Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership



First Reader/Committee Chair

Murillo, Enrique


The purpose of this study is to understand the experiences of an art teacher implementing art education with creative learning principles to cultivate students’ creative self-efficacy and divergent thinking at one middle school in the Inland Empire located in Southern California. The research continues to focus on how self-efficacy and divergent thinking cultivate through the process of art creation through project-based learning (Puente-Díaz & Cavazos-Arroyo, 2017). An art education is not a requirement for students to receive throughout their PK-12 general education in low socioeconomic schools due to an emphasis on the general education curriculum to focus on high-stakes standardized testing (Wexler, 2014). For students in California, one art course is a requirement to graduate from high school (California Department of Education, 2020). The framework of this study uses critical race theory and critical pedagogy to examine students in low socioeconomic communities and inequitable opportunities to cultivate self-efficacy and divergent thinking when compared to more affluent communities (Puente-Díaz & Cavazos-Arroyo, 2017; Reichelt et al., 2019).