Date of Award

Summer 8-12-2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education (MAEd)


Art and Design

First Advisor

Melanie Davenport

Second Advisor

Melody Milbrandt

Third Advisor

Kevin Hsieh


The purpose of this study was to gain insights into the educational system in Finland, where art seem to be valued, and America, where it seems to struggle. I first studied how policies that promote a business-like ideology and standardized testing in schools have impacted art education in the United States. Then I investigated Finland’s educational system, which does not rely on standardized testing to monitor student learning and teachers. During my research I noticed that Finland uses a noncompetitive approach to education, which I assumed was connected to the art Folk School that originated in Denmark and moved throughout Europe. Based upon this information, I anticipated that art education was valued more in Finland than in the United States. I also anticipated that Finland’s educational success had a connection to its non-competitive system and its inclusion of the arts. In order to explore this idea, I investigated Finland’s approach to art education by interviewing Finnish professionals in the art education field.