Faces and jewelry on display at Celia Knight’s art show; Acton, MA
The following contributions show Studio Thinking in academic literature. When papers are publicly available, we have included a direct link. Listings are ordered chronologically. If you have a paper, dissertation, or thesis to share, please get in touch via the Contact tab.
Ferrari, J. R. (2023). “Yes, please!” An improvisational framework for contemporary art education. Art Education, 76(4), 12-21. Yes is a powerful word. It opens doors, affirms others, generates excitement, overcomes challenges, and banishes fear. When followed by words such as please or and, it creates a sense of desire or possibility. Since its inception, the phrase Yes, And has guided the pedagogy of The Second City, the Chicago-based improvisational theatre and training organization. Yes, And is a framework that asks participants to accept and expand on the offerings of their partners to maintain momentum and advance the scene. Rejecting an offering stops the action from progressing, creating a rift in the partners’ dynamic. This framework is just one of the parameters required to navigate the art form of iimprovisation successfully.
Lindeman, K. & Hicks, T. (2023) Bitmojis and beyond: Incorporating the Studio Habits of Mind into online art instruction, Art Education, 76(4), 24-32, DOI: 10.1080/00043125.2023.2208007 Although our art classrooms are rich with demonstrations, discussions, and artmaking, the COVID-19 pandemic brought unprecedented challenges to art educators wanting to engage students in studio-rich practices. As one solution, Bitmoji classrooms emerged in response to emergency remote teaching (ERT), “a temporary shift of instructional delivery to an alternatedelivery mode due to crisis circumstances” (Hodges et al., 2020, para. 13). Bitmoji classrooms—containing an instructor’s avatar (Bitmoji) and typically presented using Google Slides—are virtualspaces populated with images and objects that hyperlink to videos, web tools, games, learning management systems (LMS), texts, and other resources. Bitmoji classrooms often visually mimic a classroom, although sometimes they represent an imagined space.
Hogan, J., Jaquith, D., & Gould, L. (2020). Shifting perceptions of quality in art education. Art Education, 73(4), 8-13. doi.org/10.1080/00043125.2020.1746161 Quality in arts education has traditionally been valued in products, or completed artworks. We suggest focusing instead on process – specifically on student thinking. We argue that choice-based approaches, such as Teaching for Artistic Behavior, which entrust students with making their own decisions about subject matter, media, and working style, maximize opportunities for teachers to focus on quality thinking and decision-making. This reconceptualization of quality art education aligns with a focus on thinking skills and habits of mind in general education.
Tishman, S. (2020). Youth neighborhood maps from around the world: A preliminary look through a Studio Thinking lens. Empirical Studies of the Arts, 38(1), 52-59. This article takes a look at 624 neighborhood maps, drawn by students aged 8 to 18 years from 24 countries, between 2017 and 2018. The maps were made as part of an online cultural exchange program called Out of Eden Learn, developed at Project Zero at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. In honor of Dr. Ellen Winner, a preliminary analysis of the maps is offered using The Studio Thinking framework as a lens. Developed by Winner and her colleagues, the Studio Thinking framework identifies eight habits of mind—sometimes called thinking dispositions—that are characteristic of high-quality thinking in the arts and elsewhere. The article focuses on three of these dispositions in particular: Envision, Observe, and Express. With a twist, it also says a few words about a fourth, Understanding Art World.
Berenhaus, M., & Cupchik, G. (2020). Transferring Habits of Mind From an Aesthetic Context to Everyday Life. Empirical Studies of the Arts, 38(1), 60-70. This discussion of Habits of Mind is rooted in Ellen Winner and colleagues’ groundbreaking research on the skills and dispositions taught in visual arts, music, and theater classrooms in the United States. The Habits students are learning in these creative contexts have applications to other domains, such as the sciences and everyday life. The philosophical origins of Habits of Mind are discussed in the context of American pragmatism, critical theory, and aesthetic theory in order to expand our understanding of habits and their relationship to creative-thinking and cognition. In contrast with cultural-norms, students’ artistic pursuits may benefit from additional training in expressive imagination.
Hetland, L., Sheridan, K., & Veenema, S. (2020). Beyond the Lab: Influencing Practice and Policy. Empirical Studies of the Arts, 38(1), 42-51. In this article, the authors describe over 20 years of work with Ellen Winner at Project Zero, a research and development group at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. This included a cross-arts curriculum and assessment project aimed at practitioners (ArtsPROPEL, 1989–1995), 10 meta-analytic syntheses of the effects of arts learning on nonarts achievement (REAP, 1997–2001), and an observational theory-building study of the dispositions intended to be learned in high school art classes and the structures through which they are taught, meant for audiences of both practice and theory (Studio Thinking, 2001–2013). Ellen’s perspective as an experimental psychologist interacted with ours in fertile ways to make richly rewarding collaborations in our efforts to make sense of art education practices. From how she chooses what she studies, to her eclectic approaches to research, to addressing her work to broad audiences, psychologists have much to gain from Ellen’s methods.
