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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Microcomputers as creative media in fine arts education Hughes, Pamela


Microcomputer applications to fine arts areas of education have received limited attention although the need for interdisciplinary education made evident in a substantial body of literature would seem to make such applications desirable. The use of microcomputers as creative media for the composition of poetry, art images, and music by grade four students at an elementary school in British Columbia, Canada was observed and analyzed in order to discern what actually happened as a result of the juxtaposition of microcomputers and creative aspects of fine arts. Ethnographic research methodology allowed the classroom teacher to conduct the study in a participant-observer role throughout the 1988-1989 school year. As a side aspect to the study, it was observed that students developed problem solving strategies that involved assessments and value judgements which encouraged those students to accept responsibility for their own learning. Word processed poetry engendered visual awareness that promoted extensive editing and proofreading and stimulated exploration of visual presentations in the genre of concrete poetry. Art images of nonrepresentational and abstract styles predominated because microcomputer capabilities supported such compositions and allowed students to experience satisfaction in their work regardless of their personally perceived proclivities toward portrayal in realistic style. The use of microcomputers facilitated image processing: the explorations of single ideas that resulted in the creation of series of related images. The students revealed developmental stages in music composition approaches and perceptions by the manner in which they structured sound into music. The students integrated concepts and techniques that involved poetry, art, and music into single works and thus demonstrated associative thought processing skills. Microcomputers used as creative media in the fine arts areas of poetry, art, and music enabled unique learning outcomes, provided a previously unavailable means whereby the developmental stages of child music composition were able to be observed, and constantly allowed students to be simultaneously creators and observers of their own work. The students were thus in position to concurrently recognize and respond to artistic form: a position in which aesthetic experiences are possible.

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