Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education (MAE)



First Advisor

Elizabeth Ankeny

Second Advisor

Robert K. Tom


Research indicates there are unique benefits for students' learning in the visual arts and creative skills learned in the art studio teach students what is needed to be successful in the 21st century. Many schools reduce allocation time for quality visual arts. Although current federal and state policy indicates that visual art is a core subject, it is treated at times as enrichment. To teach the whole child, there needs to be a balance of subjects and equal access for students. In this qualitative study three themes emerged: I ) Principals view the visual arts as a core subject, 2) Three factors cause a broad allocation of the visual arts and affect principals' decision making: (a) time is taken from the visual arts for the other tested core subjects with underachieved standardized test scores, (b) pressure from parents to have students achieve high grades to get into perceived good post-secondary schools, (c) the visual arts sharing the same allocation with all the arts, and 3) Visual arts help students learn through experiences with risk and creativity. The study recommendations include: 1) art specialists advocate about the research-based benefits for students learning through the visual arts to administration, parents, community, and policy makers; 2) the lessened allocation time for the visual arts needs reconsideration; 3) underachieving students need additional services during subject times but not at the expense of their visual arts learning; and 4) all students must be given visual arts access and opportunities.


SC 11.MAE.2016.Duben.JJ

Included in

Art Education Commons