Art & Art History ETDs

Publication Date



In the introduction of my thesis, I state what I believe to be the basic goals of education in his country today. One of the most important goals in education should be to teach the students how to use their imagination. This goal, I believe, has been greatly neglected. To back up this statement I cite examples from my own personal observation in the classroom. I also use my experience as a substitute teacher, in over twenty schools in the Albuquerque area to verify this point. In addition, I base my study on books and publications which pertain to this field. I then go on to define the word “imagination” to some length. This paper is based primarily on the type of imagination called “creative imagination”, which is included within this definition. The next phase of my thesis deals with the problems faced by the high school teacher, dealing specifically with the teaching of art. I point out later on in my paper how some of these problems can be turned around and used to the teacher’s own advantage in developing the student’s imagination. The teacher who teaches the student to use his imagination must himself be imaginative. I then describe the qualifications of the imaginative teacher and also the kind of metal atmosphere he must create in the classroom. The next part of this paper deals with establishing the art curriculum. This is done not by the teacher alone, but by the cooperative efforts of both teacher and students. The first class of any course is, I believe, the most important. This class should be utilized to encourage the students to develop their imagination, not to discourage it as is done in many schools. I also believe that the teaching of art history and technique is a good means of stimulating the student’s imagination. The past is studied not as an area to be imitated but as a basic foundation which can be improved upon. Different media of the past and present are also studied. In section II of my paper, I go into more specific ways of developing the imagination. I describe the processes of observation, subtraction, addition, and combination in art technique. I cite many examples of the past to support these points. I am also concerned with the student who is a natural “primitive” artist and the different techniques used to develop his imagination. The realms of the human mind are also covered in this paper. Dreams, visions, and meditation are utilized as a method of developing the student’s imagination. Past examples are also illustrated to verify this material. Reading and travel is also covered as a means of developing the imagination. Much subject matter can be found from both sources. The next part of my thesis deals with cartooning and its influence on the imagination. I then describe how emotion can help develop imagination. I give both medical evidence and historical (in the field of art) evidence for this statement. The paper concludes with a brief statement on imaginative art.



Document Type


Degree Name

Art Education

Level of Degree


Department Name

UNM Department of Art and Art History

First Committee Member (Chair)

Alexander Simeon Masley

Second Committee Member

Herbert Howard Hughes

Third Committee Member

Tom Wiley