Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Art Education

First Advisor

Dr. Pamela G. Taylor


In this thesis project, my intention was to integrate diverse high school courses with poignant subject matter to increase the amount of learning students can achieve. This unit plan explored a Prince George High School (Virginia) multi-class cooperative effort involving biodiesel production. The project involved creating a biodiesel refinery built by Production Systems classes according to plans purchased from the Internet. The research for converting used kitchen oil into biodiesel and the titration of the fuel was conducted by Chemistry classes. Graphics Imaging Technology students created a logo, a poster, and designed brochures that described the processes and benefits of this product. Marketing classes conducted consumer surveys and devised a product distribution plan.Graphic Imaging Technology, a Career and Technical Education course, has long been linked to art education. For example, graphic design students incorporate art in many phases of their design projects. Specifically, during their preliminary creative thinking, students sketch thumbnails of possible design solutions and regularly use their drawn or painted illustrations in their printed pieces. Additionally, film photography, which is commonly viewed as a fine art, has been used by graphic design students for several years. This art form has been replaced by digital photography in many design studios and school classrooms, but the principles of balance and composition remain the same.Other teaching strategies such as interdisciplinary study have also been introduced into graphic design and art class curricula. The rise in cross-curricular studies is indicative of the importance of varying the classroom instruction to offer the most diverse learning environment to students. Math and English are most often combined with unrelated classes in multi-discipline education, but regrettably, science classes typically are not. Since few fields of endeavor do not incorporate other disciplines, a multi-discipline class collaboration and unit plan which included high school Production Systems, Chemistry, Graphic Imaging Technology, and Marketing classes was developed.This project sought to establish a working relationship among various high school classes while providing a mutual learning environment. Additionally, disciplines that do not ordinarily interact with each other had the chance to take part in an renewable energy project that inspired new ideas and developed an increased consciousness of the environment.Finally, as students were involved in all facets of this biodiesel project, they experienced a working environment similar to the "real world". Establishing school-to-work programs that facilitate a smooth transition from high school to the work force is one of the main goals of the Prince George High School Career and Technical Education department. Students communicated their thoughts, worked together, and helped one another the same way as if they were employed at a business.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

June 2008

Included in

Art Education Commons