Date of Award

Fall 10-10-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

PHD - Doctor of Philosophy

First Advisor

Paul Naso

Second Advisor

Gene Diaz

Third Advisor

Enid Larsen



The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore visual art teachers’ perceptions of the relationship between their artistic creative processes and their teaching. National Visual Arts Standards, developed by National Coalition for Core Arts Standards, and New York State Learning Standards for the Arts assert that teaching creativity is essential. Based on this foundational idea and guided by a phenomenological research method with additional strategies drawn from arts-based research, this study sought to understand what art teachers learn from continuing a creative practice, the impact a creative practice has on learning environments, and to understand the relationship between making art and teaching art. Questionnaire responses from 198 participants who currently teach art in New York State public schools and transcripts from interviews with ten of these participants provided the data for this inquiry. This study established that creative practice was personally fulfilling and valuable in an evolving capacity that supported pedagogy. Participants reported that they intentionally practiced a creative process to learn, modeled creativity in their classrooms, and better understood student learning through continuing a creative practice. They perceived the relationship as an integrated force, which consolidated and gave rise to a potential for learning. For the participants, the relationship fortified a sense of completeness and was a model for integrity, which promoted authenticity in relationships. Implications from this study are that a creative practice is valuable as personal and professional development and valuable as shared learning experiences occurring in a classroom culture designed for the experience and expression of creativity, which provided an opportunity for students to witness teachers thinking like artists. Continued research in Arts-based research methods is recommended for art teachers for a deeper understanding of the learning that happens from continuing a creative practice and the relationship to teaching.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.



Number of Pages


Embargo Period


Included in

Art Education Commons




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