Document Type


Date of Degree

Spring 2012

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Art Education

First Advisor

Williams, Rachel M

First Committee Member

McGuire, Steve

Second Committee Member

Baldus, Clar

Third Committee Member

Fielding, Linda

Fourth Committee Member

Gratama, Jan Albert

Fifth Committee Member

Hosp, John


As a practicing in-service teacher, I designed this qualitative study to explore of the use of culturally relevant curriculum in my junior high art classroom. I used participatory action research to complete this research over the span of two school years. This research allowed me to identify the elements necessary to teach a culturally relevant curriculum, such as teacher background, student-centered teaching and school support. This data is combined with stories of my experiences growing up and stories from the field. I detailed and analyzed community performance art, mask-making and installation art projects for effectiveness and student engagement. Focus groups were a major component of my data collection; I used this data to gain further information from students about their thoughts on what makes an engaging classroom and lesson. Through this study I found a high level of engagement by students. I matched my students engagement with a reciprocal level of emotional input. This study concludes with a call for more research of this kind to be completed by practicing teachers using action research in their classrooms.


Art, Culturally Relevant, Education, Relevant, Teaching


1, xiii, 279 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 271-279).


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Copyright © 2012 Rachael Marie Ayers-Arnone

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