Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Morgridge College of Education

First Advisor

P. Bruce Uhrmacher, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Sharolyn Pollard-Duradola

Third Advisor

Bin Ramke


Aesthetic themes of education, Art museum, Curriculum, Early childhood, Educational criticism, Empowerment


This research project serves to identify a set of conditions leading to engagement for four- and five-year-old students in an art museum summer class. Utilizing Eisner’s theory on qualitative research, educational criticism and connoisseurship (1998), the researcher interviewed, observed, and received responses to a questionnaire in order to describe, interpret, and analyze the educational event of the summer class. By identifying the intentions of the class, the report describes a set of three objectives acting as a foundation for the classes’ implementation - comfort, empowerment, and connection to collection. Based on analysis of the implementation of these aims, as seen in the classes’ structure, curriculum, and pedagogy, a set of themes related to the conditions of a class that led to engagement emerged including relevance and connection, risk-taking, imaginative thinking, multi-sensory engagement, and active participation. The themes align with Uhrmacher and Moroye's (2010) aesthetic themes of education therefore identifying their application to the art museum summer class context. This study contributes to a greater discussion in the field of developing programming for early learners in informal learning environments, and demands further research of the use of this set of intentions and the application of Uhrmacher and Moroye's (2010) perceptual teaching framework to additional museum program models for young children.

Publication Statement

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

Rights Holder

Kristina N. Mahoney


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

137 p.


Early childhood education, Art education, Museum studies

Included in

Art Education Commons