Date of Award


Publication Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name




First Advisor

Sefton, Terry


Art Curriculum, Art Education, Curriculum Implementation, Grounded Theory, Visual Arts




Every 7 years or so, the Ontario Ministry of Education publishes revised curriculum documents for a number of grades and disciplines. The purpose of this study was to explore the process of implementing The Ontario Curriculum, The Arts, Revised, 2010 in Ontario secondary schools. This work explored 20 teachers' perceptions and assessed the impact of a change in policy on their practice. Teacher agency provided the theoretical perspective that guided the construction, execution, and evaluation of the project. This study looked for a central phenomenon using grounded theory and involved 3 phases of data collection: survey, autoethnography, and interviews. Findings indicate that there are points of consensus between participants as well as points of departure. Differences between participants were largely along geographical lines, between those who work in the GTA and those who teach elsewhere. What emerged as the central phenomena from my findings is that study participants felt empowered to navigate curricular change as they saw fit, and that there was little consensus regarding appreciation of the 2010 curriculum revisions or how to integrate the latter into classroom practice. Four conclusions were drawn from this study. First, perceptions of curricular change and implementation efforts vary widely. Second, divisions appeared to exist between participants teaching art in the GTA and elsewhere in Ontario with respect to assessment and implementation of visual arts curriculum. Third, satisfaction with a revised curriculum could take a number of directions. Lastly, implementation of change fell across a spectrum from limited to considerable.