Two factors sparked my research:
1) The desire for art and engineering lessons to increase for my students.
I wanted to do more than just what the curriculum offered. I wanted to extend lessons with meaningful or at least more engaging activities.
2) The desire to improve language skills for my students.
Students in my Title I school are predominately English Language Learners (60% in the 2019-2020 school year). Annually, they take a state test called the English Language Proficiency Assessment of California (ELPAC) if they were identified by their family as an ELL. Students are assessed in four domains: Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing. Traditionally, 60% or less of the ELLs assessed at my school demonstrated progress towards being considered proficient in English. 60% is OK. We need and can get better results! But how?
So I thought about some of my learning from the past about strategies or about findings from educational experts. Two themes stuck out:
I had basics from my undergraduate work as a Child Development major.
I had training from professional development over the last 15 years.
I had special interests in literacy and language based on my teaching experiences.
And so, my research started to evolve.
I wanted to test my hypothesis of: If students received art and engineering infused opportunities along with scripted Language Arts curriculum lessons, is there an impact on their language skills?
After poking around in various research data bases, I discovered there was little (3) research available on infusing art and engineering into Language Arts curriculum. And the three that I did locate, did not have elementary aged participants. And definitely there was NO research published yet on infusing art and engineering into language arts during a pandemic!
Want to know about my journey through graduate school? Or read about my research evolution?
Then click on the book to read all about it!
Here's a sneak peak at the Abstract from my Research!