Students' Meaningful Engagements with Contemporary Artwork with Korean Museum Educational Contexts and School Curriculum Environments
By: Hye-Jin Rhee
Published: 05/22/2013
Uploaded: 12/12/2017
Uploaded by: Pocket Masters
Pockets: 2013 (May) Teachers College Columbia University Ed.D. Dissertations, Gottesman Libraries Archive, Historical Dissertations
Tags: Art Museum, Education, Korea, museum education, public school, school program

Description/Abstract: In South Korea the educational role of art museums has not developed from its own social needs, but rather the practices of the United States have been adopted by the Korean government. This study starts from the notion that efforts to implement US–style art museum–based school programs appear to have failed because they have not accounted for the unique Korean context. Hence, this dissertation seeks to determine which aspects of contemporary art museum visits are meaningful to children in relation to the Korean educational settings. By identifying the elements of engagement during art museum visits and the connections that can be made to learning outcomes at schools, this study investigates the objectives of an art museum–based school program that is integrated with the overall Korean educational system. This is a case study of six student groups' experiences during school trips to one of the contemporary art museums in South Korea and their learning at school. This study examined these students' learning at both places through observation of lessons, interviews with educators, teachers, and students, and materials. This dissertation found that students were engaged with artwork adopting a proactive role by creating their own meanings at art museums, while they served as passive receptors of large amounts of knowledge under the test–oriented educational system at schools. At art museums not only students were motivated into voluntary learning and respect for diverse opinions but also were able to have a creative experience involving imagination and embodied learning. It should also be noted that there were signs that the educational environment in Korea is changing. Teachers not only attempted to foster self–directed learning through diverse media but also sought students' diverse opinions during regular class sessions. Based on these findings this study suggests that exposure to artwork at museums increased students' autonomy and reinforced their identity as positive learners. Thereby optimum learning outcomes could be achieved if art museum visits were designed in ways to integrate the learning at art museums with that at school. This result should enable museum–based education to assume an appropriate role in the Korean educational system.