The Growing Sense of Self as an Artist in the Journey of Six High School Art Students
By: Jane Kahn
Published: 05/16/2012
Uploaded: 11/20/2017
Uploaded by: Pocket Masters
Pockets: 2012 (May) Teachers College Columbia University Ed.D. Dissertations, Gottesman Libraries Archive, Historical Dissertations
Tags: adolescence, Artist, development, Identity

Description/Abstract: Most children have enthusiastically created artwork throughout primary school as well as in middle and high school when art is offered as part of the curriculum at school. Besides the artwork that adolescents make in response to tasks assigned in studio art classes, drawings, copy art or doodles are also created outside of school. Both means of expressions provide insight into visual expressions that serves a range of developmental needs throughout childhood. During adolescence, needs that seek understanding and expressions are epigenetic, uniquely experiential and influenced by new cognitive capacities, emerging concurrently during the adolescent period with the overall development of identity. While adolescence is represented extensively in the literature as being a critical period for the formation of identity (Kegan, 1982; Erikson, 1994/1968; Kroger, 2007), the existence of literature documenting the emergence of an artistic identity is virtually non-existent.Through assembled narratives, each of the six adolescents followed in this two-year study are introduced. All the student participants were art majors at an arts magnet high school--followed from mid-ninth through mid-eleventh grade. This study asks
whether the emergence of a unique artistic identity would become evident as part of the
para students' overall processes of identity formation during their adolescent period. The
focus of this study is specific to the examination of a series of artworks, which formed the core of the data collection. These artworks were generated in response to task
motivations drawn from the existing curriculum at the school. Additional types of data
collected included researcher's filed notes, process reports, class critiques, and conversations, as well as audiotaped scripted interviews with student participants and their parents.