First Advisor

Stewart, Connie

Second Advisor

Goodwin, Donna

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Document Type

Action Research Project

Date Created



This study explores the effectiveness of research workbooks as an assessment tool of artistic growth in an elementary art classroom. Since my teacher evaluation is partially based on student data from content areas I do not directly teach, I needed to provide evidence of student learning in art that could become the basis of teacher evaluations. Using a hybrid approach of action research and a/r/tography, I implemented research workbooks within my teaching and studio practices. I reviewed the evidence the research workbooks provided of my students’ proficiency as well as my own artistic skill as described by the Colorado Academic Standards for the Visual Arts (VA CAS). While research workbooks may not be an adequate way to measure student learning on their own, they led to some unexpected findings. As an artist-teacher modeling the research workbook, I engaged in personal artmaking, showed work in multiple exhibitions including a solo show and renewed my passion for art and teaching. I improved my teaching practice by developing inquiry-based units, systematically collecting and analyzing data, and creating a community of artists in my school. Whether research workbooks combined with other assessment methods may contribute to an improved teacher evaluation process for art teachers could be an area for future research.

Abstract Format



73 pages

Rights Statement

Copyright is held by the author.