This study started from my own experiences as a Korean international student living in a different culture and studying in a different higher education system within the U.S. Asking why my previous knowledge and learning of arts-based top-down design processes (ABTD) in South Korea are different from learning engineering-based bottom-up design processes (EBUD) in the U.S., guides this study of different cultural norms and educational systems in South Korea and the U.S. Through my own stories of art + design education in these different settings, I draw upon critical pedagogy (CP) (Freire, 2000; Kumashiro, 2004), culturally relevant pedagogy (CRP) (González, 2005), and Dewey’s (1934, 1938) philosophy stressing the value of lived experiences, to research student-oriented creative learning in art + design. My research addresses the clash of cultural and pedagogical issues in higher education design programs. Through a comparative accounting of different art + design education approaches in South Korea and the U.S., I explore what a balanced culturally relevant curriculum development process looks like if students’ lived experiences are valued and critical pedagogy leads to reflexive and creative student-oriented learning in art + design education. My research questions ask: 1) How do international students from South Korea adapt to different teaching and learning approaches in a U.S. art + design education program? 2) How do lived experiences affect Korean students’ response to U.S. art + design education practices? and 3) How would Korean students improve the educational environment for student-oriented learning in art + design education? The study used arts-based research methodologies (ABR) including poetry to address and explore cultural issues in the emotional aspects of social life, lived experiences, and identity work, within an autoethnography. My qualitative in-depth interview process also added autoethnography to support personal perspectives in art + design education. Through the multi-layered data collected from the study, I could generate three themes: 1) Students with diverse funds of knowledge and lived experiences are struggling with flatten curriculum and would like to learn diverse design approaches in studying art + design education. 2) Lived experiences inside and outside the classroom influence creative design thinking, learning and the teaching process in art + design education. And 3) Art + design educators play a role in encouraging students to learn about cultural differences inside and outside the classroom, and how creative design abilities contribute to our society and students from diverse communities. Based on these three themes, I confirmed the value of balancing curriculum for student-oriented learning toward community-based participatory design research (CBPR). Through the iterative process of the research, I confirmed autoethnography, as ABR, can expand one’s view of inquiry in art + design education and allow researchers to address diverse cultural issues, expressing emotional feeling and interweaving multi-layered data kinds. On the research, I could acknowledge how my teaching philosophy was improved through self-study, and how I could grow as an educator beyond being a good designer. I express my long journey becoming an art + design educator via several poems and conversational stories with my colleagues.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. June 2020. Major: Education, Curriculum and Instruction. Advisor: James Bequette. 1 computer file (PDF); vi, 171 pages.
A Balanced Curriculum For Student-Oriented Learning In Art + Design Education: Toward Community-Based Participatory Design Research.
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