Navigating Art on a Cart: Strategies and Best Practices

Report
Navigating Art on a Cart:
Strategies and Best Practices
Researcher: Heidi K. Lung
University of Missouri-St. Louis
NAEA Conference
March 9, 2013
Does this sound familiar?
“I teach in 5 different elementary schools. I have a cart in each school
and no space of my own; some days I struggle to find a space to hang my
coat.
I have eaten lunch in my car, carry a bag that is bigger than me and too
often, have had to turn back for something I have forgotten.
Traveling between schools, I have been trapped behind postal trucks,
garbage and oil trucks, tractors, horses- sometimes with a cart,
sometimes without, a carriage pulled by a miniature pony (not kidding). I
literally have seen it all.
I have been called the art teacher's assistant, student teacher, cart lady,
substitute and 'who's that?' by students and faculty. It is a hard way to
teach but I am happy to have a job, teaching a subject I love and believe it
is an essential part of education!”
-Post on Art on a Cart Blog
Definition of Art on a Cart
The practice of moving art materials on a cart, room-toroom, sometimes school-to-school, to teach art lessons
instead of teaching in one dedicated classroom space.
Photo Credit: H. Lung
Significance of the study
The art on a cart practice has been around for decades,
but until now, has not been the focus of an in-depth study.
A review of the literature and research exposed
approximately fifteen published articles referring to art on
a cart published in art education, general teaching, and
online resources. No formal research on the practice
was found.
Research Questions
1. How does the practice of teaching art on a cart
influence how art educators approach curriculum
development, instruction, and classroom
management?
2. What challenges for students, educators, and
schools do art on a cart educators report with
their art on a cart practice?
3. What benefits for students, educators, and
schools do art on a cart educators report with the
practice?
Research Questions
4. What reasons do art on a cart educators provide
for the practice of art on a cart versus the use of a
dedicated classroom space within their school(s)?
5. How do art educators perceive the art on a cart
practice has changed student art experiences and
learning?
6. What best practices and curricular adaptations
for art on a cart are identified by art educators?
Mixed Methods Study
This study utilized a concurrent triangulation
mixed methods approach (Creswell, 2009).
This approach is characterized by the
simultaneous collection of quantitative and
qualitative data, followed by a separate analysis
and an integration of the results in the
discussion.
Thus, the two forms of data are separated but
connected to support the intent of the study.
Sampling Approach
Sampling Approach: Sampling strategies are purposeful and
based upon specific criteria (Berg, 2007, Maxwell, 2005).
Art educators currently teaching or in the past have
taught art on a cart,
 Art on a cart was practiced in an elementary level
defined as a K-8 setting, and
 Art on a cart was taught within the United States.

