An Application of Project-Based Learning in an Urban Project Topic in the Visual Arts Course in 8th Classes of Primary Education

Article excerpt

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to measure the effect of project-based learning that is used in visual arts course on students' academic success and permanence. The research was applied to students of Hasan Ali Yücel Primary School in the city of Trabzon during the fall semester of 2007-2008 academic year. Among the sample that had been selected randomly, class 8/D (n=30) was assigned as the experimental group, and class 8/E (n=31) as the control group. Pre-test post-test control group design was used in the research. Data of the research were collected by the achievement test and permanence test. "t-test" was used in the analysis of the data in order to show the differences between the means. There is a significant difference between the experimental group, in which project-based learning method had been used, and the control group, in which conventional teaching had been used, in favor of the experimental group, in terms of students' achievement and permanence scores. While a significant difference between pre-test and post-test achievement scores of the experimental group was observed, no significant difference was found between pre-test and post-test scores of the control group. A significant difference between the scores of the students in experimental group and those in control group, who participated in the study was found in the repeated measures test, which was conducted to reveal time and group effect. When the change in in-group measures is searched without making a differentiation between experimental and control groups, it was seen that there is a significant change. When group and measure interaction scores were considered, it was determined that there is a significant interaction between participating in experimental or control group and the results found from the tests used. Based on the results, it was determined that students become more successful with the project-based learning method. The use of the of the method in visual arts courses was suggested. Additionally, few suggestions concerning future research were given.

Key Words

Arts Education, Visual Arts Education, Project-Based Learning, Urban Project.

Visual arts education is considered as a field and instrument of education in developed countries. Art education is an indispensable world for growth of an independent, peace-loving, humanitarian, and creative youth, which is integrated with its society, can renew itself in accordance with changing conditions, and reflects the marks of future. Art education should be a process, which helps children gain the values of culture, art and history, and within which they can freely display their creative ideas at the same time (Buyurgan & Buyurgan, 2007). "Art education is related with all disciplines, concerning its field of study; this field has been developed in parallel with science education in developed countries" (Tepecik, 2003, p. 164). As a support for this statement, Özsoy (2003, p. 41) also emphasizes the importance of art education by stating that "art is as important as science and social sciences and other fields in our daily lives."

In the information age, within which radical changes take place in every area; in order the youth to be able to act with responsibility, gain skills and also the citizenship characteristics that are necessary for the integration with the society in a successful way (Özdemir, 2007), innovations should be continuously followed in the area of education. New methods must be searched besides the traditional methods. Recent periods, and 2006 onwards in Turkey, witnessed the process of restructuring in line with the changes and developments mentioned above. Learning is not accomplished at the desired level in an environment, where the active participation of individual does not exist. In this sense, student-centered approaches that can answer the needs of the time have been presented in place of the traditional teacher-centered education approach. …