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Informal Peer Conversations in the Studio Art Classroom and the Influence on Students Creative Processes Open Access

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This qualitative research study was conducted between 2012-2013 with high school students in a studio art classroom. The goal of this research was to explore how informal peer conversations in a studio art classroom influenced students' creative processes. An ethnographic methodology was employed. Data consisted of: two one-hour audio recordings of classroom conversations, photographs of student art works, field notes, and questionnaires. Data was analyzed through a multi-variant framework comprised of Csikszentmihalyi's Stages of Creativity, Gardner's Multiple Intelligences, Kantor's Four Player System and the eight Studio Habits of Mind. The following themes were discovered: reoccurring phrases, group dynamics, idea generation, admiration and critique of work, and student artwork. Informal peer conversations create a space for empathy that allows students to feel safe about sharing and evaluating ideas. Educators can use these informal conversations to build closer relationships with students, develop meaningful lessons, and create more opportunities for teachable moments.

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