* develop visual literacy skills;
* implement social science content across academic content areas;
* create opportunities for integrated artistic response.
Artful Citizenship is a pilot educational program funded by the US Department of Education, Arts in Education, Model Development and Dissemination Grant Program. It was developed by The Wolfsonian-Florida International University (FIU) in partnership with Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS), Visual Understanding in Education (VUE), a non-profit organization that develops learner-centered methods that use art to teach critical thinking and visual literacy, faculty from the FIU College of Education, and a team of independent education researchers and evaluators from Curva and Associates, a private research and evaluation firm.
The Wolfsonian and its partners recently completed the three years of funded activities that included development, field testing, implementation, evaluation, and dissemination of Artful Citizenship as part of the core social studies and language arts curricula in the third, fourth and fifth grades at three Miami-Dade County public elementary schools. All three schools have high percentages of students from low socioeconomic backgrounds who are at risk of academic failure. An additional school with similar demographics was included to serve as a comparison group for evaluation purposes.
The evaluation addresses the central objectives of the program: teaching visual literacy in order to influence children's character and social development, and, ultimately, to improve academic achievement, as measured through norm-referenced tests and criterion- referenced test (Florida Comprehensive Achievement Test). The psychosocial dimensions included in the evaluation were Art Self-Concept, Art Enjoyment, Academic Self-Concept, and School/Civic Orientation