Year of Award


Document Type

Professional Paper

Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name

Fine Arts (Integrated Arts and Education)

Department or School/College

Creative Pulse Program

Committee Chair

Karen Kaufmann


acceptance, culture, experiential learning, photography, tolerance


University of Montana


As an educator, my role is not only to teach academia, but to also create lessons that encourage personal growth. My goal is to help my students find a new interest or perspective on life, and gain greater self-awareness and appreciation. Initially the objective of my final creative project was to introduce the art form of photography and have my students explore and document personal culture. My students used to exchange their photographs with students from other countries to make cultural connections. I wanted this electronic exchange to exhibit differences and similarities my students shared with students across the world. Though challenges presented themselves, I forged on, searching for new experiences that proved to teach deeper understandings. What started as a cultural diversity project, metamorphosized into a series of social tolerance and self-discovery exercises. The cultural lessons became the vehicle that taught the power of meta-cognition, empathy, self-expression, self-awareness, and self- esteem. My students inspired me by giving me hope and assurance that stepping outside the traditional box of teaching would produce results far beyond the expected. My two years with the Creative Pulse gave me the courage to dig deep, for the meaning of the material. I was empowered by the opportunities I created for my students and inspired to push my limits as a teacher. Through reflective writing and meta-cognition I have gained an understanding of the personal and professional growth that has altered me throughout the Creative Pulse Journey and forever enhanced my teaching style.



© Copyright 2010 Tami Rene' Thomas Mehus