Date of Award


Degree Name



College of Liberal Arts

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Susan C. Power

Second Advisor

Leonard J. Deutsch


The primary objective of this study is to examine the possible advantages of incorporating the principles and strategies of whole language to a secondary art education curriculum. Reading, or the process of decoding symbols, is an integral part of the learning process. It is particularly pertinent to the three academically oriented components of Discipline-Based Art Education: art criticism, art history, and the study of aesthetics. The holistic strategies promoted by the whole language movement, may be characterized by an emphasis on written responses and experience-oriented, student-centered curriculum. This approach is expected to enhance the DBAE curriculum.

The possibility that primary instructional strategies would influence subsequent instruction was evaluated through a student survey. The participants were a homogeneous group of students from Harts High School, Harts, West Virginia. A strong correlation between prior exposure to holistic instruction found in whole language and success with an art program utilizing the holistic approach as associated with the whole language model was anticipated. However, the holistic influenced art activities were retained by a significantly greater number of students with a phonic background. This information suggests that holistic instruction may be advantageous to the art curriculum, especially since a majority of students will come from a phonics background. This fact alone warrants further study of such an application.


Art – Study and teaching.

Education – Curricula.

Education, Humanistic.