How can students gain a greater appreciation for and knowledge of digital photography through a long-term residency with a professional photographer?
Project or Program Summary
Please provide a summary of the project/program as demonstrated in the case study:
The Young Audiences/Jones Soda Photography Residency through the Center for Arts-Inspired Learning (CAL) was a series of 10 workshops over 10 weeks based on a digital photography curriculum intended to engage, educate, and empower at-risk youth to promote greater self-awareness, community engagement, and critical and creative thinking. This initiative included a variety of educational activities at both the national and local level. Working with professional photographer and CAL teaching artist Ryan Upp, approximately 50 fourth- and fifth-grade students gained an understanding of digital photography through hands-on exploration with solar prints, digital SLR cameras and a variety of photo framing and finishing techniques. Students compiled a digital journal, exploring art critiquing skills and the use of mixed media drawing and collage techniques. In addition to creating art, students had two exhibition opportunities to professionally display their completed photographs. Select work was featured at Spaces Gallery during their CommunitySPACES: Kid Art Week exhibition and was also included in a juried show during CAL’s Inspired Benefit Gala. Students also had the opportunity to submit their original photographs into a contest that recognized two winning photos (one from each grade-level group) to be distributed nationally on a Jones Soda bottle label.
Portfolio Purpose and Rational
Portfolio Purpose and Rationale: Why has this case study been submitted?:
This case study has been submitted to document the Jones Soda Photography Residency at Oliver H. Perry School in Cleveland, OH offered through the Center for Arts-Inspired Learning to all fourth- and fifth-grade students in partnership with the school’s visual arts teacher.
What are your overall conclusions regarding the documentation gathered for this case study?:
Students at Oliver H. Perry created a wide range of photographic work. Working in pairs with one camera, students engaged in artistic discussions and decision-making to determine the types of subjects or scenes photographed as well as how they would compose their shots with attention to details like focus, angle, color and lighting. Students gained increased knowledge and skills of photographic techniques and practices that informed their own personal artistic visions.
What conclusions have you drawn from the responses to the assessment tools you have developed?:
Students recognized the uniqueness of this residency within their every day school experience and often looked forward to their visits with Mr. Upp. They learned to value and respect the fragile technology of digital cameras yet maximize its potential for self-expression. Many students demonstrated an emotional and intellectual connection to the work they produced. The students were given a pre and post assessment consisting of true/false and multiple-choice questions related to photography. 72% of the students had an increase in their score after the ten-week residency and the average score of the class increased by 14%.
Answering the Inquiry Question
Back to the initial inquiry question, can it be answered?:
Yes, given adequate support, including adequate time and resources, students were able to make significant strides in their understanding not just of digital photography, but the greater artistic concepts behind an engaging photograph.
Conclusions: What Was Learned
What was learned?:
Residencies of this type are successful through the direct involvement and commitment of school administrators and teachers combined with a creative and broad curriculum that emphasizes student creativity and the creation of original artistic work through access to authentic artistic tools.
Conclusions: What Can Be Done Differently In The Future
What can be done differently in the future?:
The teaching artist encountered challenges with scheduling in the face of other school activities, but flexibility and communication among the adults involved ensured that students were able to still have the full experience.
Conclusions: How Will This Inform The Work Moving Forward
How will this inform the work moving forward?:
Early and frequent communication between the school and CAL staff can often prevent or enable better solutions for the inevitable and unforeseen scheduling obstacles that arise in any residency experience.
Core Content Standards
Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them
Reason abstractly and quantitatively
Use appropriate tools strategically
Attend to precision
Craft and Structure
Range of Writing
Speaking and Listening:
Comprehension and Collaboration
Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas
Science / Dimension 2: Crosscutting Concepts That Have Common Applications Across Fields:
Scale, proportion, and quantity
Structure and function
21st Century Learning Skills
Learning and Innovation / Creativity and Innovation:
Work Creatively with Others
Learning and Innovation / Critical Thinking and Problem Solving:
Make Judgments and Decisions
Learning and Innovation / Communication and Collaboration:
Collaborate with Others
Information, Media and Technology / Media Literacy:
Information, Media and Technology / ICT (Information, Communications and Technology) Literacy:
Apply Technology Effectively
Life and Career / Flexibility and Adaptability:
Adapt to Change
Life and Career / Initiative and Self-Direction:
Manage Goals and Time
Be Self-directed Learners
National Core Arts Standards
National Core Arts Standards: