School of Education
Doctor of Philosophy in Education (PhD)
adverse childhood experiences, art educators, emotional and behavioral disorders, motivation, self-determination, therapeutic art practices
Arts and Humanities | Education
Cox, Christina Marie, "Motivation within the Inclusive Art Classroom: A Phenomenology on Engaging Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders" (2023). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 4844.
The purpose of this transcendental phenomenological study was to describe the experiences of K-12 art teachers motivating students with emotional and behavioral disorders within the Central and Eastern Regions of the United States. The theory guiding this study is Ryan and Deci’s self-determination theory which guides the understanding that students with emotional and behavioral disorders whose psychological well-being is supported by their art educators may develop higher motivation and reach their full creative potential. As this study was designed to describe the lived experiences of K-12 art educators who have enhanced motivation in students with emotional and behavioral disorders, the following central research question helped provide a structure for this study: What are the experiences of K-12 art educators motivating students with emotional and behavioral disorders within the art classroom? A total of 14 art educators ranging from charter, private, and public schools participated in this study. The settings for this study were in the Central and Eastern Regions of the United States and conducted via Zoom. Art educators were at home or in their art classrooms during the Zoom meetings. The data collection consisted of semi-structured interviews, journal prompts, and focus groups. This study used the process of phenomenological reduction and imagination variation, followed by a data synthesis to identify themes. From the analysis of the data collection, a total of five themes were developed: (a) art educator concerns, (b) gaining understanding through experience, (c) creating a safe environment, (d) building motivation, and (e) therapeutic art practices.