Teaching M.A.

Year Approved


First Advisor

Wilson, Louise


This literature review focuses on the impact that art education and effective teaching practices have on inner-city students. Intensive research through case studies, literature, observations, and scholarly journals provided a thorough understanding of why art education is critical to urban schools, and how several art mediums such as Graffiti, Placed-Based, Ceramics, and Photography can be used to effectively reach students in these communities. Information was gathered to explore ways in which art educators can not only create effective lesson plans, but support the inner-city student by connecting to their culture, experiences, needs and future goals. The literature review will also explain some of the behaviors inner-city students display, and guide the reader in understanding these reactions and how to effectively respond. The study reveals that art education affects and supports inner-city students in various ways, providing a positive outlet for expression that can lead to community involvement and changes in their attitudes towards themselves and others. The average inner-city student is a person of color, and many who teach within these communities are also of color. Research proves that mentorship is a key component to being able to tap into a student's potential. The primary goals of this study are to provide art educators with approaches and techniques that inner-city students respond best to, along with a guide towards dismantling disengagement, embracing self-care, and creating meaningful connections with inner-city students through art.

Degree Name

Teaching M.A.

Document Type

Masterʼs thesis