Population- Calling all Carts
The frequency of art on a cart teachers is unknown.
With no way to directly contact art on cart teachers about
the research study several strategies were used to reach
out to elementary teachers including:
◦research website,
◦call for participants in NAEA NEWS,
◦postcard mailing to 5290 NAEA elementary division
members, and
◦presentations at national and regional conferences.
Data Collection- Quantitative and Qualitative
Online Survey
174 participants
In-depth
Qualitative Data
6 Teachers
Descriptive
Statistics
Interviews
Likert Scale
Questions
Observations
Open-Ended
Questions
Photos
Online Survey
Online
survey instrument was developed by the
researcher using Qualtircs software.
A
pilot test with 15 art educators was performed
prior to going live.
Survey
contained 64 closed-format, Likert scale,
and open-text items focusing on themes from the
research questions.
Over
4 month period, 174 participants meeting
criteria completed the survey.
Results- Online Survey
174 self-selected participants
Who?
Female/ Male (n=151)
93% (n=141) Female
7% (n=10) Male
Years Teaching Art (n=151)
58% (n=87) 11 plus years
24% (n=36) 5-10 years
17% (n=25) 2-4 years
4% (n= 6) within first year
Level of Education (n=150)
23% (n=25) undergraduate
16% (n=24) undergraduate +15
61% (n=91) masters degree
36% (n=54) masters degree +15
2% (n= 3) doctoral
Where?
State Breakdown (n=171)
40 states reporting, one-third of teachers responded from:
Illinois 15% (n=26),Virginia 9% (n=16) and Missouri 7% (n=12)
Public/ Private School (n=171)
90% (n=156) Public, 5% Private (n=9)
Large Urban, Urban, Suburban, or Rural (n=173)
48% (n=83) suburban area, pop. 10,000 to100,000
16% (n=28) large urban area, pop. greater than 1,000,000
19% (n=33) urban area, pop. 100,000 to 1,000,000
17% (n=30) rural area, pop. 10,000 or less
Art on a Cart Statistics
Art on a Cart/ Dedicated Classroom/ Both
85% (n=148) art on a cart & dedicated classroom
15% (n=26) only art on a cart
How many years have you taught art on a
cart?
55% (n=94) 1 to 4 years
25% (n=42) 5 to 10 years
10% (n=17) 11-15 years
4% (n=6) 16 to 20 years
6% (n=10) 21 years or more
Art on a Cart Statistics:
The Many Flavors of Art on a Cart
Art on a Cart Statistics
What Art on a Cart Teachers Report the Classroom
Teacher Does During Lessons
n=169
Art on a Cart Statistics
Supply Storage, Spaces, and Resources Available to Art on a
Cart Teachers
n=167
Research Question:
What reasons do art on a cart
educators provide for the
practice of art on a cart versus
the use of a dedicated classroom
space within their school(s)?
Reasons educators identified through open-text
as to why art on a cart is in their schools. (n=139)

63% (n=88) Lack of space

17% (n=23) Increases in student enrollment and
overcrowding

Other reasons listed:
◦ art is not a priority,
◦ building construction or renovation,
◦ and art program was designed to be art on a cart.
Research Question:
How does the practice of
teaching art on a cart practice
influence how art educators
approach curriculum
development, instruction and
classroom management?
Art on a Cart and Curriculum
•
59% of teachers “strongly disagree”, “disagree” or “slightly
disagree” to the statement, “curriculum for my program has not
been affected by my art on a cart practice” (n=103).
•
65% of teachers report having to modify projects due to “lack
of time” (n=105).
•
85% % of teachers report having to modify projects because
they might be “too messy” (n=139).
•
21% of teachers cite as a benefit that art on a cart provides
insight into what students are learning in the classroom
(n=32).
•
70% report collaborating with homeroom teachers to make
connections with other content curriculum (n=105).
Art on a Cart and Instruction

92% of teachers cite struggling with
transitions including entering/setting up and
exiting/cleaning up classrooms in their
practice (n=149).
Because the minute you walk into the room the students
want to start and I am not ready... they are supposed to
have 40 minutes for art. With set-up, clean up and
building in travel time, they are lucky to get 25 minutes.
(Respondent, 5khT5)
Art on a Cart and Instruction

83% report challenges in
using lesson visuals and
resources such as posters
and prints (n=135).

66% find themselves having
to “adapt” because of some
supply they forgot to bring
to the classroom (n=159).
Cart used in practice.
Art on a Cart and Instruction

66% of teachers responded that they feel
art on a cart has “no impact” on their ability
to communicate with students clearly and
effectively most of the time” (n=105).

60% of teachers “strongly agree” or
“agree” to the statement, “relationships
with my students have not been affected by
art on a cart” (n=158).
Art on a Cart and
Classroom Management

56% of teachers agree students are sometimes “confused”
about which teacher is in charge during art on a cart lessons
(n=159).

77% of teachers reported that “specific rules” for art time,
were useful in their art on a cart practice (n=123).

58% of teachers believe managing behavior is more of a
challenge in the art on a cart practice than if teaching in a
dedicated art classroom (n=93).

