• unlimited access with print and download
    $ 37 00
  • read full document, no print or download, expires after 72 hours
    $ 4 99
More info
Unlimited access including download and printing, plus availability for reading and annotating in your in your Udini library.
  • Access to this article in your Udini library for 72 hours from purchase.
  • The article will not be available for download or print.
  • Upgrade to the full version of this document at a reduced price.
  • Your trial access payment is credited when purchasing the full version.
Buy
Continue searching

Differentiation in art education: Exploring two art teachers' responsive pedagogy in an elementary school in Taiwan

ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, 2011
Dissertation
Author: Wei-Ren Chen
Abstract:
This qualitative study explores the "operational curricula" (Goodlad, Klein, & Tye, 1979) of art teachers in both the general and the artistically talented classes in an elementary school in Taiwan. Specifically, I investigated the responsive pedagogies of two art teachers that focused on the differentiation aspects for diverse learners, including those identified as artistically talented. The value systems embedded in their responsive pedagogies were also explored. The responsive pedagogies of the two teachers included two facets: curricular modification and instructional adjustment. In terms of curricular modification for the two types of classes, the teachers organized art projects and choices of concepts and products that were appropriate for the students in learning art in a studio-orientated class structure. As for instructional adjustment , one teacher used various instructional strategies to cater to the diverse levels of readiness, interests, and learning styles in art of students in both settings. Her adaptive instructional approaches consisted of occasional exceptions, personalized guidance, student choice, flexible grouping, and station work. The other teacher drew on individualized instruction in the artistically talented class and instructional adjustment was not found to any significant extent in her general class. I discuss the two art teachers' responsive pedagogies in light of the Confucian heritage. The community- and issue-based art projects designed by the two teachers aimed to cultivate students' sensitivity to human concerns. It reflects the concept of nurturing a Jian Zi (a superior person), who has both talent and virtue (Cai De Jian Bei ). Through guided discovery, the teachers helped artistically talented students make connections between their intrinsic traits (Zh , substance) and disciplined knowledge or dispositions (Wen , refinement). The teachers played the role of connoisseurs in personalizing guidance to bridge different class elements with individual students' unique readiness levels, interests, and learning profiles. As such, they were not only attuned to multiple dimensions of the students' "artistic selves" (Walsh, 2002), but they also integrated the students' unique potentials into a cooperative effort of "harmony but not uniformity" ( He Er Bu Tong ). The two art teachers' pedagogical approaches reveal the value placed on differentiation in the Taiwanese educational context. The implications for the field and future research are discussed as well.

viii Table of Contents List of Tables ..................................................................................................................................x

List of Figures ............................................................................................................................... xi

Chapter 1 Introduction..................................................................................................................1 Differentiation for Diverse Learners ................................................................................4 The Arts in Celebrating Diversity and Individuality......................................................7 Purpose and Research Questions ...................................................................................10

Chapter 2 Literature Review ......................................................................................................12 Teaching of the Visual Arts .............................................................................................12 Differentiation as Responsive Pedagogy ........................................................................18 Differentiated Arts Curricula for Talent Development in the Visual Arts ................27

Chapter 3 Methodology ...............................................................................................................44 Methodological Approach ...............................................................................................45 Site Selection .....................................................................................................................46 Participants .......................................................................................................................50 Data Generation and Analysis ........................................................................................54 A Researcher with Multiple Roles ..................................................................................66

Chapter 4 Mrs Wen’s Differentiated Art Classes .....................................................................69 Curricular Modification in Mrs Wen’s Art Classes .....................................................70 Instructional Adjustment in Mrs Wen’s Art Classes .................................................108 A Portrait of Mrs Wen’s Differentiated Art Classes ..................................................127

Chapter 5 Mrs Pei’s Differentiated Art Classes......................................................................145 Curricular Modification in Mrs Pei’s Art Classes ......................................................147 Instructional Adjustment in Mrs Pei’s Art Classes ....................................................172 A Portrait of Mrs Pei’s Differentiated Art Classes .....................................................186

Chapter 6 Discussion: The Development of Art Talent in the Context of the Confucian Heritage .....................................................................................................................205 Excellence in Talent Development ................................................................................205 Excellence and Responsibility .......................................................................................207 Excellence and Fittingness ............................................................................................214 Excellence and Guidance ...............................................................................................222

