The Master of Arts (MA) in Art Education is an individualized program designed for art education professionals who are dedicated to understanding, interpreting, and positioning themselves in relation to the language, theory, and social context of the arts and visual culture. Students in the program prepare to become exemplary facilitators and designers of active learning in schools, museums, cultural institutions, alternative community settings, and interactive media.

In keeping with the critical and diverse role that the arts and visual culture play in society, MA in Art Education students investigate the dynamic relationship between personal experience, professional goals, art education, and the public sphere. The students who pursue this degree become versed in current issues in areas such as cultural diversity, critical pedagogy, media literacy, feminist educational practice, arts advocacy, and school reform. The culminating thesis project combines critical inquiry and social engagement with students' past and present experiences. Students approach their thesis through a variety of methods of inquiry and forms of documentation, including organizing exhibitions, developing and implementing curriculum, and using digital technologies.

Each year, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago celebrates the culmination and closure of students' studies at the master's level. In studio areas, the celebration takes place in the form of the thesis exhibitions, while the academic areas complement this with the thesis abstracts publication. This thesis abstract collection gathers and showcases thesis research undertaken in six programs: Master of Arts in Arts Administration and Policy; Master of Arts in Art Education; Master of Arts in Modern and Contemporary Art History; Master of Arts in Art Therapy; Master of Arts in Teaching; and Master of Science in Historic Preservation.


2013 Thesis Abstracts

Sophia Cho
Social media in art museum teen programs : exploring the issues of voice, time, immediacy and control

Li Christoffersen
Meta-cognition and the use of reflective inquiry in the art classroom

Paola R. Deguzman
Diverse perspectives for a more inclusive institution : museum professionals use of museum security officers perspective

Joshua D. Derbas
Learning in comfort : leisure learning within the museum café

Nick Franco
Going mobile : the adolescent journey through the art museum

Gina Elizabeth Fulgieri
New perspectives : theater and rehabilitation for detained youth

Chia-Chen Hsu
International art education : cosmopolitanism, cultural hybridity and third space

Roberta Jean Molyneux-Davis
A guide to "formless growth" : democratic educational space critically transforming Chicago's monumental public art

Jennifer S. Thomas
Communication and collaboration through art : advocating for the rights of students with developmental disabilities

Joslyn S. Winkler
Craft and fiber art : supporting meaningful connections, collaborations, and investigations

Raphaelle Joann Ziemba
Ecstatic connections : phenomenology of the body in art practices and arts education


2012 Thesis Abstracts

Vivian G. Alvarez
Where there is hardship, there is critical thought : teen [autobio]graphic novels and healthy dialogue on morbid curiosity

Mary Claire Angle
Museum partnerships with children's hospitals : bringing the enrichment of art to pediatric patients and families

Christine Bespalec-Davis
Defining safe : the role of the personal narrative and artmaking in transformative community education

Catherin Ryan Brody
Globalization in art education : how educators and students respond to visual culture by exploring identity

Kristen Cleaveland
Autophotography and writing

Heather Joy D'Andrea
Families learning in the art museum : young children exploring art through story creation

Nathan Adam Dorotiak
Understanding curriculum as sexuality text : a conceptual mapping through theorized autobiography

Jill A. Kramer Goldstein
More than just pretty pictures : critical, meaningful  socially engaged printmaking with pre-teens

Lauren E. Goldstein
Photography and autoethnography : the role of currere in processing memories of abuse

Kris Derek Hechevarria
Pedagogical perspective in the museum : the importance of an educator's voice in the creation of wall labels

Bailey Jacobson
Dialogues with visual art educators on social-emotional learning : advocating for art education in a period of increased school standardization

Meredith M. Martin
Autism and art museums : a call for new accessibility programs and resources in art museums

Regina Rathell
Investigating the experiential components within the artist's making process

Abigail Esther Rudner
Building meaning : a critical exploration into 21st century learning through digital design and storytelling practices

Heather Lynn Smith
Re-casting "at risk" : reinterpreting adolescent resistance as an informative act of critical engagement

Dawi Son
Critical multiculturalism and the role of smartphone photography in social networking services : focusing on third culture kids

Mary Gallagher Warbelow
Meaning making through the arts : integrating arts-based programs in juvenile detention

Amber Yared
Eluding identification : defamiliarizing the space of education and the role of educators


2011 Thesis Abstracts

Kevin B. Blake
My place in space : an autoethnography

Joanne K. Easton
Critique inquiry : investigating the pedagogy of doubt and imagination in the first-year art school studio critique

