Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Peter Kiriakidis


This researcher examined the relationship between visual arts programs and creative thinking skills of high school students taking a foundations of music course and an introductory visual art course. A gap existed in the current literature concerning visual art experience and creativity among high school students. This study was based upon the theories of Eisner, Gardner, and Csikszentmihalyi concerning creativity and art experiences. This researcher used a quasi-experimental, nonequivalent control group design. A convenience sample of 2 high school fine arts classes was comprised of 1 visual art class and 1 foundations of music class, giving a sample of 50 high school students. The visual art class was the treatment group that received visual art instruction. The foundations of music class was the control group that received no visual art instruction. Pre and post assessments were measured using the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking (TTCT) after 1 term of instruction. Data analysis using the t-test showed that a statistically significant increase was found in creative thinking skills among high school students with visual art experience. The findings could help educational stakeholders to improve visual art curriculum and to seek funding for visual art programs. The findings will lead to social change in high school art curricula as documented in the current literature to a deeper understanding of the importance of teaching subjects that encourage creative thinking at the high school level. Social change implications include: (a) increased funding for visual art curriculum that will lead to positive social change by enhancing student creativity; (b) encouraging further research on the importance of creativity skills among high school students; and (c) increasing community awareness of the necessity of creative thinking in the global economy and the value of visual art experience in helping students gain creativity skills.