Chapter 7 Implications and Reflection ....................................................................................244 A Review of the Study....................................................................................................244 Implications for the Field ..............................................................................................246 Implications for Future Research.................................................................................253 Reflection ........................................................................................................................256

ix References ...................................................................................................................................258 Appendix A Interview Questions ..............................................................................................271 Appendix B Contact Summary Form ......................................................................................273

x List of Tables Table Page 1 The art teachers, grades, and number of art class observations ..............................................56 2 The number and duration of interviews with the art teachers and other staff .........................58 3 Data resources in relation to research questions .....................................................................59 4 Art projects in Mrs Wen‘s general class .................................................................................75 5 Art projects in Mrs Wen‘s artistically talented class ..............................................................76 6 Mrs Wen‘s comments on Zh‘s homework assignment .........................................................127 7 Art projects in Mrs Pei‘s general class .................................................................................153 8 Art projects in Mrs Pei‘s artistically talented class ...............................................................154 9 Information on the blackboard for students in Mrs Pei‘s general class ................................175 10 Student traits and teacher responses in the artistically talented classes ................................229

xi List of Figures Figure Page 1 The differentiation triangle .....................................................................................................20 2 A foot-shaped mark.................................................................................................................44 3 A school between a river and mountains ................................................................................49 4 The tiled path to Mrs Wen‘s art classroom .............................................................................69 5 Installation artwork by Mrs Wen‘s earlier students ................................................................70 6 An egret dance performance in the School Games Carnival ..................................................81 7 Mrs Wen‘s demonstration on cutting foam board cubes ........................................................83 8 A student‘s reorganized hand sketch .....................................................................................85 9 Incredible Worlds by fourth-graders in Mrs Wen‘s artistically talented class .......................89 10 Mrs Wen‘s flying-bird motions ...........................................................................................93 11 A ceramics work by a fourth-grade student in Mrs Wen‘s artistically talented class ...........95 12 A future park-on-campus design ...........................................................................................96 13 The goddess‘ head group in the School Games Carnival project .........................................99 14 The green planet group .......................................................................................................100 15 The clothes design group ....................................................................................................101 16 The bird-making group .......................................................................................................102 17 The sixth-grade students‘ goddess with a Green Planet in the School Games Carnival ....103 18 A mini-critique session in Mrs Wen‘s artistically talented class ........................................113 19 The Modifying and Ironing group in Mrs Wen‘s artistically talented class .......................117 20 Mrs Wen‘s direct demonstration of making color layers for Chi .......................................120 21 Homework assignment by Lin, a fourth-grader in Mrs Wen‘s artistically talented class ...122

xii 22 Lin‘s detailed drawing of a mantis ......................................................................................124 23 A birthday card made by Lin for Mrs Wen.........................................................................124 24 A possible continuum of curricular modification in Mrs Wen‘s art classes. ......................132 25 A continuum of instruction adjustment in Mrs Wen‘s art classes ......................................142 26 Mrs Wen‘s differentiated art classes ...................................................................................144 27 Aluminum 3-D design by a fifth-grade student ..................................................................145 28 A bulletin board entitled, ―Artists Use Space Cleverly‖ .....................................................147 29 A rubber printmaking by Mrs Pei‘s ex-student...................................................................157 30 A fifth-grade student‘s watercolor collage .........................................................................159 31 Three poses used by Mrs Pei to analyze basic forms..........................................................160 32 Field trip to a Nature Agriculture farm by the fifth-grade artistically talented class ..........164 33 A student‘s reflective journal on the field trip to a Nature Agriculture farm .....................165 34 Selected paper sculpture works discussed in class by Mrs Pei ...........................................177 35 Zhe‘s paper sculpture work with multiple layers ................................................................182 36 Zhe‘s work as inspired by Kandinsky .................................................................................184 37 An image of growing plants in Mrs Pei‘s classroom ..........................................................187 38 ―Genesis,‖ a poster by students in Mrs Pei‘s artistically talented class ..............................192 39 Curricular modification in Mrs Pei‘s art classes .................................................................204

