An Artful Habitat:Creating an Environment for Divergent Expression

Marilyn Edna Bambrough, Brigham Young University


Over the last century, teaching techniques and philosophies have changed extensively in the art classroom. Teaching methods have spanned a range that stretches from highly rigid, to self-expressive, more learner centered approaches. In recent years, there has been a resurgence of interest and research regarding the role of creativity in visual art education. This research project focused on the qualities of effective art instruction using elements from a number of historical ideologies, with the intent to study creative development in students. The research used a case-study methodology informed by a reflective, action research methodology. Research was used to determine effective engagement, and discover teaching strategies using fun and playful exploration that motivate students to be as creative as possible, discover what they are interested in, and engage them in their own artistic research. The application of this research is to inform and improve my own teaching practice, and to explore the qualities of effective learner centered art instruction for middle school age students.