Bring Them to Class: The Impact of Art on Students' Ability to Self-Regulate in a Choice-Based Elementary Art Classroom
This study investigates the relationship between art making in the elementary classroom and fourth-grade students' ability to self-regulate when experiencing a heightened or low state of arousal. The study included the research question "Is time spent creating art following choice-based expectations an effective intervention for students who experienced a heightened state of arousal (red zone or yellow zone) prior to beginning class?" Students' states of arousal were self-indicated through Zones of Regulation check-ins at the beginning, middle and end of class. Additional data was recorded through students' observations and student surveys. The analysis showed students who entered the classroom in a heightened or low state of emotion were more likely to end art in a calm state of arousal than any other state as shown by the chi square test of association. However, the study was unable to conclude if artmaking was the factor in students' ability to return to a calm state due to self-awareness. The study revealed students reported using art making as a self-regulation tool more often than any other self-regulation strategy while in art class. The study also found links in the choice-based environment of the arts classroom that led to students' ability to self-regulate in the art room. Further research is needed to expand on this research pertaining to students' ability to self-regulate in the art room.