Using art to differentiate instruction: An analysis of its effect on creativity and the learning environment

Heather Leah Ryerson Fountain, Purdue University


The field of education, in this age of accountability, is at a critical juncture in its history. Teachers and curriculum supervisors search for the tools they need to help students achieve increasing levels of academic success. They seek to feed the mind of all students, from all backgrounds and preparedness levels, and to nurture the physical, emotional, and social needs of their students. Both art and differentiated instruction have been shown to have significant benefits on student learning and emotional well being, but would a combined or united method of these instructional processes yield greater benefits for students? This study examined the effects on student learning when art and differentiated instruction are used to develop curriculum. The focus was on understanding how this method of instruction effects student levels of success as defined by the acquisition of creative thinking skills. It also considered the affects this type of instruction has on the physical, social, and emotional environment of the classroom. Results suggest a positive relationship between the use of art to differentiate instruction and the development of positive classroom environments where students enjoy learning. In addition, the results of this study show positive evidence indicating that creativity can be increased and that all students have the capacity to be creative.




Sabol, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Art education|Curricula|Teaching

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