The Value of Art Therapy in Schools: Collation by a Triangulation of Stakeholders’ Surveys

Thumbnail Image
Schellhorn, Mallory
Master of Arts in Art Therapy
Few school districts in the United States employ art therapy in the curriculum (Loesl, 2010).Children spend half of their days in school and their safety and wellbeing are critical to their learning. Art therapists provide social, behavioral, academic, and emotional support to children in school settings, so why is school art therapy not more prevalent? This research study was intended to shed light on the perceived value of a current art therapy program by examining surveys completed by the stakeholders of said program that document their knowledge, opinions, and beliefs concerning the art therapy program. Results of this quantitative survey research showed the majority of stakeholders had prior knowledge of art therapy, noticed positive changes in behaviors of the children involved in art therapy, and desired a permanent place for art therapy in the curriculum. Lack of funding and knowledge of the benefits of art therapy in a school setting were the primary reasons selected for low prevalence. Trends noticed in this research alluded to lack of communication and education between stakeholders concerning the current program. This researcher held the assumption that through this study, a better understanding of how art therapy is valued or critiqued in a school setting by critical shareholders and what works for this particular program could be applied and used to influence the implementation of more art therapy programs in schools across the country.