Pantaleo, S. (2019). Studio Habits of Mind, Picturebooks, and Student Multimodal Ensembles.Ubiquity: The Journal of Literature, Literacy, and the Arts, 6(2), 60-98. One of the main purposes of the classroom-based research featured in this article was to develop nine-year-old students’ visual meaning-making skills and competences by focusing specifically on elements of visual art and design in picturebooks. During the arts-infused Language Arts curriculum unit students read and discussed and wrote about picturebooks as art objects, as well as engaged in expressive arts by designing and creating their own multimodal products. The Studio Habits of Mind of the Studio Thinking Framework developed by Hetland, Winner, Veenema and Sheridan is used as an analytical structure to examine the nature of the pedagogy and the student learning opportunities that occurred during the research.
Steele, P., Burleigh, C., Bailey, L., & Kroposki, M. (2019). Studio Thinking Framework in Higher Education: Exploring Options for Shaping Immersive Experiences Across Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality Curricula. Journal of Educational Technology Systems, 0047239519884897. With an increase in the number of colleges and universities using virtual reality and augmented reality integrated programs, specific insight for exploring immersive learning approaches utilizing virtual and augmented reality tools and applications in a variety of disciplines is needed. In some instances, pedagogical approaches for creating immersive learning experiences require a sound conceptual framework for course or content design with emphasis on developing opportunities for higher order thinking in virtual reality/augmented reality educational experiences. Public access data were used in this qualitative-directed content analysis study to examine course goals, objectives, and learning outcomes of 14 U.S. Artificial Intelligence universities as to the potential for developing creative and cognitive skills, as described within the pedagogical framework of Studio Thinking Framework. Findings indicated multiple opportunities for creative and cognitive thinking as Studio Thinking Framework was integrated into these immersive spaces.
Hogan, J., Murdock, K., Hamill, M., Lanzara, A. & Winner, E. (2018). Looking at the process: Examining creative and artistic thinking in fashion designers on a reality television show.Frontiers in Psychology, 9. We examine creativity from a qualitative process rather than a quantitative product perspective. Our focus is on “habits of mind” (thinking dispositions) used during the creative process, and the categories we used were those of the eight Studio Habits of Mind observed in visual arts classrooms (Hetland et al., 2007, 2013). Our source of data was footage from a popular reality television show, Project Runway, in which nascent fashion designers are given garment design challenges. An entire season of the show (14 episodes) was transcribed and coded for the presence of eight Studio Habits of Mind. We found abundant evidence of all eight of these thinking dispositions in all portions of the show. We argue that the creative thinking occurring during fashion design bears strong resemblances to that which occurs in the art studio-classroom. Qualitatively created frameworks, like those of the Studio Habits of Mind, can be used to inform our understanding of creative behavior in various disciplines.
Hunter-Doniger, T., & Berlinsky, R. (2017). The power of the arts: Evaluating a community artist-in-residence program through the lens of studio thinking. Arts Education Policy Review, 118(1), 19-26. This article takes an analytical look at Engaging Creative Minds, a pilot community program geared to enrich learning of common core standards through a local artist-in-residence partnership with public schools. This program was designed to increase the level of engagement and student growth in classes that typically relied on rote memory and passive instruction. Using the theoretical framework found in studio thinking and the Eight Studio Habits of Mind, the authors investigate the efficacy of this program by providing examples from specific residency experiences to show how the studio habits of mind were used in the classroom to increase engagement, community involvement, and student growth, demonstrating the power of the arts and the potential for policy change.
Fahey, P., & Cronen, L. (2016). Digital portfolios in action: Acknowledging student voice and metacognitive understanding in art. The Clearing House: A Journal of Educational Strategies, Issues and Ideas, 89(4-5), 135-143. Students need a genuine voice in the content, process, outcome, and assessment of their learning so they can take ownership of their education (Jaquith and Hathaway 2012). Digital art portfolios allow students to research, document, and reflect on the development and assessment of their learning. Unlike traditional portfolios, which typically emphasize product, the use of digital portfolios as a process portfolio for learning has the potential to increase autonomy, experimentation, and allow the student to tell the story of their learning; to be metacognitive about their work (Berrett 2005). For the purposes of our research, we are defining metacognitive as awareness or analysis of one’s own learning or thinking processes. The key elements of traditional paper portfolios include: collecting, selecting, reflecting, directing/goals, and presenting/celebrating. The use of technology adds to that list the processes of archiving, linking/thinking, storytelling, collaborating, sharing, and publishing (Barrett 2005). This paper examines how online digital portfolios provide a platform to promote students’ metacognitive skills and direct their learning.
