Next Steps: Where do I go from here?
When you know better, you do better!
I will continue looking for opportunities to infuse as many art and engineering additions to my lesson planning. The data I collected was enough evidence to convince me that students were engaged and the learning was meaningful. So meaningful that they improved their language skills which remarkable numbers and consistency.
"How do you change the world? One room at a time. Which room? The one you're in." Peter Block
My research sample was small, with one class of 24 students for my first data cycle and then reduced even further to only 10 students for the second data cycle. So I'd love to expand my hypothesis to other classes within my school to see what the data reveals with a larger participant size. This means collaborating with other teachers at my school to implement art and engineering infused lessons using Language Arts curriculum as our guide. It would be interesting to see what my same grade level yields or even what other grade levels might produce in terms of students' language skills.
I'm also interested in conducting a longer study that tracks a cohort of students for a few years or through multiple grade levels. We often see plateaus when students reach third grade. Could art and engineering infused language arts lessons stave off that plateau?
I wonder if a whole school embraced integrated art and engineering into district issued curriculum, what the impacts would be? Could a whole school focus on hands-on learning be the pathway to improving language skills, especially for English Language Learners?
I discovered, along my Master's journey, that there is very limited published research about art or engineering's impact on elementary aged students yet if you Google "Benefits of Art for Children" or anything about the benefits of STEM/STEAM/STREAM (Science Technology Reading Engineering Art and Math) it all reads with glowing reviews. Yet, it is not happening in majority of classrooms. Perhaps if we have research to prove that art and engineering is impactful on language, more would support it and advocate for it.
A Powerful Duo I Am Grateful For
A local gem!
Napa Learns houses the best advocates and cheerleaders for teachers in our area. They host professional development, support connections to leaders in education and provide opportunities for teachers to expand their knowledge and interests.
Perfect for me!
Touro University's Master's of Education was perfect for me! The schedule was reasonable for working full time and the courses were what I needed to improve my teaching practices.
Thank you for supporting this journey:
Dr. Santiago Dr. Redmond Dr. Craig Brenna Curtis Scott Marsden Marie Zorn Lisa Gottfried