Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Morgridge College of Education, Teaching and Learning Sciences, Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

P. Bruce Uhrmacher

Second Advisor

Paul Michalec

Third Advisor

Judy Marquez Kiyama


Aesthetic teaching and learning, College teaching, CRISPA, Perceptive teaching and learning, Teaching excellence, Undergraduate education


In times where only 60% of college students are graduating (NECS, 2018), the need to help undergraduates thrive in college is vital. Because faculty have a crucial role in this profound endeavor, this study examines the intentions (intentional curriculum) of four undergraduate instructors identified by colleagues and students as good teachers. The study also examines what students take away from their instructors and classes (received curriculum) and looks at how elements of the aesthetic approach to teaching and learning known as CRISPA emerge naturally in the curricula in order to demonstrate the proposition that good teachers, at any level, implement CRISPA intuitively. These topics were explored through instructor and student interviews and through artifacts analysis. The qualitative method of educational criticism and connoisseurship framed the study, which was guided by four research questions: 1) What are the intentions of these professors known for teaching well (intentional curriculum)? 2) What did students learn from these professors (received curriculum)? 3) How are aesthetic themes for CRISPA present (or not) in the intentional and received curricula? 4) What is the significance of studying good instructors through an aesthetic lens for this institution in particular and higher education in general?

Findings revealed that good college instructors are in fact, perceptive instructors (McConnell, Conrad, & Uhrmacher, 2020), who consistently exhibit eight main qualities: open-mindedness, heightened sense of awareness, caring, authenticity, a personalized educational experience, teaching the whole person, teaching with intention, and developing autonomy (McConnell, Conrad, & Uhrmacher, 2020). The study also revealed four common themes in the intentional curriculum: 1) Teaching humans, not just students: the teaching of the caring ones; 2) Teaching through authentic conversations: teacher as listener and interlocutor; 3) Meeting students where they are: the foot-in-thedoor pedagogy. 4) Teachers as life-long learners: the self-aware teacher. Also, three main themes emerged frocurriculum: 1) Reciprocal relationships: attentive care and individualized goals yield beyond-minimum results; 2) High demands with high support: encouragement, approachability, and helpfulness; 3) We matter: no regurgitation, but choice, relevant content, and valued opinions and feedback. Finally, the study shows that good instructors naturally implement all aesthetic themes of CRISPA in their teaching since they emerged in both, intentional and received curricula. The outcomes of this study provide evidence that might inform curricular decisions in higher education as well as faculty professional development opportunities in order to embrace a more meaningful education that helps students thrive.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Paula Adamo


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

372 pgs


Adult education, Pedagogy, Curriculum development