Type of Document Dissertation Author Sickler-Voigt, Debrah URN etd-06232003-191928 Title Faces in Community Education: An Examination of the Florida Arts and Community Enrichment Program Degree Doctor of Philosophy Department Art Education, Department of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Tom Anderson Committee Chair Betty Jo Troeger Committee Member Nicholas Mazza Committee Member Sally McRorie Committee Member Keywords
- art education programs
- florida arts
- O.L. Samuels
- community enrichment
Date of Defense 2003-01-01 Availability restricted AbstractThis qualitative case study describes the character of the Florida Arts and
Community Enrichment (FACE) program, a community arts organization, and the role it
plays in the lives and education of children and adolescents with at-risk tendencies. To
gain an insiderís perspective of the organization, I conducted research as a participant
observer. The participatory action research model enables participants and the researcher
to share knowledge as equal partners in research, while the appreciative inquiry method
focuses on the organizationís best qualities as a starting point for future improvement.
To collect a variety of data, this study incorporated on-site interviews recorded on
audiocassette, photographs, historical documents, student art, and observations recorded
in the researcherís journal.
Based on two years of observation and data collection, I learned about FACEís
employees and students. Its employees do not earn a substantial amount of money,
however, they do their jobs because of their love for the arts and the children. FACEís
students greatly enjoy attending their organization because it provides them with a safehaven,
meaningful friendships, positive relationships with caring adults, and a place to
explore their many talents.
In addition to learning about the participants, four emergent themes developed.
First, I learned the type of arts organization that best serves children with at-risk
tendencies. Based on what I found at FACE, I argue that an arts organization should be
child centered, located close to childrenís homes, unique, offer comprehensive services,
and operate as active learning centers. Second, I discovered the type of characteristics of
a community arts organizationís leader. Third, I learned that FACE, like most child
centered arts organizations, is more recreational than school. FACE balances fun
activities such as structured play with educational activities to capture its studentsí
interests. Fourth, although FACEís students attend an arts organization located on the
grounds of a public housing project, some students had negative images of children living
in project housing.
Implications for educational practice showed that children like their art
organization better than school because they felt more valued and respected at their
program. Organizations like FACE capture their interests and make them feel good about
themselves. With this in mind, arts organizations appear to be an inexpensive way to
reduce risk factors in the nonschool hours to children with at-risk tendencies because they
give them something meaningful to do with their free time. Learning lessons from what
works well at FACE, schools can benefit their students with at-risk tendencies by
integrating the arts into academic subject areas, incorporating the community into the
classroom, giving children a choice of what they would like to participate in or how to
create a project, and most importantly, providing them with a nurturing environment.
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