Contemplative Art Education (CAE), established in 2012 by the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA), seeks to enhance experiences with the arts using innovative models of engagement. CAE is a skill-based, experiential, constructivist education approach that involves: conversational tours, mindful practices, and art-making activities. What makes CAE unique is that it encourages viewers to engage with the art in a mindful and personally meaning way. Although there are now a number of CAE programs in the US, their effectiveness remains to be evaluated. The goal of the proposed project is to examine the role of CAE in social, emotional, and cognitive development of children from the Massachusetts school receiving Title 1 funding. We will follow 120 2nd-grade children as they participate in CAE programs over two years. Evaluations will include working memory, attention, creativity, and imagination (performance measures); psychological well-being, self-efficacy, and social functioning (first-person phenomenology); and pro-social behaviors (parental and peer-nominations). Findings will be of interest to the museums and educators alike. Our long-term goal is to bring CAE programming to the Northwest Arkansas, to develop a contemplative art viewing mobile app, and to create a website which will host information related to CAE worldwide.
Darya Zabelina, PhD
University of Arkansas
Dr. Zabelina is a an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Arkansas. She received her Ph.D. at Northwestern University, and completed her postdoctoral training at the University of Colorado Boulder. … MORE