Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


School of Education

First Advisor

Scot Headley, PhD

Second Advisor

Terry Huffman, PhD

Third Advisor

Mark Terry, MFA


The purpose of this phenomenological study was to examine the lived experience of seven undergraduate art students who created an original piece of Activist Art through a class assignment.

The researcher sought to hear participants’ stories and examine the artwork created to give meaning to their experience. The overwhelming response showed that undergraduate students wanted to tell their stories and looked inward to find personally powerful and relevant causes that they wanted to share with their classmates, and, in creating a lasting piece of artwork, with the world. The implications of this work suggest that art programs set up in an out-of-date Disciple Based Art Education (DBAE) curriculum that focuses on technical skills and not on visual communication with integration in social justice education are doing a disservice to their young artists. In developing a curriculum for undergraduate art majors, programs have effectively provided technique and media instruction in various courses to develop artists’ skills. The program doesn’t yet do enough to develop the artist’s sense of themselves as individuals with something to communicate visually. Teaching activist art or teaching courses with a project or unit embedded within the course that includes an activist art component would help contribute to undergraduate artists sense of themselves as individuals with ideas to contribute through their art.

Included in

Art Education Commons