Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Middle-Secondary Education and Instructional Technology

First Advisor

Melody K. Milbrandt

Second Advisor

Peggy Albers

Third Advisor

Melanie Davenport

Fourth Advisor

Michelle Zoss


Caring is an essential part of any classroom environment, but most investigations about caring in schools do not include the voices of art educators. How art teachers perceive and model caring has not been addressed in previous literature. Looking through a theoretical lens shaped by Dewey, Vygotsky, and feminist theory, specifically an ethic of care, this study examined three elementary art teachers' caring practices and beliefs. Narrative analysis was used to find connections and points of departure in the participants' stories of caring in their classrooms with existing literature. By sharing art teachers' stories of caring, the findings from this study can add to previous understanding about how educators craft caring environments for their students.