Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Shaw, Carla C.||Townsend, Lucy, 1944-

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Teaching and Learning


Locke; Josephine; Art--Study and teaching--Illinois--Chicago


The purpose of this biographical study was to examine the development of the educational philosophy and practices of Josephine C. Locke, supervisor of drawing for the Chicago public schools, 1891–1900. The narrative focused on how an influential late nineteenth-century educator attempted to reform elementary education. Within the last decade of the nineteenth-century, Locke transformed drawing instruction in the Chicago public elementary schools by introducing ambitious ideas about self-expression to thousands of students. Locke was a spur in the side of traditional educators. Unlike teachers of the past, Locke placed the child's imagination at the center of art instruction while she discouraged teaching through imitation. Initially, Locke founded her early philosophy on Froebel's theories. Eventually, she moved away from instruction in industrial drawing for elementary children toward art education that allowed children to express their thoughts and feelings. Evolving attitudes and methods of art education are analyzed through the exploration of primary resources—annual reports from the St. Louis and Chicago public school systems, National Educational Association proceedings and addresses, and articles published in the Central Art Association's journal Arts for America. Also discussed is the culmination of Locke's work as represented by the school children's drawing exhibitions held at the Art Institute of Chicago and her later endeavors to reform education through movements like women's suffrage. The study concludes with commentary as to why some educational issues persist today—such as the prominence given to product and results rather than process and growth; deficiencies in teacher preparation in art; overcrowded classrooms which limit opportunities for individualized and hands-on instruction; dependence upon textbooks rather than child-relevant experiences; and insufficient importance given to the affective domain—even though Locke was once at the cutting edge of educational change.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [224]-246).


viii, 271 pages




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