Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education (MAEd)


Art and Design

First Advisor

Melanie Davenport

Second Advisor

Kevin Hsieh

Third Advisor

Jennifer Hamrock


The growth of developing young children is highly determined by the kinds of experiences they encounter in their social and cultural environment early on in their lives, and arts exposure in early childhood plays a crucial role in this process. Many children do not have access to such learning experiences – particularly in the case of young refugees who would spend the first few years of life in environments they are not familiar with. The visual arts can act as a tool that brings refugee children closer to meaningful and nurturing experiences that can facilitate their integration within the new host community. This thesis examined the role of the visual arts in the development of young refugee children, and various resources were explored to develop a process-based puppetry workshop designed to be implemented with preschool-aged refugees, aimed at supporting their growth with specific regards to the cognitive, communication, and social-emotional domains.