College of Education Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

Spring 6-2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


College of Education, Doctoral Program

First Advisor

Mojdeh Bayat

Second Advisor

Luciano Berardi

Third Advisor

Rachel Harper


Art play in the field of early childhood education has been a subject, which is usually excluded from most early childhood curricula, because of a focus on common core subjects, such as literacy, math, and science. Any inclusion of art has been minimal and has not identified benefits concerning a child’s sense of self and self-identity. By reviewing the relevant literature, this paper argues for the value of art and art play in early childhood education and explores its implementation in an early childhood classroom. Using a qualitative methodology, this dissertation details a case study of three preschool children, using photography and textured painting during several art play sessions in a preschool classroom. The study attempts to answer three questions of 1) how children may describe their sense of self through the comments they make about themselves in photo images that they have produced themselves, 2) what they may say about themselves and others in the drawings that they have produced, and 3) how they might evaluate their own art work.