Department Chair

Shirley Hayes

Date of Award


Access Control

Open Access

Degree Name

Art Education (K-12), M.S.Ed.


Art Education Department

Department Home page


My own experiences in the visual arts lead me to a personal understanding of their importance and an interest in arts education advocacy. In order to advocate for the visual arts one must know what the arts teach and how to talk about those benefits. The lack of research on what is taught in the visual arts makes discussing the benefits difficult. Hetland, Winner, Veenema, & Sheridan (2007) began to close this gap with their findings of eight Studio Habits of Mind (develop craft, engage and persist, envision, express, observe, reflect, stretch and explore, understanding the art world) being taught in visual arts classrooms. However, their data was only collected from art magnet schools of the Boston area. My qualitative multisite case study builds on Hetland‘s et al. (2007) findings by focusing on the extent to which the Studio Habits of Mind are present within traditional public high schools. Analysis of the data collected in this study began with reflective notes during data collection, and continued with reading and re-reading of field notes, transcriptions of teacher interviews, and course documents. What was done and said in the classrooms were put into categories based on what they were teaching or encouraging students to learn. In addition to the eight Studio Habits of Mind I also found responsibility and confidence being taught. As the data was collected and analyzed differences in the extent to which each Studio Habit of Mind was taught began to surface between the schools, the teachers, and the class levels. Demonstrations, language, time, and emersion were found to support the teaching of the Studio Habits of Mind when used in a balanced teaching approach.