Type of Culminating Activity

Graduate Student Project

Graduation Date


Degree Title

Master of Arts in Art Education



Major Advisor

Kathleen Keys


The purpose of this M.A. Art Education project is to explore the reasoning, methods and justification for integrated art curricula in K-12 education, drawn from the belief that art is essential and inseparable from academics. In Idaho, the need for art teaching resources is especially great, as present funding circumstances and educational mandates have shifted away from the arts. Teachers do not always have access to resources and high-quality curricular materials. They do not always feel that they possess the knowledge, skills or confidence to successfully implement art lessons within their classrooms. The rationale and methods used to develop a curricular resource for K-12 teachers in Idaho entitled “STEM+Visual Art” are explained in this paper, alongside research-based advocacy for art education.

The history of recent educational policies and their effects on the marginalization of art education in the public school system have coincided with the emergence of science, math, and technological education through the STEM movement. STEM, an acronym for science, technology, engineering, and math, is currently being emphasized in schools as a way to engage students in experiential, project-based learning to better prepare them with 21st century skills for career and economic purposes. The argument for art as an integral process for preparing students as innovative and creative thinkers, as well as the ways in which art overlaps with STEM subjects, is presented. The philosophy for integrated curricula that promotes art as a viable, valuable subject of its own merit is discussed and debated. Further, an inquiry-based strategy for teaching art integrated content is defined and examined.

The STEM+Visual Art curricular resource includes content derived from the study of these topics, including a philosophy for integrated curricula, catalogue of artist examples, lesson plans, and teaching resources. The research methodology involved critical feedback from teachers to shape the content and design of the resource. Further, pilot lessons were used to effectively evaluate whether the intended purposes of the lesson were clearly communicated by both the teacher and author. The outcomes of this process showed that teachers are willing to take time to plan and teach art lessons when resources are made available. The results emphasize the importance and need for art integrated resources such as this M.A. project. Last, recommendations for improvements and further study related to this topic are suggested.

Included in

Art Education Commons