Date of Award

Spring 5-30-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Paul Sproll

Second Advisor

Nancy Friese

Third Advisor

Ernesto Aparicio


The three primary components of Place-based Arts Investigation (PBAI) are an understanding of place, arts-integration, and arts-based research, each with a heritage in and of itself. These ideas work in tandem to form the keystones of PBAI, a model for interdisciplinary arts-based learning that utilizes the multiple languages of art as methods of inquiry and self-reflection without stifling curiosity. Developed with the intention to provide a true model for ‘arts integration’ in teaching and learning, PBAI uses the distinct advantages of visual art education to engage the learner through multiple modes of inquiry while providing periods of guided reflection (Gude, 2007). PBAI purports that every community performs as a microcosm of the world at large. Upon further inspection, the community (the place, the people, and the ways in which they are connected) will elicit the same natural history, power struggles, and ethical questions of any standard curriculum. By a community’s particularity, it becomes accessible and relatable. Supported by case studies and qualitative research from personal histories and interviews, this thesis book explores PBAI within the context of three facets of ‘place’ in depth: Urban Wild, Downtown or the Built Environment, and Centers of Culture. Adherence to the principles of PBAI has the capacity to empower student learning, develop empathy for environmental and social justice, and to build engaged citizens who are invested in the future of their community.

Included in

Art Education Commons



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