Date of Award


Document Type

Research Paper


Whittier Scholars Program

First Advisor

Nora Obregon


Art classrooms are expected to help bolster students’ abilities to make creative choices and express themselves; however, there is no official approach to guide teachers on how to foster this in their classrooms, where they are also meant to teach formal elements and discuss the importance of art. In order to get a look at how teachers approach their classrooms in a way that is feasible within a school, I reviewed current literature about creativity, common practices, and theory, and then interviewed three middle school art teachers about how they conduct their classrooms. I found that there are vastly different approaches that teachers take, including focusing mainly teaching them how to work with the media and create aesthetically-pleasing end products; filling in the gaps of whatever life skills that students are lacking from other environments; and trying to build a formal discipline around the teaching of art with art history. Regardless of the approach taken, the place of creative decision-making—which may be developed by building rapport and engaging in meta-level talk— is considered valuable but remains largely restricted by the demands of maintaining an art course within the school system.

Included in

Art Education Commons