University of Missouri - Saint Louis

The Graduate School


An oral examination in defense of the dissertation for the degree

Doctor of Philosophy in Education

Heidi K. Lung
M.A. in History, August, 2003, University of Missouri- St. Louis
B.A. in Art History, May, 1997, Lindenwood University

Art on a Cart: A National Mixed Methods Investigation of Elementary Art Teacher Experiences and Perceptions



This study investigated the practice of elementary art teachers who utilize carts for the delivery of art lessons; to understand how the art on a cart practice influences art educators’ approaches to curriculum development and instruction; and to identify challenges, benefits, and best practices. The practice of art on a cart is defined as the practice of art teachers moving art materials on a cart from room-to-room, class-to-class, even school-to-school to deliver elementary art lessons in lieu of having students come to them in a dedicated art based classroom. A systematic literature review completed by the researcher returned no results of in-depth research on this topic, although the practice of art on a cart has existed for decades.
The sequential explanatory research design was completed in two phases. The first phase consisted of a national online survey focusing on the art on a cart practice and collected responses from 174 art educators who currently or in the past practiced art on a cart. The second phase focused qualitative data including interviews, observations, and photos with a subset of six teachers who initially participated in the online survey. Findings from these two phases produced detailed descriptions of how art teachers who travel on carts to deliver lessons navigate the traditional educational environment in nontraditional ways; the challenges they face in daily practice; how the art on a cart practice influences the way teachers approach curriculum, classroom management, and instruction; and the ways in which art on a cart practice alters and limits creative learning experiences for students. Discussion of results highlights the importance of awareness of the practice within the field and the need for support systems for teachers at both the local and national level.


Date: June 27, 2013

Time: 2:00-4:00 pm

Place: Sigma-Aldrich Science Education Lab (TLC-SA)


Defense of Dissertation Committee


E. Louis Lankford, Ph.D. (Advisor)

Karen Cummings, Ph.D.


Virginia L. Navarro, Ph.D.

Alina Slapac, Ed. D.