Developing creativity in high school home economics studies through the teaching of a home furnishings unit Public Deposited


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  • In two twelfth grade Homemaking classes a home furnishings unit was taught to develop creativity in the students in the classes in order to: 1. Attempt to give students creative experiences in the home furnishings unit which would in turn motivate them to be creative. 2. Develop learning experiences in breadth and depth so that they challenge students of varied abilities and backgrounds. 3. Provide the means to help students evaluate their own growth in this area and set future goals in the light of their recent classroom experiences. 4. Challenge students to recognize the beauty and use of materials at hand in creating more beauty in their homes. 5. Assist students in planning and carrying out individual art projects which are satisfying, original and beautiful by the introduction of simple art techniques. 6. Encourage students to live in an artful way, receptive to beauty in many forms, interpreting their inner responses or sensitivities, so that they find expression in richer, fuller living. A nine week unit plan was devised to show the problems of the unit, the learning experiences, and the references and teaching aids. The unit was based on individual student needs. Emphasis was placed on creative activities and their importance in the growth of the student. Self-evaluative learning experiences were adapted and originated to motivate the student in problem-solving situations. Student goals and the teacher's basic understandings were included in the plan. The unit was tested in two eleventh grade Homemaking classes and then used in the research project with two twelfth grade classes. The unit was planned to develop creativity through the student's active participation in many art projects. Learning experiences which involved activities were used as frequently as possible. An interest finder survey was designed to indicate student interest in the area of art related to the home and house furnishings. It was first tested in a neighboring high school Homemaking classes, and given again to two eleventh grade classes. After some revision it was given to the two twelfth grade classes as part of the action research project. The interest finder presented many items for checking which were concerned with the learning and doing of art centered in the home. The students checked the interest finder at the beginning and end of the unit. Pre-test and post-test scores were compared. The results indicated that most students were more interested in art related to the home and home furnishings after they had studied the home furnishings unit than before. Their span of interests apparently had broadened and their enjoyment of creative activities had apparently increased. During the unit the students worked on two original projects. In the first, the individual art project, the students designed and made a decorative object or carried out an artistic plan for their present home. The second was an over-all project in which the students designed plans for decorating the living area of a home or apartment. Film slides were taken in community homes for use in several learning experiences. The slides attempted to show a cross-section of the interiors of homes in the community. An evaluative device used in conjunction with this learning experience was developed from one group of slides. The device called for comparative judgements on the part of the students based on their observation of the slides. The device also recorded the students' expression of their feeling for beauty as they viewed the slides. The evaluation was done at the beginning and end of the unit. The results of the evaluation indicated that the students had improved in their ability to make sound comparative judgments based on the art principles and their ability to express their feelings for beauty as they saw it. No attempt was made to objectively measure students' learning in this unit. Rather this research project was primarily for the purpose of improving the teaching of home furnishings. This end was believed to be accomplished by the investigator.
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