Date of Award

Spring 5-18-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Dr. Ara Parker


This thesis explores the influence of values on students’ participatory patterns within higher education settings and considers the importance of value exploration in art therapy education. Based on the theory of critical pedagogy by Paulo Freire, the influence of historically oppressive pedagogical practices on international and minority students is examined. Drawing on literature that identifies factors in students’ participatory patterns, students’ participatory patterns were found to be determined by values more than race or ethnicity. Though broader values exist within racial and ethnic groups, the reduction of ethnic and racial groups to singular values strips individuals of their unique and contextually formed values. These findings highlight the need for re-structuring art therapy education to include learning that emphasizes reflection on values in the development of multicultural competencies and equitable classroom practices. This suggestion has implications for revisions in curricula, pedagogical practices, and teaching strategies in the training requirements for art therapy professionals.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
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