66% of teachers report that despite not having a dedicated
classroom, they feel they still “connect with students and
create positive teacher-student relationships” in their
practice” (n=145).
Research Question:
What challenges for students,
educators, and schools do art on
a cart educators report with
their art on a cart practice?
Challenges Identified by Art on a Cart Educators
(n=162)
Managing and storing student artwork including wet materials.
%
93%
Transitions entering/setting up and exiting/cleaning up classrooms.
92%
Transporting supplies.
91%
Having to modify projects because they might be too messy.
86%
Display of lesson visuals and resources (posters and prints).
83%
Forgetting supplies.
77%
Lack of time for preparation, organization, restocking between
classes.
75%
No sinks or water in the classrooms.
72%
Challenges Identified by Art on a Cart Educatorscontinued (n=162)
%
Adapting to different management styles of the classroom teacher.
69%
Lack of supply storage.
67%
Having to modify projects due to lack of time.
65%
Transitioning between grade levels.
62%
Limited access to technology for curriculum development.
56%
Building relationships with other teachers and administrators.
45%
Other
23%
In response to managing and
storing student artwork including
wet materials:
At first I tried to do clay with the students, but due to transportation
and storage issues, I dropped it from the curriculum. I had a
portable drying rack for wet work, but there was a ramp in my
building I had to navigate at least twice a day, and managing a cart
and a drying rack with only five minutes between classes for travel
time, it was too much.
(Respondent, lIVtFb)
Top Five Most Difficult Challenges Identified by Art
on a Cart Educators (n=165)
Transitions entering/setting up and exiting/cleaning up classrooms.
%
23%
Managing and storing student artwork including wet materials and
3-dimensional art.
15%
Lack of time for preparation, organization, restocking between
classes.
9%
Having to modify projects because they might be too messy.
7%
Adapting to different management styles of the classroom teacher.
7%
Other Art on a Cart Challenges
Teachers who reported “other” through open-text identified
76 additional art on a cart challenges, many reported multiple
times. Some include:








Rearranging furniture.
Traveling to outside portables
(especially in bad weather).
Cart too BIG for hallways, classrooms,
elevators.
Traveling to classrooms with supplies on
multiple floors and no elevators.
Having to make modifications to
projects to accommodate space, time,
and travel.
Classroom teachers making negative
comments or getting mad about certain
projects being “too messy”.
Spending more time setting up and
cleaning up than teaching the lesson.
No access to technology or it is
broken/not working properly.









Desks too small for larger projects.
Teaching different grade levels back
to back.
Lack of administrative support..
Broke leg, practicing art on a cart
with a wheelchair.
Getting students to transition from
class time to art time when they are
in the same space.
Hard to make relationships with
peers.
School wide assemblies, benchmarks,
and testing use potential class time.
Art on a cart is exhausting, physically
tired.
Art on a cart is stressful.
Research Question:
How do art on a cart educators
perceive the art on a cart
practice has changed student art
experiences and learning?
Teachers report challenges in creating
an environment conducive to learning
and making art.
It does not maintain consistency and provide accessible visuals
for students with different learning styles.
(Respondent, Ruk9VP)
Many students find it difficult to stay focused on art in their
classrooms. Many times playing with items in their desks.
(Respondent, 0tjFryl)
Students suffer because they don't have enough to time to
accomplish anything during short classes. It leaves them
dissatisfied. (Respondent, c5Zxwp)
Research Question:
What benefits for students,
educators, and schools do art on
a cart educators report with
their art on a cart practice?
Top Five Benefits of the Art on a Cart Practice
Identified by Educators (n=152)
%
Provides insight into classroom curriculum and provides
opportunities for curricular connections.
21%
Forces you to build your organizational and classroom management
skills.
16%
No classroom beginning of the year setup, end of the year take
down, or daily cleaning and maintenance.
16%
Insight into various teaching styles and classroom management
approaches.
12%
Better communication/relationship with classroom teacher.
12%
NOTE: 16% of teachers responded “none”
In response to identifying the
benefits of art on a cart practice
“The art educator on the cart is more visible within
the building. Other educators get a chance to see the
experience and knowledge the art educator brings to
the students. It is an opportunity to promote the art
program.” (Respondent, BXFC2F)
“I enjoy seeing everyone in the building each week,
and have strong relationships developed with faculty
and staff.” (Respondent, 5lI1c95)
“If students wouldn't otherwise have art due to no
art room, then at least they get some experience in
art.” (Respondent, ey5kKp)
Other Benefits of Art on a Cart
Teachers identified 33 benefits of the art on a cart
practice through open-text. Some include:
 Forces you to be
 Insight into various
adaptable and flexible
teaching styles and
classroom management
approaches
 Prohibits Isolation

