Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Siegesmund, Richard

Degree Name

Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)

Legacy Department

Department of Art and Design


Art--Study and teaching; Educational evaluation; Education--Study and teaching


Care is difficult to define, identify, and assess, which has led to a lack of focus on care in state standards, teacher preparation programs, teacher evaluation tools, and art education research. Engrossment, or an in-depth attention to another, is a key component of care. Engrossment is a part of care and care is part of aesthetics, which necessitates the study of engrossment in art education. Engrossment and care are very individualized based on the contexts and unique individuals involved. I utilized a modified version of Eliot Eisner's educational criticism as my methodology. Through three educational criticisms influenced by Nel Noddings theory of care, I explored caring high school art teachers' engage in engrossment and care within their practice based on interviews, observations, and supporting artifacts. All three teachers highlighted the importance of their individual contexts' influence on their care, the importance of building relationships through engrossment, and using their care and knowledge from engrossment to create individualized, valuable opportunities for their students. The focus on care at the secondary level was important, as care is more commonly accepted and talked about in elementary levels. Each teacher utilized and engaged in engrossment and care in different ways underscoring the need to avoid narrow definitions of performance criteria in teacher assessments. Based on my findings, I have provided specific recommendations for improvements to the Illinois Visual Arts Learning Standards and the Danielson Framework for Teacher Evaluation. Eisner's educational criticism provided a lens for making these improvements. Teachers should be encouraged to reflect on the role of engrossment and care in their practice, and given permission to become engrossed and care for their students. Additionally, the findings benefit art teachers through the suggested modifications to learning standards, while the improvements to the Danielson Framework are beneficial for all teachers.


Advisors: Richard Siegesmund.||Committee members: Steve Ciampaglia; Kryssi Staikidis; Amy Stich.||Includes illustrations.||Includes bibliographical references.


224 pages




Northern Illinois University

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