International Journal of Education & the Arts

Volume 14 Number 7

May 15, 2013

Toward Meaningful Education:
Investigating Artful Behavior as a Human Proclivity in the Classroom

Carolina Blatt-Gross
Georgia Gwinnett College, USA

Citation: Blatt-Gross, C. (2013). Toward meaningful education: Investigating artful behavior as a human proclivity in the classroom. International Journal of Education & the Arts, 14(7). Retrieved [date] from
Because students spontaneously exhibit aesthetic and rhythmic acts in the classroom and human beings across the world have engaged in the arts for thousands of years, this study argues that artful behavior represents an inherent and significant human proclivity. Exploring the tension between the human predisposition and the physical and mental limitations of traditional formal education, this cross-disciplinary study seeks to understand how artful behaviors might represent an intrinsic part of human nature and how such proclivities might inform educational policy and practice. Based on an ethological understanding of art (that is, as a behavior rather than an object), this research employs an interpretivist lens and phenomenological design. Data collection methods include observation, participant observation, and teacher interviews in a pre-kindergarten and third grade classroom of an urban public school system. Ultimately, this study aims to understand artful behaviors as they are embedded in educational contexts with the intent of bridging the gap between our natural inclinations for learning and the methods utilized in mainstream education.

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