No office politics

Without art on a cart
there would be no art
program at my
school/district

Promotes visibility of art
and my work as a
teacher

Better student behavior

Student enthusiasm
Research Question:
What best practices and
curricular adaptations for art on
a cart are identified by art
educators?
Find Your Own Way to Stay
Organized

“Keep it simple. Make lesson plans that teach
several aspects of art and use mediums that
can be easily transported and cleanup will be
more efficient.” (Respondent , GnTsDH)

“Use two carts, one for wet media and the
other for dry, and keep a few anchor
supplies (tape, pens, dry markers etc.) on
both carts." (Respondent , W1aMhD)
Carts and Modes of Transportation
Art in a Plane?
Communicate and Collaborate

“Establish good relations with the teachers in the
buildings so you have cooperation with your program,
storage, cross curricular studies, etc. Stand up for
yourself when necessary but try not to be
confrontational. Always frame your arguments in terms
of what is best for the students.” (Respondent, DZaCKF)

“Be flexible and kind to fellow teachers, aides, cooks,
janitors, secretaries, etc. It will go a long way when you
need something.” (Respondent, x0ULtz)
Seek Out Others Like You
(Psst... some of the best are in this room!)

“Visit someone who has done it before, they will have
a lot of pointers.” (Respondent, Imrfxz)

“Talk to others who have done it before. Connect
with your professional organization and seek out
help. I requested a PD day and followed around a
teacher from another district who is doing it so I
could see how it could work. Get on art teacher
blogs and look for ideas. If you actively seek for
solutions, you may not have to sacrifice quality as
much as you imagine . There are solutions.” (Respondent,
zeuQtv)
Stay Positive, Have Fun
•
“My advice is to be passionate about art education and do not let
ANYONE burst your bubble! Take each new obstacle as a challenge
and overcome it with your creative and innovative ideas. Watch what
is going on around you, never miss an opportunity to build working
relationships with colleagues while never letting anyone marginalize
your passion for arts education.” (Respondent, r9kTXf)
•
“Retain the certainty that what you are teaching is of life-long value to
the people that you are teaching and worth all of the flexibility that
your circumstance will require of you.” (Respondent, 5AGKNv)
•
“NEVER complain to anyone about being on the cart. In the end, you
will learn positive things about yourself and be a better teacher because
of the experience. All teachers should have to experience the cart for
at least three months. Puts a lot of things into perspective!”
(Respondent, BXFC2F)
Questions & Comments
References
Berg, B. (2007). Qualitative research methods for the social
sciences. (6th ed.). Boston: Pearson.
Creswell, J. (2009). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative and
mixed methods approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage
Publications.
Maxwell, J. A. (2005). Qualitative Research Design: an interpretive
approach (2nd ed., Vol. 41). Los Angeles, CA: Sage.
Mims, S. K., & Lankford, E. L. (1995). Time, money, and the new
art education: A nationwide investigation. Studies in Art
Education, 36(2), 84-95.
Researcher Contact Information
Heidi K. Lung
314-803-5634
[email protected]
Art on a Cart Research Website
www.artonacartresearch.com

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