Date of Award

December 2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Art Education

First Advisor

Kim Cosier

Committee Members

Rina Little, Christine Woywod


art museums and pedagogy, k-12 Professional development, professional development in art museums, teaching through the arts, Third space art education, third space pedagogy


This ethnographic case study investigates the theory and practice of third spaces in relation to a

professional development program for K-12 teachers in an art museum setting, with emphasis on

arts-based programming, lived curriculum, contemporary art, and critical teaching strategies. I

investigate how museums negotiate the transition from a pedagogy of place towards a pedagogy

of third spaces. The questions guiding my study were: how a third space is valued by educators

and museum staff? What are the components, strategies, and methodologies that allow for the

emergence of third spaces in professional development programs? What does a third space

pedagogy offer to a place-based museum environment? I integrate my understandings of third

spaces with those of the study participants, privileging their voices while interweaving my story

with the collected data. Four overarching themes guide the analysis: Lived curriculum, decentering

the museum, negotiating knowledge, and intertwining of space, artworks, and pedagogy. The

study draws upon content analysis as a methodology to understand the emerging insights, patterns,

and stories that point at the enactment of third spaces in the museum’s professional development

programming. Data was collected over the course of a year from field notes, semi-structured

interviews with IEI teachers and LSG staff, and photo documentation.