Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education (MAEd)


Art and Design

First Advisor

Dr. Melody Milbrandt - Chair

Second Advisor

Dr. Mariama Ross

Third Advisor

Dr. Paula Eubanks


AN INTERDISCIPLINARY APPROACH IN THE ART EDUCATION CURRICULUM By Terri L. Suraco Under the Direction of Melody Milbrandt ABSTRACT This study investigates how interdisciplinary lessons are taught in an art education classroom. The teaching strategies used are: Integrated models, the use of "Big Ideas" (Jacobs, 1989, 2003), the use of constructivist methods (Freedman, 2003; Brooks and Brooks, 1999; Milbrandt, 2004), and the use of essential question inquiry (Erickson, 1998; Mallery, 2000) and teacher collaboration (Jacobs, 2005; Erickson, 1998; NAEA, 2005). I am the only participant in an autoethnographical study. In the Literature Review: Why arts integration is important is explored. Positives and negatives of teaching integrated disciplines are addressed. I include four units from my interdisciplinary curriculum in art education and observations with teaching reflections from the units taught in elementary and middle school. The models that are described are: Parallel Disciplines, Multidisciplinary, Interdisciplinary, and Integrated (Jacobs, 1989, 2005: Mallery, 2000;). The study results reveal how interdisciplinary teaching can be implemented in an art education classroom. IDEX WORDS: Thesis, Interdisciplinary, Integrated, Art Education, Big Ideas