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Background Two years ago students from my middle schools gifted program had the opportunity to visit Wexner Center for the Arts exhibition on contemporary architecture concentrating on human habitats Students after viewing the various exhibits and learning about the architects in docent-led discussions participated in an activity in which they assumed roles as architects and general contractors in order to create their own habitats Reluctant at first they completed their tasks and then answered a list of questions prepared by museum personnel After reading through the student responses I discovered that although the students had learned a little about architecture that day they were deficient in their knowledge of architecture as being more than buildings we live in and use Students could name several classical architectural styles but were limited in their responses to other areas of the study In his book Architecture is Elementary Nathan B Winters states Years of research indicate that the lay public has not grown much beyond the fourth grade level in visual literacy Winters 1997 It is my intent to search for the best instructional practices to teach architecture to middle school students using an action plan involving my middle school art students the community of Plain City selected professional architects contractors and city planners in order to increase students knowledge of architecture I hope to expand students knowledge of architectural styles help develop an appreciation for architecture study problems of historic structure preservation and planning Literature Review The booklet Imagine Introducing Your Child to the Arts provides parents with methods to introduce children to the arts while encouraging children to imagine In chapter seven entitled Architecture and Children it is stated Architecture unites culture with perception and technology The chapter defines the study of the built environment as architecture landscape architecture historic preservation and planning Describing children as natural builders the author implores parents to enjoy admire and enable children to build forts and other items
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