1 Chapter 1

Introduction

Confucius (551-479 BC) was a well-known Chinese philosopher and educator who established a private school in 522 BC when he was 30-years old. The school provided education for 3000 students of which seventy-two were outstanding. As illustrated in the conversation below, his educational philosophy took special account of students‘ individual differences: Zi Lu: Whether I should immediately carry into practice what I heard? The Master: There are your father and elder brothers to be consulted - why should you act on that principle of immediately carrying into practice what you hear? Ran You: Whether I should immediately carry into practice what I heard? The Master: Immediately carry into practice what you hear. Gong Xi Hua: Zi Lu asked whether he should carry immediately into practice what he heard, and you said, ―There are your father and elder brothers to be consulted.‖ [When] Qiu asked whether he should immediately carry into practice what he heard, you said, ―Carry it immediately into practice.‖ I, am perplexed, and venture to ask you for an explanation. The Master: Qiu is retiring and slow; therefore I urged him forward. Zi Lu has more than his own share of energy; therefore I kept him back. (The Analects 1 , 11:22)

Over two thousand years ago, Confucius had already demonstrated how to shape or orient teaching based on individual students‘ personalities, interest areas, and abilities. His approach was that ―In teaching there should be no distinction of classes‖ and the backgrounds and interests

1 The Analects are a record of the words, deeds, and discussions of Confucius and his disciples and have a profound influence on Chinese and East Asian thought and values.

2 of his students ranged from business (e.g. Zi Gong) to politics (Zi Lu, Ran You), from literature (Zi Xia) to morality (Yan Hui). As shown, two students had asked similar questions and Confucius responded differently. It is an ancient teaching style rooted in Chinese culture: teach according to the student‘s characteristics (因材施教, Yin Cai Shi Jiao). Even today, Confucius‘ teaching style is considered the foundation of educational philosophy in Taiwan (Tsai, 2000; Wu, 2000) where teachers recognize students‘ differences and adapt teaching to the ―interdependent, moral-care, worldly- wisdom, and relationship-centered‖ (Lu, 2008) education setting. Indeed, teaching in accordance with student‘s characteristics reflects the differentiated instruction advocated in American education today. Differentiated instruction is a responsive pedagogy where teachers modify instruction in response to the diverse readiness, interests, and learning profiles of learners (Heacox, 2003; Tomlinson, 2003). It is an art of teaching in respect to ―teacher response, student seeking, and curriculum modification‖ (Tomlinson, 1999, 2003). Specifically, both Confucius‘s pedagogy and differentiated instruction remind educators to be flexible in their use of teaching skills and materials, take note of students‘ individual differences and support their progress, and adjust learning avenues in response to student needs. As an elementary school teacher growing up in Taiwan I was aware of a wide range of resources from Chinese, native Taiwanese, and Western cultures 2 (Chen, 2006; Kuo, 2003) being used in teaching. With Confucius‘ teaching rooted in our educational system and having learned differentiated instruction in the US, I wondered how the latter could assist in assessing what has

2 Chen (2006) studied arts teachers‘ folk pedagogy in aesthetic education which in Taiwan operates in a multi- cultural context. She pointed out Taiwan‘s diverse cultural resources that reflect Chinese, native Taiwanese, and Western cultures. Chinese aesthetics refer to the cultivation of humanity and morality and the spirituality of emptiness through the arts. Western aesthetics are introduced to and even integrated with Chinese aesthetics where a combination of both is applied to explore beauty in multifarious forms. Native Taiwanese aesthetics is reflected in daily life—in ordinary artifacts or in the arts of the ceremonies for nature and ancestors (p. 1).

3 been implemented in Taiwan. Further, how could a similar pedagogy from different cultures inform or even enrich each other? For me, these questions are like an explanatory dialogue where as I ―move into each new present, new aspects of the past begin to seem salient to [me]‖; as I ―begin to dialogue with these facets of the past, [I] come to understand something about our contemporary horizons‖ (Higgings, 2002). I expected such a dialogue to help me make better sense of how to be an educator in optimizing students‘ learning in the Taiwanese education context. As Bruner (1966) suggested, For whatever the art, the science, the literature, the history, and the geography of a culture, each man must be his own artist, his own scientist, his own historian, his own navigator. No person is master of the whole culture; indeed, this is almost a defining characteristic of that form of social memory that we speak of as culture. Each man lives a fragment of it. To be whole, he must create his own version of the whole, using part of his cultural heritage he has made his own through education. (p. 116)

In line with Confucius‘s teaching, I aim to ―create [my] own version of the whole‖ to learn more about the concept of differentiation. I initiated the explanatory dialogue by investigating art teachers‘ pedagogy. Based on Confucius‘s teaching beliefs, I researched two art teachers‘ teaching approaches which focused on using differentiation for diverse learners, including those identified as the artistically talented, in an elementary school in Taiwan. According to Eisner (2002), art education appreciates diversity, acknowledges individuality, and allows flexibility. These features match the rationale of differentiation which is to make learning more accessible for students. The arts have been known as an avenue for self- expression by expanding modes of representation, self-understanding through affective development, and self-development by fostering aesthetic sense. Accordingly, I believe that students‘ potentials could be enhanced by learning art. Eliciting human potential is the goal in providing education for the gifted. By studying ―operational visual art curricula‖ in a classroom,

4 I learned about the extent to which teachers responded to artistically diverse learners‘ needs and were able to nurture their potential.

