Ecology art education on-line: A World Community of Old Trees
June Julian, New York University, United States
New York University . Awarded
"A World Community of Old Trees" is an ecology art project on the World Wide Web with open participation and a special section for students in grades K-12 and their art teachers. The purpose of this on-line study is to examine the potential of the Web as a medium for communication and exchange for ecology art education.
As aesthetic inquiry, this research is a metacritique of past ecology art projects on the Internet. Earlier projects used e-mail for instructions and promotion, and exchanged student art work at the conclusion via regular mail. Using David Ecker's Matrix of Generic Questions for Curriculum Research as the navigational tool for on-line research, "A World Community of Old Trees" responds to his third question, "What could be the case?" The new project develops former on-line projects on six points: participation, interaction, content, promotion, information collection and distribution, and evaluation. It engages a global community of learners in identifying, writing about, and documenting with visual images, the oldest trees in their environment.
Philosophical bases for his process is the biocentric ecology of Aldo Leopold and the environmental aesthetics of Arnold Berleant, both of which employ vivid description and deep personal relationships with nature.
The research project has three main components. Participants can contribute to the Tree Gallery, containing tree imagery in a variety of media with accompanying text, to the Tree Museum, with Web Sources and Print Sources, and to Tree Talk, with information on tree ecology, a Fill-out Survey Form and a Comment Form, and an E-mail Archive.
Evaluation of the project is based on six objectives: potential, interaction, cross-cultural participation, community, ecology, and openness. Recommendations to art teachers are based on William E. Doll's post-modern perspective on curriculum development where each teacher is both a creator and an implementor of curriculum.
Julian, J. Ecology art education on-line: A World Community of Old Trees. Ph.D. thesis, New York University.
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