Date of Award

Spring 5-30-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Paul Sproll

Second Advisor

Claudia Paraschiv


In this thesis, I discuss different strategies that encourage creative behavior through high school art education that I argue would have benefits beyond the limits of art. By examining theories around creativity and creative behavior through particular published sources including Ken Robinson’s (2011) Learning to be Creative, Theories of Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (2008), and the Handbook of Creativity by Robert J. Sternberg (1999), I analyze how creativity functions on a psychological level. Additionally, in order to provide practical examples, I examine a number of art programs designed specifically for high school students where the focus is on the development of teens’ creative behavior. Guided by the principles of qualitative research methods and in particular those of participant observation, I document through description and analysis my own teaching strategies designed to enhance creative behavior of high school students participating in a series of after-school art classes. This thesis concludes with a critical analysis and discussion of the characteristics of the art studio as an active learning space that encourages students’ creative behavior, which I argue would also benefit students in areas other than art.

Included in

Art Education Commons



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