Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

William E. Doll, Jr


The Visual Arts Education Division of the Puerto Rican Department of Education is currently developing a plan for educational reform. One intent of this plan is to secure art programs within the core of curriculum reform. In my dissertation I establish the imperative need of historical research as the first step in so securing art programs. Without historical research, educational reforms could result in an idealization of purposes with uncritical adherence to tradition. Art education requires an analysis of its development on the island rather than a mere listing of the most prominent events. My study, the first of its kind, provides an overview of the field of art education in Puerto Rico from 1898 to 1990. It consists of a compilation and analysis of available written data on art education at the elementary grade level. Documents such as letters, annual reports, textbooks, and curricular guidelines have been used as the primary sources for this research. This material has been analyzed in relation to socio-political influences on educational decision making and how factors such as administrative, economic, and educational approaches affected the art programs over the years. This study discloses many areas of concern where further research is needed. It is hoped that this study will help in the development of educational reform by uncovering issues and promoting debate. This study can serve as a catalyst for further studies on the history of art education in Puerto Rico. It is my desire that a new body of knowledge regarding art education in Puerto Rico will emerge from the critiques and analyses of this work. From the issues and limitations raised in this study, I hope future research can embark on a new voyage into the discovery of Puerto Rican art education.