035. This number is staffed Monday - Friday, 7:30 a.m.-1:00 a.m.; Saturday &; Sunday, 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Also Media Commons provides one on one, group, and online technology support. You may check-out equipment at the Media & Technology Services (MTSS) at the Wagner Annex.

Attendance Policy:

Attendance is required and very important to learning in this course. However, I encourage you to attend professional conferences, therefore, your absence in class for such attendance is excused with prior arrangements.

This course is in accordance with Faculty Senate Policy 42-27 on Attendance: The faculty senate policy, effective Fall 2002, states that students who miss class due to legitimate, unavoidable reasons such as illness, injury or family emergency should have the opportunity to make up evaluative events. While notifying the instructor in a timely manner is a key expectation, the senate policy does not mandate official documentation of student illness or other unavoidable reasons for absence. In preparing the calendar for an academic year, the University makes every effort to avoid conflicts with religious holidays. However, when conflicts are unavoidable, please notify me to make special arrangements.

Academic Integrity:

University Policies and Rules Guidelines states that academic integrity is the pursuit of scholarly activity in an open, honest and responsible manner. Academic integrity is a basic guiding principle for all academic activity at The Pennsylvania State University, and all members of the University community are expected to act in accordance with this principle. Consistent with this expectation, the University's Code of Conduct states that all students should act with personal integrity, respect other students' dignity, rights and property, and help create and maintain an environment in which all can succeed through the fruits of their efforts.

Academic integrity includes a commitment not to engage in or tolerate acts of falsification, misrepresentation or deception. Such acts of dishonesty violate the fundamental ethical principles of the University community and compromise the worth of work completed by others.

Academic dishonesty includes but is not limited to acts such as cheating on exams or assignments; plagiarizing the words or ideas of another; fabricating information or citations; facilitating acts of academic dishonesty by others; claiming authorship of work done by another person; submitting work completed in previous classes; and/or submitting the same work to multiple classes in which a student is enrolled simultaneously.

Plagiarism is the use of more than three consecutive words, ideas, or images of another author without proper citation. Proper citation formats must follow one of the academic writing style manuals such as APA, Chicago, MLA, or Turabian. All images and text from the Internet, journals, or books must have full citation to be used in your work.

Modifications for Those Experiencing Disabilities:

If you need alternate arrangements or modifications to meet course requirements, please contact me during the first week of classes (see Americans with Disabilities Act, 26 July 1990, Penn State's Nondiscrimination Policy, and the Office for Disability Services).

Click here for information regarding eligibility for services and the procedures for obtaining services.

Health and Safety Information:

Every effort will be made to comply with the intent of state laws or acts and the University Health and Safety Program in an effort to maintain a safe academic and working environment. Information and awareness of safety factors will be included in the course content when applicable.

When using a computer the main safety practice is to keep your arm, wrist, and hand in a straight line as you use the keyboard or mouse to avoid muscle stress, inflammation, and injury. Also take breaks, stretch, and look at objects in the distance periodically. Use Internet Explorer's "View menu" and "Text Zoom" to increase the font size of this and any Web page to meet your vision needs.

Click here for emergency procedures and phone numbers. Dial 911 for emergencies, (814) 863-1111 for University Police, or (814) 231-6110 for Centre Community Hospital Emergency Department. Patterson, room 304, has a phone by the podium to use (when there is not a class in session) to call off campus. Flashing lights and an alarm inside a building mean fire. Exit quickly.

The shop, located at 108 Visual Arts Building, is intended to serve the entire School of Visual Arts and is available to all students enrolled in SVA classes who have completed the appropriate orientation. Students in the School of Visual Arts may find themselves working in the shop or in their studios or classrooms using a variety of power and hand held equipment, which may cause injury. When assisting a person who is bleeding, use disposable gloves which are in the first aid kits in the shop and studio labs. Students should use the shop only after having received an orientation in the use of such equipment and when supervised by faculty or shop personnel. Should any injuries occur, in the shop, studios, or classrooms in the School of Visual Arts please report them to Jerry Bierly, Shop Supervisor, Room 108-A Visual Arts Building, Phone: 814-865-3962, email:

Facilitator: Karen Keifer-Boyd, Ph.D.
Professor, Art Education & Women's Studies
School of Visual Arts, 210 Arts Cottage
The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802-2905
Phone:  814.863.7312       Fax:  814.863.8664
Email:        Website:
Office hours—email to make an appointment