Date of Award

Spring 5-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Scot Danforth, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Lilia D. Monzó, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Penny S. Bryan, Ph.D.


This study examined the experiences of four teachers who participated as mentors in a teacher-designed and -implemented creative community at a middle school in southern California. Using the arts-based research methodologies of poetic inquiry, narrative inquiry, and painting, the researcher explored how teachers experience teaching and learning when they deconstruct structures that perpetuate standardization and choose to approach education as a place of yes, freed from the parameters of mandated curriculum, the idea of education as product, and high- stakes accountability measures. The study revealed that the qualities of the creative community had a humanizing effect on its participants, allowing these teachers to transcend toxic school culture, oppressive educational structures, and ideological and spatial faculty divisions, and allowed the participating teachers to connect with one another on professional and personal levels.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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