Differentiation for Diverse Learners

In the US, the pressure upon schools to standardize curricula or to use common evaluation tests tends to promote the ―one-size-fits-all‖ principle in education. Standardized education has been criticized particularly in the gifted education sphere (e.g. Renzulli & Reis, 2008; Tomlinson, 1996; Tomlinson, 2001) or art education (e.g. Burton, 2004; Eisner, 2002). Using appropriate and responsive instruction to attend to individual student differences becomes critical. This issue is emphasized due to the trend towards heterogeneity, special education inclusion, and the decrease in out-of-class services for exceptional learners, combined with the growth in cultural diversity in classrooms (Tomlinson et al., 2004). Differentiated instruction has become an important teaching concept that teachers have to acquire, understand, and be able to practice in today‘s classroom. Differentiation is an emerging issue in the Taiwanese education setting. Due to the laws on normal and flexible class grouping (Kang, 2008), the trend towards inclusive education (Chen, Chen, & Pan, 2008; Huang, 2009; Kang, 2008), and the release of the White Book of Gifted Education (Chen, et al., 2008; Huang, 2009), differentiated instruction is gradually being addressed. The terminology and detailed practices of differentiated instruction advocated by American educators have been applied into the empirical studies of Taiwanese researchers. For example, Huang (2009) applied Tomlinson‘s (2003) four dimensions of a differentiated classroom to explore three elementary school teachers‘ changing perceptions and applications for gifted learners in general education classrooms. Findings indicate that teaching content, products,

5 and the learning environment became more flexible as the teachers accepted the concept of differentiation. They changed their teaching styles and established a positive classroom atmosphere. However, in Taiwan there is still a dearth of empirical studies investigating how teachers differentiate instruction for gifted/talented students in specialized or inclusive settings. Differentiated instruction is evaluated in relation to gifted education (e.g. Kaplan, 1986; Maker & Neilson, 1995; Renzulli & Reis, 2008; VanTassel-Baska, & Stambaugh, 2006). It is defined as modifying content, processes, products, and learning environments in order to elicit gifted learners‘ potential and cultivate their talents. However, there is no consensus on nurturing students‘ potentials and talents in specialized or inclusive settings. For those seeking specialized learning opportunities for special populations, differentiated instruction is intended to maximize the learning potential of identified students (e.g. Clark & Zimmerman, 2004; Sabol, 2006; VanTassel-Baska & Stambaugh, 2006; Winner, 1996). For instance, VanTassel-Baska and Stambaugh (2006) claimed that differentiation is a concept that forms the foundation of gifted education, which recognizes individual differences and talents in learners. In specialized settings, such as self-contained classes and pull-out programs, curriculum and instructional strategies are modified for acceleration, challenge, depth, complexity, and creativity based on the cognitive and learning needs of the gifted. Yet, the field of gifted education has shifted focus from giftedness to talent development because of a broadening concept of giftedness beyond intelligence. The terms developing talent (Bloom, 1985; Renzulli & Reis, 2008) and talent development (VanTassel-Baska, 2005) is used to describe school-based programs for challenging all students. Teachers use instructional approaches flexibly by providing a broad range of differentiated experiences that take into account each student‘s ―zone of proximal development‖ (Vygotsky, 1978). Differentiated

