Department Chair

Shirley Hayes

Date of Award


Access Control

Campus-Only Access

Degree Name

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


Art Education Department


Shirley Hayes

Department Home page


This qualitative case study research project investigated the question, What can be learned from a study that explores how an art teacher uses visual thinking journals and how students respond to the use of visual thinking journals in an urban arts high school setting?” The participants of this study were the art educator Mrs. Carlson and the students enrolled in her ninth grade Graphic Design and 12th grade Advanced Drawing and Painting courses. Over an eight week period data was collected and analyzed utilizing constructivist pedagogy to investigate the variety of ways high school art teachers and students use visual thinking journals and the approaches teachers use to facilitate and encourage students’ learning. Data collection methods included interviews, observations, and document analysis. As data analysis occurred the following findings developed: Sketchbook culture, teacher directed assignments and student interests, and the traits of the teacher.

My findings demonstrate what can be learned from studying an art teacher’s use of sketchbooks in an urban arts high school. I discovered that student interests and personality make a tremendous difference in their attitude and effort towards sketchbook assignment and a teacher’s willingness to listen and hear the opinions of her students changes can be made to make the sketchbook process more advantageous to both teacher and students.

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