Unlocking Pathways to Learning
Changing World’s Literacy and Cultural Connections (LCC) is an in-school program to enhance instruction in arts, literacy and cultural awareness. Through the program students learn new ways to write, produce art, and make connections between themselves, their classmates and people from other cultures. The program is especially unique for its focus on culture as the fulcrum for literacy and fine arts instruction.
In 2008 – 2009 Changing Worlds began a multi-year longitudinal study to follow more than 100 students for three consecutive years to measure the impact of the LCC program on student learning and interest in writing and fine arts, as well as gauge students’ awareness and understanding of their own culture and the cultures of others. These students were compared to another group of students who did not work with Changing Worlds.
Evaluation methods included comparing student writing samples taken at the start of each program year with those completed at the end of the program; arts vocabulary and art making process tests given at the beginning and end of the program year; panel reviews of student artwork; in-depth one-on-one interviews with randomly selected participants; student focus groups; teacher surveys and interviews; classroom observation; and final wrap-up interviews with principals and assistant principals.
The results of the study showed:
- In writing, LCC students outpaced non-participants in every year of the study.
- In fine arts, LCC student knowledge exceeded non-participants’ arts knowledge.
- LCC students’ understanding of culture broadened and included articulations of differences in race, ethnicity, nationality, language, food, clothing, religion, beliefs, traditions and history.
- Writing, art, and cultural awareness and understanding are integrated in such a way that students interact with their work in new ways and teachers gain tools for culturally responsive teaching.
[Adapted from Unlocking Pathways to Learning]