A Descriptive Study of Multi-Age Art Education in Florida

Broome, Jeffrey L.
January 2009
Studies in Art Education;Winter2009, Vol. 50 Issue 2, p167
Academic Journal
Multi-age classrooms feature the purposeful grouping of students from two or more grade levels in order to form communities of learners. During the past 40 years, multi-age education has been examined in literature and research it many different ways and contexts. In the subject area of visual art, however, little literature can be found that addresses the practice of multi-age art instruction. This study begins to remedy this situation by gathering foundational information on the topic of multi-age art education. A questionnaire was mailed to teachers working in multi-age elementary schools in Florida. Results showed that most multi-age art classes consisted of two or three consecutive grade level combinations, Most of the respondents were assigned multi-age classes (94.44%) and very few had received multi-age training (8.33%). The most frequently expressed advantage of multi-age art education related to the use of scaffolding techniques and cooperative grouping. The most frequently expressed disadvantages dated to the presence of differing developmental levels among students. In spite of the lack of training and professional autonomy offered to the art teachers in multiage classrooms, most of the respondents supported multi-age grouping in art education (55.56%). The study concludes with implications for implementing multi-age models of art instruction and recommendations for further studies on multi-age art education as an alternative to graded practices.


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