First Advisor

Richard Prasch

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Teaching (M.S.T.) in Art






Color -- Study and teaching



Physical Description

1 online resource (54 pages)


Color is with us everywhere, all the time. It is an integral part of our existence. Sensitivity to color and awareness of color's physical and psychological qualities is undeveloped in the normal, average human being. What can be done about this? Where can it be done? The answers to these two questions form the basis for this thesis. Color awareness as part of visual education and environmental sensitivity can be taught and should be taught in every educational institution. The key to BUCcessful instruction is informed, knowledgeable, color sensitive teachers and the exposure of students to workable color systems. Color instruction can be approached from many directions; an observation and study of nature, a research of man's uses of color, past and present, and the examination of the scientific aspects of color to name a few. All are expressed in some kind of color systems. Whether the systems are identified to the students is of less importance than the instructors having a good understanding of these systems to help guide the students to more complete color awareness.

Research for this thesis consisted of an examination of available material on color in the Portland area. In addition a questionnaire was given to all teachers at the elementary level and to teachers of Art, Science and Home Economics at the junior high and senior high level in a test school district to determine the color curriculum, at what grade levels color was introduced and the methods of introducing color. Also a color quiz was given to first year art students in one of the three high schools in the district to determine the amount of color knowledge or information retained from previous schooling. All instructional material in the same district was examined and evaluated.

The results from the questionnaire and the quiz indicated a lack of color awareness by the elementary teachers and, consequently, the students in first year art classes. This was felt to be in part due to the minimal Oregon state requirements in Art for elementary teachers, which therefore would result in inadequately trained teachers. The lack of acknowledgement of the importance of color awareness by faculty and administration were also prevailing influences.

This thesis is being written in the hope of enlightening teachers on the importance and necessity of color awareness and sensitivity at all grade levels.


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A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements.

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