Illustration on front page: Print Gallery by M.C. Escher, May 1956

All images in this dissertation are by M.C. Escher

What i hope to illustrate with Escher's pictures is not the fascinating relationship between figure/ground but an idea: in any given environment we are all working with a different perspective - and yet we see a similar picture. this intrinsic multiplicity of perspective in human groups can lead us to a healthy respect for each other's perspectives rather then to frustration and disillusionment. T. Rose

All M.C. Escher works (c) 2001 Cordon Art - Baarn - Holland. All rights reserved. Used by permission.



Presented to the Faculty of the Graduate School of Curriculum and Instruction
The University of Texas at Austin
in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of

Doctor of Philosophy
The University of Texas at Austin
December, 2002

Temi Ann Rose


Integrating Art and Technology: An Action Research Case Study in a High School in the United States of America, 2001

Temi Ann Rose, Ph.D.
The University of Texas at Austin, 2002

Supervisors: Oscar G. Mink and Diane L. Schallert

This study was inspired by James Tarrant’s (1989) extension of John Dewey’s (1916) understanding of democracy and education. Democracy as we dream it has yet to be invented and can only be realized as a process, as the experience of being an equal among equals. It is a moral imperative, in a Kantian sense, for educators to assert their conversational mutuality with students as participants in re-creating democratic process.

The purpose of the study was to explore a much-cited barrier to technology innovation in schools: teacher resistance to technology. Focal participants were teachers, staff, artists, and parents of art students who worked or volunteered in a Fine Arts Academy within a public high school. I found that teacher resistance to technology was a phenomenon amenable to influence through conversation, care, collaboration, and connectivity.

Two new concepts emerged as a result of this study: polarity thinking and emotional scaffolding. Polarity thinking is a perceptual schematization in which concepts are understood to be antagonistic. Certain effects of polarity thinking can delay self-actualization, collaboration, innovation, and change. Emotional scaffolding extends the horizon of Lev Vygotsky's (1934) concept of the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) to include Nel Noddings’ (1981) concept of the ethic of care in education. Emotional scaffolding supports learners creatively as well as critically.

I recommed that change agents adopt a definition of cognition that values the role emotional intelligence plays in learning, and be willing to participate emotionally as well as cognitively, ethically as well as rationally. I suggest that curriculum theorists interested in technology integration in the schools recognize the importance of celebration and identify joyful, caring ways to share information, skills, and resources with specific schools and individual teachers; to influence the social ecology of education towards connectivities that support group and individual self-actualization.


Table of Contents

Chapter I
The Problem Statement


National Research Perspective
Teaching and Technology
Qualitative Research

Valuing Aesthetic Cognition: Art in Academia

Art and Ritual

Technology in Education: Ethical Considerations

Rationale for this Study

Chapter II
Literature Review: Weaving a Web

Action Research: Historical Antecedents, Principles, and Methodology

Arendt and Vygotsky: Thinking, Action, and Relationship
Cassirer: Symbol Systems
Lewin: Social Organization
Recent Developments: Group Interaction and Knowledge Creation

Technology in Schools

Connectivity and Collaboration
Recent Research in Technology Education
An Aesthetic Critique of Technology

Art in Schools: Theory

Art in the Curriculum
Creative and Critical Thinking
Becoming Who We Are

Art in Schools: Practice

Art and Academic Performance
Community Support

Justice, Responsibility, and Care

Moral Orientations
Care in Particular
The Ethic of Care and Social Justice

Adult Education

Self-Actualization and Self-Determination


Conversational Reality
Interpreting, We Meet on the Horizon
The Postmodern Conversation

Chapter III

The Site

The Participants

Captain Dewey Teachers
Captain Dewey Staff
Captain Dewey Parents
School District Technology Specialists
University Professors

Data Sources

Online Chats
Journal (notes, narratives, poems, drawings, and photographs)
A Questionnaire and Eight Responses
Formal, Text-Based Communications (Official reports, letters, and memos)
Informal Interviews
Artifacts and Documents


Researcher's Role

As an Action Researcher
As a Qualitative Researcher

Data Analysis

Chapter Four
Data: Description and Analysis

Descriptive Results

In Conclusion


Justice and Care: Values and Methods of Moral Reasoning
I/It vs. I/Thou: Resisting Oppression vs. Experiencing Equality
Critical and Creative Thinking
Polarity Thinking and Teacher Resistance to Change


Chapter Five

Summary: Connectivity

Living Systems: A sensitive dependence on initial conditions
Resolving Polarities
I and Thou: Appreciating the Other
Justice and Care

Discussion: Democratic Process

Lewin and Lippitt’s Social Experiment
Defining Democratic Process in Education Today

Implications: Educational Praxis as Democratic Process

Implications for Future Research
Implications for Practice

In Conclusion: Participation


Appendix A - State Guidelines for Technology Education
Appendix B - February 2001 Letter to the Campus Leadership Committee
Appendix C - State Guidelines for Art Education
Appendix D - Eduard Lindeman and Adult Education
Appendix E - November 2000 E-mail initiating contact with research community from the Fine Arts Academy Coordinator, Sable
Appendix F - March 2001 Excerpts from online interviews with parent webmaster, Elvinor
Appendix G - October 2001 Questionnaire and Eight Responses
Appendix H - May 2001 District Vision for Technology 2001-2005 (excerpt)
Appendix I - August 2001 Sable's memo to Lightyear and parents (excerpt)
Appendix J - November 2001 Sable's letter to Lightyear and parents concerning the mural project
Appendix K - May 2001 Memo to faculty from Lightyear and Gold regarding computer competency test
Appendix L - October 2001 Pierce's report to the Fine Arts Technology Committee




pdf version of this document

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