6 learning experience, according to Hertzog (2009), is provided to focus on how to optimize all children‘s learning with regard to their interests and strong points. In this vein, scholars have challenged the arbitrary nature of giftedness and called for invoking differentiation in a more inclusive setting (e.g. Hertzog, 2009; Tomlinson, 1996; Treffinger, Young, Nassab, Selby, & Wittig, 2008). Hertzog believes that in treating all children as gifted it is not necessary to regard all as gifted; a universal terminology challenged by many scholars, but meaning to develop children‘s talents based on their strengths. In fact, diverse learners‘ potentials would thrive in a differentiated, responsive, inclusive learning environment as teachers are able to implement gifted-pedagogy, such as project/concept-based instruction, creative problem-finding/solving, and independent study (Tomlinson, 1996). Beyond the grouping issue, Renzulli and Reis (2008) remind us to look at teachers‘ pedagogy and examine ―what is done within groups‖ (p. 50) to see if they challenge all students by a continuum of enrichment services with differentiated learning experiences. This continuum ―range from general enrichment for all students across all grade levels to curriculum differentiation procedures, including enrichment and acceleration for rapid learners, as well as individualized research opportunities for identified gifted and talented students‖ (p. 36). In light of Renzulli and Reis‘s (2008) notion, I explored two art teachers‘ teaching in artistically talented (specialized setting) and general (inclusive setting) classes for this study. By investigating their curriculum design and instructional approaches in both settings, the complexity of differentiation is examined and discussed. Not only could I see if differentiated learning experience for all students took place in the teachers‘ practices, but I also learned what it means for teachers to nurture diverse learners‘ art potential in the ―dual-sided‖ context.

7 The Arts in Celebrating Diversity and Individuality

In spring 2007, I conducted a case study on an art project in an early-childhood gifted program (Chen, 2008). I learned how a discerning art curriculum could value diversity and individuality. During a series of activities, young children made self-portraits by looking at self- images through mirrors, learned Picasso‘s multiple dimensions in representing objects, and created a mural collaboratively. I conducted three in-depth group studies on art at home, artists’ studio, and art we wear. The various artistic ways of exploring art in daily life provided differentiated learning experiences for the diverse learners. In a specific case, a teacher accommodated varying instructional approaches in guiding a mixed-age group (K-1) to make a mock kiln after their visit to a ceramics studio. Kindergarteners came up with the ideas, first graders drew a plan, experienced and skilled students tried out materials based on that plan, and others used the materials to assist them in making the kiln. The materials used, such as wooden blocks and paperclips, became media that represented the young children‘s ideas. Individuals with diverse talents and interests found the right avenue to participate in the collaborative art-making project. The above demonstrates that carefully-designed art curricula enables teachers even those not trained as art teachers, to respond to diverse learners‘ interests and abilities, and fulfill individuals‘ unique learning profiles. It made me think of what it is in the nature of art education that makes it accommodate students‘ diverse needs as well as draw out their unique potentials? What specific strategies can teachers use to facilitate diverse learners to engage in learning about art? Indeed, the arts encourage us to think within a wide range of media, understand their parameters as well as special challenges. The arts teach us how to use our imagination to conceive of possibilities that are distinct to ourselves. Thus, if teachers ―think about teaching as

8 an artful undertaking, conceive of learning as having aesthetic features, regard the design of an educational environment as an artistic task‖ (Eisner, 2002, pp. xii-xiii), it would help them carry out differentiated instruction. According to Gardner (1991), in the art-making process students gain the capacity to adopt different stances towards the work, among them the stance of audience-member, critic, performer, and maker. The ability to take multiple perspectives with a flexible, adaptive mind needs to be supported by instruction that offer multifaceted learning opportunities for in-depth inquiry (Burton, 2004). Differentiated instruction could be one of several pedagogies that encourage learners to seek their own paths and link them to adaptive learning content, processes, products, and the environment. Hurwitz and Day (2001) and Sabol (2006) suggest that individual children have their own mental and physical strength and weakness profiles where the combination of abilities and their interests and learning styles make them unique individuals. Further, Winner and Martino (2003) pointed out that children with artistic talents are like academically gifted children in three respects. First, they master the first steps in their domain at an earlier than average age and learn more rapidly in that domain. They also have a ―range to master‖ (p. 335); that is, they are intensively interested in making sense of their domain and have an obsessive interest and ability to focus sharply on their area of superior ability. Finally, children with art talents learn faster as well as learn differently than others. They virtually learn on their own, requiring little adult scaffolding with solving problems in their domain in novel, idiosyncratic ways. These unique profiles of individual students‘ learning about art could be addressed if teachers can implement differentiation in their classrooms.

