Student motivation is investigated in this study as a means of abrogating apathy within a public high school Jewelry course. The study is an attempt to answer a personal question of whether students could be internally motivated to a level of excitement that they would take ownership for their personal learning and the learning of their classmates. The study also addresses four main points that cause apathy, or are caused by apathy, they are: zero sum competition, compassion and support for classmates,ownership of the physical facilities, and the development of a conscientious public. Through a desire to test data on autonomy, high school students in a Jewelry 2 course were given freedom to choose what projects they made, what materials and processes they used, and what grade they received at the end of the semester. The study was a classroom action research project. Narrative analysis was used as a reflective tool to organize the data into thematic events that tracked the strengths and weaknesses of the study. Key teaching strategies were introduced in this study, including the following: personal goal setting by students to formulate an individualized curriculum; self-grading; and process diaries that the students wrote in daily to track their progress on their goals, and for use as a tool of accountability. The teaching strategies were designed to increase students' intrinsic motivation, creativity, sense of ownership for their personal learning and the learning of their fellow students, to develop a caring environment, and to develop ownership of the physical facilities of the school.



College and Department

Fine Arts and Communications; Visual Arts



Date Submitted


Document Type





art education, classroom action, autonomy, apathy, jewelry, narrative analysis, classroom community, motivation



Included in

Art Practice Commons