Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


College of Education and Human Services


Educational Foundations

Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Jaime Grinberg

Committee Member

Kathryn Herr

Committee Member

Chris Herrera


Art--Study and teaching--Philosophy, Art--Study and teaching--History


There are a number of problems in our current educational system, and as a society we realize that our educational system has to adapt in order to meet the needs of its people. In order to help the United States stay at the head of the class, language arts, mathematics have been stressed in schools, seen as the keys to a skilled, productive workforce. But with this emphasis, came an abundance of standardized testing and competition. Assessing students is vital to a quality education, but a problem arises when too much emphasis is placed on these two subjects that other areas of study, which hold their own value in society, are treated as less important or unimportant altogether. In the end, the whole child is not being educated and this is a problem. The philosophical aspect of visual art education can help balance out students’ educational experience. The aesthetic theories of art developed by philosophers of art and artists alike, show that art progresses through philosophical reflection on the subject. Philosophy is a central component in how we view and create works of visual art, but currently visual art education in public schools seems to concentrate less on the philosophical aspect and more on art production. Understanding the winding road that visual art education has traveled throughout our nation’s history, pedagogical and curricular trends can be mapped, highlighting what events have had major impacts on the visual art classroom and what could be beneficial to today’s students. Looking at the pros and cons of a number of pedagogies and curricular trends, I propose more philosophical dialogue, specifically ethical criticism, in the visual art classroom. Moreover, dialogue is proposed as best way to help students discuss philosophical topics. Finally, a hybrid model of visual art education, which allows students to engage in philosophical dialogue sparked by students’ questions regarding a work of visual art is offered as a practical solution as to how to implement such an inclusion to the visual art classroom.

Included in

Art Education Commons