Cheryl-Ann Fakes
Addressing historical amnesia through artistic practice : visualizing trans-cultural narrative art education through a Japanese folding screen

Alexandra Britell Franke
Understanding place through the embodiment of knowledge : a teaching practice for art education

Courtney Lynne Franko
Museums and the digital kid : children and museums in the age of technology

Michelle E. Green
Educate, empower, engage : social justice and community building in youth arts programs

Rachel L. Slusarczyk Harper
I see you, I see me : very young children learning art the encyclopedic art museum

Joseph Gerard Javier
Tagalog(ue) : investigation ethnic identity with Filipino American artists and Filipino cultural programs

Rebecca Lederman
Articulations : a look at elementary school children's engagement and expressions of emotion through an arts integration program

Marvinlee E. May
Exploration of design and digital media in higher education : a journey in comics

Robert Sebanc
The pedagogical self : the teac[h]ing artist bringing pedagogy with the self from the studio to the classroom

Jessica E. Tate
Addressing the casual use of oppressive language in the school environment through critical art making

Elizabeth Yohlin
Pictures in pictures : art history and art museums in children’s picture books


2010 Thesis Abstracts

Ewa Bloch
Talking stories : students' perception of personal history through visual and oral narratives

Meredith Eastburn
Becoming what you practice : re-framing the dynamic work and roles of teaching artists

Misha Renee Ferguson
When the students get it exploring successful pedagogies with art, design, and social justice

Elena Ulias Goetz
The pedagogy of talk : understanding the intellectual kinship between teens and contemporary art

Kristan M. Hanson
Hospitality and the unexpected : concepts for opening curricula to risk-taking and moments of difficulty during family gallery tours in encyclopedic art museums

Carolyn Edna-Mary Mullany
Craffiti : craft as a tool for engagement

Manuel F. Sanchez
Art with training wheels : a unique approach to adult art education

Junko Sano
That's not my name : exploring cultural identity and critiquing stereotypes

Lauren V. Yockel
Teens as museum learners : how high school students make personal meaning on docent-led art museum tours


2009 Thesis Abstracts

Heather Dexter Havenga Chelmecki
If they're going to tell me what to see, what's the point? : inviting teenagers to engage with and interpret museum art

Auburn Elizabeth Ellis
The Negro experience : taking a critical look at equity

Meghan E Fritz
A platform for democracy : online visitor voice in art museums

Brianna M. Johnson
More than snapshots : challenging the metanarrative of war through the photography of veterans

Kimberly J. Marshall Pancoast
Inside the box : mobilizing objects, materials and responsiveness

Avital Paul-Benshalom
Social justice education and art programs for seniors : a sea of creative op[p]ortunities

Diana L. Sanderson
Finding an art center's potential in leisure art-making and women's conversation

Matea Varvodic
Theatre as weapon : social justice activism through community-based arts


2008 Thesis Abstracts

Celina M. Aguilar
Collaboration at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Katharine A. McLeod
Collective action : understanding working dynamics in collaborative projects offered at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago


2007 Thesis Abstracts

Margaret Carsello
The spirit of folk art in a changing global market : an ethnographic study of indigenous women folk artists

Elizabeth D. Hoffman
Teaching globalization through contemporary Chinese art

Lisa N. Junkin
Lessons of love : adolescent girls exploring intimate relationships through critical media literacy and identity-based art making

Thomas Y. Lau
Gaming culture : the state of play in video games through race and gender

Carol Ng
Performing identity : experiencing immigration through contemporary performance art practices


2006 Thesis Abstracts

Jennifer Anderson
Co-excavating the past : teaching art through personal stories

Marissa Howard Baker
Wandering restlessly : a collected story of convergence

Jennifer Dominiak
Sharing Chicagoland : women, history, and the built environment

Amy Gerber
Re-presenting : from Chicago to ACCRA : an international exchange of youth self-representations

Sue Ellen Greer
An Exploration of Flexible art education methodologies within specialized secondary settings and reflections on prescriptions for individualized teaching

Rosemarie Garcia Hills
Multicultural Intervention Activism : an introduction and invitation

Glennda Jensen
Teens + museums : giving teens a voice in the museum through teen-centered programming

Kim Koin
The museum as family resource : how families use family art programs at Chicago Children's Museum

Kate Loague
CollaborAction : a conscious unpacking of art educators' intent within collaborative practice

Megan Elizabeth Pahmier
Wandering restlessly : a collected story of convergence


See also: 2004-2005 Thesis Abstracts