Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Abraham S. Fischler College of Education


Karen D. Bowser

Committee Member

Maria G. Mendez

Committee Member

Shery Bennett


Art Education and its Relevance to Broader Learning, At-risk Youths, Cultural Relevance in Education, Delinquency, Multiple Intelligence and Learning, Visual Geometry


The purpose of the study was to explore how a group of at-risk youth in a South Florida alternative high school experienced a freehand visual arts drawing lesson as a learning portal to the teaching of the basic principles of geometry. These young people were completely devoid of interest in and failed to understand basic geometrical concepts. This research examined the importance of perception, motor, cognitive, and language skills; socioemotional development; as well as ethnic and cultural reality as important variables that help to shape the learning competencies of young people. The writer embarked on a visual art approach to help students draw on their reservoir of unique abilities for the application of primary elements such as lines, shapes, and forms to develop concept-forming skills that lead to the balancing of environmental and operational expectations. This approach could foster the development of psychological conditioning and learning competencies with regard to the early artistic concepts of drawing, painting, modeling, or making objects. Such practice could advance the connections between visualization and conceptualization that are integral to developing the skills necessary for comprehending basic geometry. Data were gathered through interviews; a focus group; participant observation; visual materials; pre- and postintervention drawing and geometry activities; pattern matching; review of reflective journals; and nonverbal communication in addition to the drawing activity (visual materials) analysis. The participants described the exploration of the freehand visual arts drawing lesson on geometric objects with great enthusiasm. They were engaged in the activity and showed increased knowledge of geometry. All 12 participants indicated the drawing process helped their understanding of geometry.

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