First Advisor

Stewart, Connie K.

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Document Type

Action Research Project

Date Created



The classroom action research project was initiated when I observed in my classroom that inclusion of contemporary artists and their work influenced student engagement in the creation and completion of art assignments. Twelve fifth grade students participated in the study: six boys and six girls. The students completed an expressive self-portrait using materials of their choice after having been exposed to an art historical artist and four contemporary portrait artists. The students completed a pre-unit survey and a post unit survey. In process artwork was photographed to document engagement. Personal observation and a rubric were also used to evaluate engagement. According to students, engagement and creativity increased due to two factors; the inclusion of contemporary artists and freedom of choice in creating the self-portrait.


Arts-based research; Art education; Contemporary art


61 pages

Local Identifiers


Rights Statement

Copyright is held by the author.