Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




The purpose of this study was to investigate the nature of the relationship between the visual arts and the core subjects in American public education, and how this relationship has changed over time. Additional aims of the study included how visual arts educators have positioned the visual arts in relationship to the core subjects since the visual arts entered public education. An initial examination of the current state of art education reveals the tenuous position it holds in 8America's schools. After identifying the four dominant paradigm shifts in art education during the twentieth century, each paradigm was examined through the use of loose coupling as a conceptual lens. An analysis of the reasons for the shifts in paradigms led to the conclusion that the coupling of art education to the core curriculum has indeed fluctuated over time. Further conclusions were drawn regarding the coupling of art education to the core curriculum that include acknowledging both the frustrations and the benefits of loose coupling. Finally, recommendations were made for improved training in the values, beliefs, and practices of art education for all preservice teachers. The hope for this is not only an improved status for the visual arts, but to also open a dialogue that would allow for both disciplines to learn from each other and find resolutions for long-standing issues in both curricula.

Keywords: art education, coupling, paradigm analysis

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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