First Advisor

Stewart, Connie K.

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Document Type

Action Research Project

Date Created



This thesis considered how the art making process can help foster a stronger sense of self in an individual. This investigation was carried out as an action research study with high school students at a therapeutic boarding school. The purpose of this study was to explore ways to help the troubled teenager, who struggles in finding their identity, to foster a better sense of self. It is through the art making process, with a positive work environment, a medium of exploration, and introspective questions, that a student can begin to have insight on themselves and who/what they identity with in this world. In the future, I plan to carry out these methods of teaching to further help the struggling teen who is having a hard time finding their individuality. Art can be an expression of self and help shape one’s character. This study uncovered the sometimes-hidden truth of what is important to an individual, their experiences, fears, hopes, and desires, portrayed through visual and written language.


Art education; Sense of self


96 pages

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Rights Statement

Copyright is held by the author.