Breaking the silence : empowering adolescent girls through art
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This action research study investigates “loss of voice” in adolescent girls and explores the ways art educators can promote assertiveness and self-confidence in middle school girls. This study examines literature on adolescent girls’ psychology, the power of art-making, decentralized structure, and feminist pedagogy. Grounded in this literature the author creates a 12-week art club for 7th and 8th grade girls. This club was designed to promote assertiveness and self-confidence by letting the girls lead in a decentralized learning environment. The daily process of the club is chronicled and recommendations are made for art teachers looking to support girls as they transition through adolescence. Data was collected with surveys, interviews, field notes, and observations. After the club concluded, findings revealed that the girls involved in the study grew in their ability to assert their opinions, take risks, and have confidence in themselves.