Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Christina D. Chin

Second Advisor

William Charland, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Ginger Owen, M.F.A.


Choice-based art education, teaching for artistic behavior (TAB), discipline-based, art education, art

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


This thesis explores the benefits and risks of choice-based art education by examining the literature and conducting field research in two third grade art classrooms - one that employs a Teaching for Artistic Behaviors-based (TAB-based, a popular version of choice-based art education) approach to art education and another that adheres to a more discipline-based model. Findings related to student observations, student surveys, and parent survey will be presented within these two unique settings. These findings will be matched against claimed choice-based benefits of: increases in student engagement; instructional and learning shifts; and student engagement in authentic art practices. The findings will also look to assess risks associated with choice, such as: lack of self-directed behaviors; systemic adverse attitudes relating to choice; and difficulty in managing resources. This thesis will also provide suggestions given by advocates of choice as to how to mitigate risks and develop a successful choice-based classroom.