Gettings, M. (2016). Putting it all together: STEAM, PBL, scientific method, and the studio habits of mind.Art Education, 69(4), 10-11. As an arts administrator for a large school district in Central Virginia, I have been working with and keeping an eye on developments in the growing science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM) initiatives. I have seen these develop and morph into a robust set of ideas that are being developed into curriculum. This curriculum is “de-siloizing” content in an effort to bring authentic learning and deep student engagement. Our students will be the direct beneficiary of STEAM programs delivered with a solid underpinning of what STEAM is and how it relates to other initiatives and lines of inquiry.
Sheridan, K. M. (2011). Envision and observe: Using the studio thinking framework for learning and teaching in digital arts.Mind, Brain, and Education, 5(1), 19-26. The Studio Thinking Framework (STF) focuses on habits of mind taught through studio arts rather than disciplinary content or media‐specific techniques. It is well suited to integrate studies of arts learning and teaching in a range of contexts, and it provides a framework for understanding how visual arts participation is dramatically changing with the advent of digital tools and the Internet. This study focuses on two habits of mind, observe and envision and analyzes how they are taught in high school arts classrooms using traditional media compared with a digital context of an informal educational class using 3D computer modeling and animation. The STF facilitates detecting learning patterns, sustaining pedagogical reflection, and providing structure for the design of studies of learning in and through the arts.
Hetland, L., Cajolet, S., & Music, L. (2009). Documentation in the visual arts: Embedding a common language from research. Theory into Practice, 49(1), 55-63. This article illustrates the effects of embedding a common language derived from research, conducted through Project Zero at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, into teachers' documentations of classroom experiences. It suggests that documentation can be enhanced by using shared professional vocabularies that describe categories important in quality classroom experiences. For educators from diverse communities, roles, and regions, such common vocabularies can facilitate understanding of the sophisticated images and stories about teaching and learning that teachers represent in documentation.
Winner, E. (2007). Visual thinking in arts education: Homage to Rudolf Arnheim.Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 1(1), 25. The influence of Arnheim's work on the author's research began with an experiment on the perception of visual balance. Two later research projects emerged from the profound influence of Arnheim's stance toward creation in the visual arts as a serious, cognitive endeavor. A series of meta-analyses were first conducted to test the claim that learning in the arts transfers to nonarts cognitive domains, but little evidence was found. Past research on the transfer hypothesis was found to be lacking because of its failure to assess learning in the parent domain. Therefore, a new research project was carried out to identify kinds of learning in the parent domain of visual arts. We identified eight thinking dispositions developed in serious visual arts classes, setting the stage for more plausible transfer studies. This study demonstrates that the visual arts inculcate basic skills in perception and cognition that exist both in the arts and sciences. All of the skills the authors describe can, with some modification, be transferred to the science laboratory. As Rudolf Arnheim has taught us, visual thinking is everywhere.
Heller, R. (2017). On the goals and outcomes of arts education: An interview with Lois Hetland By Rafael Heller.Phi Delta Kappan, 98(7), 15-20. Supporters of K-12 arts education often make the case that when students study music, dance, theatrical performance, and the visual arts, they tend to improve in the academic subjects as well. But, as Lois Hetland explains, that’s not the best way to advocate for greater investments in arts instruction. In fact, a careful analysis of a vast amount of empirical research found no conclusive evidence to support the claim that studying the arts leads to better performance in math, reading, or other subjects. To make a stronger case for arts education, she argues, advocates should point to the specific kinds of knowledge and skill that students can learn only through the arts and which can empower them to think and communicate in ways that are essential to their lives and to the health of the wider community.
Hetland, L. (2012). Can studio habits help teachers assess arts learning? The case of the king dobra. In D. Jaquith & N. Hathaway (Eds.). The Learner-Directed Classroom: Developing Creative Thinking Skills through Art (123-130). New York: Teachers College Press.
