Information Analysis

Information Analysis

The information that has been sourced through my own expert search strategies and then recorded in an annotated bibliography,  relate to my investigation into inquiry based learning as positioned through the secondary school  subject of visual art . These  searches have culminated in a selection of  relevant sources, which when analysed, reveal  an assortment of perspectives, concerns and  strategies  within this education philosophy and curricular field.  In evaluating my results,  I have considered the diversity of information encountered and  provide both a general relationship between some and points of difference in others.  The evaluation tool that I use here is CRAAP ( Figure 1). The CRAAP test had its origins with librarians in California wanting to help students successfully evaluate and find reliable information (libguides n.d).  CRAAP is an acronym that stands for 1) Currency, 2) Relevance, 3) Authority,  4) Accuracy and 5) Purpose.


 (Figure 1: CRAAP Test Model of Resource Evaluation)

Currency:  The timeliness of the information[1]

The dates of the sources of information found, range from 1984 to 2013. the earliest document by Hamblen( 1984), still remains a crucial component to the inquiry process: questioning. Hamblen’s journal article stresses the importance of  the questioning stage of inquiry in encouraging critical thinking form art students. Beyond this example, the predominance of results were written in the first decade of the 21st century, with the most recent documents dating 2011 and 2013 (Lau & Lai 2011), (Booth 2013). My inquiry was to gain information that was current but due to the limited results many of my earlier searches produced , I found that I was prepared to collect information  initially on an ‘any information is good information’ basis. This perspective changed as my search strings became more refined.

Relevance: The importance of the information for my needs

As the structure of my search strings became refined, so too the search results became more relevant to my inquiries. The information sources fell into a number of categories: theoretical and/or conceptual and professionally based .  Theoretical articles such as Marshall (2006), Milbrant et al (2004) and Hickman et al ( 2009), discuss inquiry as constructivist frameworks and propose or analyze their effectiveness  in visual art education. Professional references such as Wongse-Sanit (1997), Booth (2013) and Heid (2008) on the other hand, provide teachers with strategies and tools for the integrations of inquiry learning into classroom practice. 

Authority:  The sources of the information

The country with which the sources concern themselves is also an issue of authority. The majority of sources were American in origin. Beyond this, one article was Australian; Hickman et al (2008) and another from Hong Kong, (Lau & Lai 2011). This lack of information from Australian contexts was related to a broad non-location specific search. The sources were all located through education databases and as such were aimed at scholarly audiences; whether as academic , theoretical and conceptual articles and  dissertations or related to practice based evaluations and/or strategies.  All of the sources were written by those considered to be qualified in the topic of Inquiry. They include university arts faculty staff and art educators at primary and secondary school level.  the works of Marshall, Mibrandt make reference to the constructivist theories of Dewey, Piaget and Vygotsky to expound their own application of an inquiry based pedagogy.

Accuracy: The reliability, truthfulness and correctness of the information

Most of the sources provide evidence by way of observed studies, or observations of students achievements using an inquiry approach to art study. These observations imply  that the information contained are reliable and thus accurate. Studies include: Wonge-Sanit (1997) who provides analysis of a group of students using inquiry through integration of the world wide web in art classes, Scholes & Nagel studies of literacy attainment of boys  which are increased through an inquiry approach,  and Constatino (2004) examines the teaching of aesthetics at elementary level using Problem Based Learning. I was not sure whether these articles had been reviewed or refereed which would lend further credence  to their accuracy.

Purpose: The reason the information exists.

In general, the intent of the articles is to address differing aspects of the inquiry process as applied to visual art contexts.  Mostly the results  inform the reader of the theory related to constructivist approaches. There is also an element of persuasiveness that results from this information, as educators are perhaps lead to transform their approaches to art education by adopting the author’s own biases and perspective, by observing the empirical data collected or by acknowledging and  referencing  the work of others in the field. Given that there are references to more than one inquiry model through the texts ,i.e. ‘Inquiry Based Learning’ ( Wonge -Sanit 1997), ‘Problem based learning’ ( Constantino 2002),(Lau & Lai) , ‘Choice Based Art’ ( Hathaway 2008)or ‘Substantive Art integration'( Marshall 2006), it is assumed that there will be an element of bias in suggesting the benefits of one model over others.


Figure 1: craaptest2.jpg:  [Image]retrieved from: content/uploads/2013/05/craaptest2.jpg  (480×450 pixels)

Header: Clary, J. Art wordle (detail) .[Image] retrieved from  


Booth, E. (2013). A Recipe for Artful Schooling. Educational Leadership, 70(5), 22-27

Costantino,T. E.(2002) Problem-Based Learning: A Concrete Approach to Teaching Aesthetics Studies in Art Education Vol. 43, No. 3 (Spring, 2002), pp. 219-231 Published by: National Art Education Association Article Stable URL:

Hamblen, K. A (1984). ” Don’t You Think Some Brighter Colors Would Improve Your Painting?”: Or, Constructing Questions for Art Dialogues”. Art education (Reston) , 37 (1), p. 12.

Hathaway, N. (2008). 10 TEACHING AND LEARNING STRATEGIES in a “choice-based” art program. Arts and Activities, 144(1),36-37,53. Retrieved from

Heid, K. (2008). Creativity and imagination: Tools for teaching artistic inquiry. Art Education, 61(4), 40-46. Retrieved from

Hickman, Eglinton, R. & A. Kristen.(2009) Exploring the ways in which youth engage with visual material culture in their everyday lives: A framework for inquiry [online]. Australian Art Education, Vol. 32, No. 2, 2009: 4-16. (n.d) [webpage] retrieved from:

Marshall, J. (2006). Substantive art integration = exemplary art education. Art Education, 59(6), 17-24. Retrieved from

Milbrandt, M. K., Felts, J., Richards, B., & Abghari, N. (2004). Teaching-to-learn: A constructivist approach to shared responsibility. Art Education, 57(5), 19-24,33.  

Scholes, Laura; Nagel, Michael (2010). “Engaging boys in literacy through the creative arts in a multiage classroom.”. Journal of multiage education , 4 (1), p. 3.

Wongse-Sanit, N (1997). “Inquiry-Based Teaching Using the World Wide Web.”. Art education (Reston) , 50 (2), p. 19.



[1] From ‘Meriam Library, California State University, Chico. Evaluating Information – Applying the CRAAP Test. Retrieved from:


One thought on “Information Analysis

  1. Rob, you have done a very thorough analysis of not only your information collected but how it is relevant to you. This is a great example of making information relevant to the learner, you, as described by almost all of the constructivist theorists. In the last test of CRAP, purpose, I would like to know who the ‘learner’ is perceived to be. That is which types of learners would you determine are the users of this information?

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