Educational Research: The Art of Problem Solving

May 1st, 2010 | EVALUATION

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum contracted RK&A for the 2006-2010 study The Art of Problem Solving (APS). The APS study was the second of two studies funded by the U.S. Department of Education's Arts in Education Model Development and Dissemination (AEMDD) grant (the former being the 2003-2005 study Teaching Literacy Through Art) that examined the Guggenheim's long-standing teaching artist in residency program Learning Through Art (LTA). The APS study was designed specifically to determine the effectiveness of the LTA program in teaching problem-solving skills. The APS study measured both student and teaching artist outcomes related to problem solving using an experimental research design. To explore student outcomes, all measures were administered to a control group, students who did not experience LTA, and treatment group, students who experienced LTA. RK&A used pre- and post-questionnaires to examine attitudes, interviews and observations related to a specially designed art making activity to explore problem solving abilities, and individual student case studies to explore students behavior and problem solving abilities during LTA lessons. Further, with the help of Guggenheim staff and an advisory board, RK&A identified six skills believed to support problem-solving Imagining, Experimentation, Flexibility, Resource Recognition, Connection of Ends and Aims, and Self-Reflection and developed a measureable criteria to measure the six skills. To explore teaching artist outcomes, RK&A along with the Guggenheim staff identified teaching strategies believed to cultivate problem solving. RK&A observed three teaching artists multiple times over the course of the school year and calculated the frequency with which they incorporated the problem-solving strategies into their instruction. The study provides strong evidence that LTA enhanced students' abilities in three of the six areas of the problem-solving rubric: 1) Flexibility, 2) Connections of Ends to Aims, and 3) Resource Recognition.



Team Members

Randi Korn & Associates, Inc., Evaluator, Randi Korn & Associates, Inc.
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Contributor


Funding Source: ED


Audience: Educators | Teachers | Elementary School Children (6-10) | Evaluators | Middle School Children (11-13) | Museum | ISE Professionals
Discipline: Art | music | theater | Education and learning science
Resource Type: Evaluation Reports
Environment Type: Informal | Formal Connections | K-12 Programs | Museum and Science Center Programs | Public Programs