9 In Taiwan, education for the artistically talented had its beginnings in 1980. The goals of such education are to: (a) develop the potential of gifted/talented students; (b) cultivate good living habits and healthy personalities; and (c) teach for high cognitive and/or skill attainment (Wu, 2000). According to the Special Education Law, students are assessed through their performance in the fine arts and through a series of artistic aptitude tests. Those who win awards for distinguished performance in national or international contests are also accepted to enroll in the artistically talented program. Interestingly, little attention is paid to examining how art teachers differentiated instruction to accommodate the diversity of those indentified as artistically talented. As Worley (2006) pointed out, a relationship between differentiation and the content areas of the arts has not been explicitly established. While some examples of differentiated practices in arts classes are available (Tomlinson, 1999; Tomlinson & Strickland, 2005) or some studies on arts teaching have presented individualized instruction (e.g. Hetland, Winner, Veenema, & Sheridan, 2007), the research focusing on the differentiated practices of art teachers is limited (Drashil, 2006; Wilson & Clark, 2000). This study aims to fill the gap. Through systematically documenting art teachers‘ pedagogy in art classes, I learned more about how they modified curricula or adjusted instructional approaches to respond to student diversities in teaching art. I expected teachers who had extensive art backgrounds and responded to student needs in class would show how the field of art education and the concept of differentiation could enrich each other.

10 Purpose and Research Questions

The main purpose of the study is to explore visual art teachers‘ pedagogy by focusing on differentiation for diverse learners, including those identified as the artistically talented. Differentiation is defined as responsive pedagogy where teachers modify curricula and adjust instruction in order to attend to the diversity of students‘ learning in art. Specifically, I explore their ―operational art curricula‖ (Goodlad, Klein, & Tye, 1979) - what and how they teach - in both the general and artistically talented classes in order to understand their responses to the wide spectrum of student readiness, interests, and learning profiles; that is, differentiated instruction. The value systems embedded in the two teachers‘ responsive pedagogies are also studied. The questions I pose in this study evolved and adapted to the interplay between the phenomenon of how art teachers implement art education as well as from the existing literature and issues about differentiation discussed above. It is a process of ―progressive focusing‖ (Stake, 1995) where the inductive or discovery orientation in qualitative study enable research questions to be reformulated. Specifically, I explored what curricula were modified by art teachers for students in the general class and those in the artistically talented class (curricular modification). I also investigated how art teachers adjusted instruction in response to student needs in both settings (instructional adjustment). Such interplay and the dialectical relationship among Confucius‘s pedagogical beliefs, the concept of differentiation and what happened on the site, shaped my investigation and gave rise to the following questions:

Full document contains 280 pages
Abstract: This qualitative study explores the "operational curricula" (Goodlad, Klein, & Tye, 1979) of art teachers in both the general and the artistically talented classes in an elementary school in Taiwan. Specifically, I investigated the responsive pedagogies of two art teachers that focused on the differentiation aspects for diverse learners, including those identified as artistically talented. The value systems embedded in their responsive pedagogies were also explored. The responsive pedagogies of the two teachers included two facets: curricular modification and instructional adjustment. In terms of curricular modification for the two types of classes, the teachers organized art projects and choices of concepts and products that were appropriate for the students in learning art in a studio-orientated class structure. As for instructional adjustment , one teacher used various instructional strategies to cater to the diverse levels of readiness, interests, and learning styles in art of students in both settings. Her adaptive instructional approaches consisted of occasional exceptions, personalized guidance, student choice, flexible grouping, and station work. The other teacher drew on individualized instruction in the artistically talented class and instructional adjustment was not found to any significant extent in her general class. I discuss the two art teachers' responsive pedagogies in light of the Confucian heritage. The community- and issue-based art projects designed by the two teachers aimed to cultivate students' sensitivity to human concerns. It reflects the concept of nurturing a Jian Zi (a superior person), who has both talent and virtue (Cai De Jian Bei ). Through guided discovery, the teachers helped artistically talented students make connections between their intrinsic traits (Zh , substance) and disciplined knowledge or dispositions (Wen , refinement). The teachers played the role of connoisseurs in personalizing guidance to bridge different class elements with individual students' unique readiness levels, interests, and learning profiles. As such, they were not only attuned to multiple dimensions of the students' "artistic selves" (Walsh, 2002), but they also integrated the students' unique potentials into a cooperative effort of "harmony but not uniformity" ( He Er Bu Tong ). The two art teachers' pedagogical approaches reveal the value placed on differentiation in the Taiwanese educational context. The implications for the field and future research are discussed as well.