Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS)


Liberal Studies

First Advisor

Margo Mensing

Second Advisor

Beth Gershuny


Participation in the visual arts should be a pleasurable, vital learning experience for students with special needs. Art teachers without formal training are challenged by differentiating curricula for these special education students due to current teacher certification requirements. Art teachers of special education students strive to provide the most creative atmosphere possible while struggling to balance the demands of behavior management these children require. To understand this dilemma, this paper begins with an exploration of disability's integration into our education system and the impact of federal legislation on society's desire to teach everyone equally. It presents theories of creativity that will contribute towards a definition of the creative process that can be applied in a classroom environment. This paper concludes by offering instruction methods and strategies, with an emphasis on creativity, that have proved successful in teaching art to children with disabilities.