Sheridan, K. (2009). Studio thinking in early childhood. In M. Narey (Ed.) Making meaning (71-88). Boston: Springer. The visual arts provide important and unique learning opportunities for young children. In this chapter, I use the Studio Thinking Framework, developed from research at Harvard University’s Project Zero that involved close observation of studio art classrooms to see what teachers intend to teach and how they teach it, to inform how we can think about learning in the early childhood classroom. I describe strategies teachers can use to create a “studio classroom” that fosters children’s development of broad “habits of mind,” such as becoming more observant, more engaged and persistent, reflective on their work, and willing to explore and express ideas. I discuss how teachers can use this focus on developing students’ habits of mind in the arts to build connections to other learning areas.
Dissertations and Theses
Kleinsteuber, A. (2014). The impact of professional development in the arts upon habits of mind and teacher efficacy. (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). California State University, Fresno. This study employed a concurrent exploratory mixed-methods approach to discern the impact professional development in the arts had upon habits of mind and teacher self-efficacy. The study utilized four aspects of the work on studio habits: observe, envision, explore, and reflect (Hetland, Winner, Veenema, & Sheridan, 2007, 2013). A high degree of correlation was found between the following: studio habits and the teacher self-efficacy; factors that impacted teachers’ decisions to attend an arts professional development; and between the total number of professional development hours and arts integration. Surprisingly, prior arts experiences showed little to no significant correlation. Conditions that supported and eroded a sense of teacher self-efficacy were examined and the effects reviewed. The wide variety of professional development experiences was noted and the high degree to which the professional development experiences were found to be beneficial was extensive. The study’s findings and their implications for future research and practice concluded this study.
Imoro, K. B. (2012). Enriching Studio Thinking: A new mind-centered approach for curriculum development in art education. (Unpublished thesis). University of Arizona, Tucson. This study examines the use of Studio Thinking’s Studio Habits of Mind (Hetland, Winner, Veenema & Sheridan, 2007) as a framework for curriculum design. In order to compare the ideas with other current art education theories, I conduct a literature review that identifies types of thinking accessed in the visual arts classroom. Through the comparison of Hetland et. al.’s Habits of Mind with those cited by current researchers, I discuss the relevance of the Studio Habits of Mind and propose an additional Habit of Mind: Investigate. In order to explore the use of these Habits as a framework for curriculum design, I design several lessons for a local after-school program using an objectives-based lesson template. The difficulty of applying this framework to an existing template indicates the need for a new unit/lesson plan template formatted specifically to a mind-centered approach. I present my design for a new unit template, lesson template and examples. The findings of this research point to a move in art education towards a mindcentered approach in the visual arts classroom and the use of a mind-centered template for unit and lesson planning.
McComb, C. (2010). Think, record, reveal: Studio process assessment and the artistic thinking it reveals. (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Pennsylvania State University, State College. This dissertation chronicles a year long, four-phase investigation into sixth grade students‟ artistic thinking. The principal investigator, working as artist/researcher/ teacher, sought to better understand her own art students and the artistic thinking that would emerge through intentional pedagogical assessment practices. Research on art making, art teachers‟ practices, and the pre-adolescent learner merged with theory in assessment, multimodal literacy, and selfregulated learning to shape the research methodology. By combining use of a formative studio-process checklist with the creation of a summative multimodal digital journal (MDJ), sixth grade students created a visual model of their use of the eight Studio Habits of Mind (SHoM). Documentation of the SHoM provided a rich and varied glimpse into the artistic thinking strategies students utilized when making narrative paintings. Analysis of the student-created MDJs proved beneficial in revealing both the nature of students‟ artistic thinking, and in revealing the effectiveness of curricular design. The research data was analyzed for emergent categories within each SHoM, adding to what is known about the artistic thinking of pre-adolescent learners. Students‟ tendency to display the SHoM was also analyzed through art making. The principal investigator merged her roles of artist/researcher/teacher creating Data Quilts based upon students‟ use of the formative studioprocess checklist and summative evidence found in the MDJs. The quilts served to literally make the data visible both to her and to her students. Evidence from the study suggests three conclusions regarding artistic thinking; (1) the SHoM facilitate artistic discussion; (2) students value different aspects of the studio process; and (3) students can identify and express their artistic needs. More over, the MDJ proved an effective tool in assessing both student learning and classroom pedagogy. The MDJ enabled teachers‟ iv photographic documentation of classroom art making to be combined with student reflection, creating a shared assessment of student learning. Implications of this study suggest that wide-spread adoption of artistic thinking dispositions into pedagogical practice would help to create a broader understanding of students‟ artistic thinking, and could facilitate conversations amongst educator‟s intent on helping students to express themselves through meaningful artistic practices.