A computer-aided ceramics curriculum: Case studies toward a developing model

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Teaching and Leadership


Hope Irvine


computer aided instruction

Subject Categories



The main purposes of this study are (1) to describe (through teacher interview and document review) the content and process of instruction in selected high school ceramics programs in the Central New York area, and (2) to determine potential adaptability of the vonHunke computer aided ceramics curriculum model to other ceramics programs in Central New York public high schools.

High school art program enrollment in ceramics as an art elective ranks second in New York State. Locally the Syracuse metropolitan area has a rich tradition and long history of involvement with the medium.

Since 1988, following the first national symposium on clay in secondary education held at New York University, attention has focused on ceramics in art education (Schwartz 1988, Feldman 1988). Applying computer technology in the development of curriculum materials (Dunn 1996, Hubbard 1995, Dean 1995, Richie 1993, Burkett 1992), and authentic assessment (Sheingold, Frederiksen 1993) are also important in the context of educational reform.

Many ceramics teachers have expressed an interest in applying various forms of computer technology in their art rooms. Recent studies suggest that the skills and resources to utilize computer software contributing to data coding are (a) availability and convenient access to the technology, (b) the ease of implementing computers in instruction, (c) design flexibility (structured openended), and (d) expandability (how the course content can be extended). The results of this study will be useful for planning staff development and inservice training in adapting computer technology to ceramics in art education.

Two further purposes of the study are to broaden support of ceramics as a substantive art elective and promote purposeful experience with computer technology in the delivery of art instruction.

By providing a picture of present practice and the effects of application of a computer-aided curriculum model, this study suggests methods for facilitating communication of the ceramics program to a wider audience, furthering the development of digital portfolio assessment, and laying the groundwork for future applied research.


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