Author ORCID Identifier

Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Fine Arts


Art and Visual Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Allan Richards


Many current social and emotional learning (SEL) programs cite building trust as a key factor to an effective SEL program. Despite these references, however, they often lack an emphasis on teaching methods of building trust between students and their peers, the teacher, and the environment. Instead they focus on a specific aspect of teaching like the procedural practices of Responsive Classroom or communication and open-mindedness as in Open Circle. Explicitly building trust, however, could create an art classroom atmosphere conducive to high quality learning. This paper analyzes current trends in social and emotional learning and outlines the characteristics of the Trust-Based Classroom, an SEL program I have developed herein to address this deficit. Although creating the right environment to build trust can be difficult, recognizing, implementing, and evaluating methods of creating a trusting atmosphere, encouraging students to create individualized concentrations, emphasizing process over product, and encouraging collaboration and communication could teachers in their efforts of creating an artistic environment rich with learning. The Trust-Based Classroom focuses students on individualized, strengths-based, social and emotional learning where students and teachers alike are working to build trust between themselves and their environment.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)