Emily Drennon

Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Creative Arts


Art Education

Committee Chair

Terese Giobbia

Committee Co-Chair

Rhonda Reymond

Committee Member

Amy Schissel


This study compares the various curricula in place within art education classrooms in West Virginia. During the pivotal stage of development and height of creativity, children at the elementary level possess great creative abilities and innovative thinking. Thus, this study takes an in-depth look at the effect these curricula have on student creativity. Primarily, what effect does an open-ended curriculum have on the creativity of elementary art students? In this pilot study, both a closed curriculum, and open-ended curriculum-based lesson were exercised on a small group of first and second grade students in order to compare the visual, innovative, and creative differences in the processes and products of each individual curriculum. Using a rubric, a panel of art educators and practicing artists were asked to give their opinions on their perceptions of creativity in the products each of the different lesson plans produced. Panelists were not given any information on the participants or lessons used. They were simply asked which set of images they found to be more creative. The findings appeared to suggest that panelists found the open-ended lesson to produce the most innovative results, and thus supported an open-ended curriculum.