This independent study investigates the possibility for interaction between art and history in elementary school curriculum. An analysis of current education initiatives at the federal level establishes the need to create a more effective history—or, its counterpart at the elementary level, social studies--curriculum. Since other subjects–such as English, math, and science–are assessed at the national level, while history is not, this subject is often under-emphasized in order to meet learning targets in these other subjects. A study of educational theorists, such as Piaget and William Blake, establishes the potential for the study of history with students at lower stages of cognitive development through the integration of art. Using this art implementation in the social studies classroom, a model is provided through the development of a unit and its defense, along with a discussion of existing curricula with relevant appeal. Finally, the opportunity for extension through field trips to art museums is explored through a discussion of the resources these institutions offer, such as our case study, the Frist. Though the integration of art history and social studies is not yet commonplace, this independent study seeks to exemplify the potential for increasing student outcomes in history that this practice offers.


Cosgriff, Tracy


Art and Art History

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis Exemplar


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