Profile photo of Dr. Josh Thompson (he/him)

Dr. Josh Thompson (he/him)

Professor Early Childhood Education

Department of Curriculum & Instruction

Office Location: EdSouth 204

Office Hours: By appointment

Phone: 903-886-5537


Professional Vita

ECE 537 Creative Expression in the Arts

Course Description: This course explores the theory, content and practice of integrating the performing arts into the curriculum design and early learning environments. Emphasis is placed on aesthetic development of young children through play, visual art, music, movement and creative dramatics.

While this course ECE 537 Creative Expression in the Arts is a requirement for the M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education, this course content is also suitable to all graduate students pursuing high quality aesthetic experiences for all learners. Welcome!


The required textbook is a worthy investment, one we will use throughout the semester, and will help build competency for your future Masters Comprehensive Examination, and beyond into your professional life as an educator that infuses the Arts in your classroom.

Isenberg, J., & Jalongo, M. R. (2017). Creative Thinking and Arts-Based Learning (7th  ed.). Pearson, ISBN # 978-0134461120

This online class exists in D2L Brightspace, our Content Management System CMS

Read this article by Elliot Eisner, a proposition for aesthetic education to permeate every corner of our classrooms, and our lives. We will have discussion posts about this introductory article starting next week, due by the end of the month.

Let's meet via Zoom to discuss our Creativity. These virtual class meetings are optional, but pivotal in our work to build community and collegiality. Watch the posted videos if you cannot make it to our live synchronous sessions.

I wonder what you will create out of this class? How will your engagement and interaction transform your teaching? I am deeply honored and in awe that you included me in your path to become the best teacher of the arts for young Texans.


Literature Circle Book Club (Required: choose one):

Brown, B. (2018). Dare to lead: Brave work, tough conversations, whole hearts. Random House.

Cameron, J. (1992). The artist’s way: A spiritual path to higher creativity. TarcherPerigee.

Csíkszentmihályi, M. (1996). Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention. NY: Harper Perennial.

Dombrink-Green, M. (Ed.). (2015). Expressing creativity in preschool. NAEYC.

Duncan, S., Martin, J., & Haughey, S. (2019). Through a Child’s Eyes: How Classroom Design Inspires Learning and Wonder. Gryphon House.

Gray, P. (2013). Free to learn. Basic Books.

Heroman, C. (2017). Making & tinkering with STEM: Solving design challenges with young children. NAEYC.

Isbell, R., & Yoshizawa, S.A. (2016). Nurturing creativity: An essential mindset for young children’s learning. NAEYC.

Luckenbill, J., Subramaniam, A., & Thompson, J. (2019). This is play: Environments and interactions that engage infants and toddlers. NAEYC.

Pink, D.H. (2006). A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future. NY: Penguin Group.

Resnick, M. (2017). Lifelong kindergarten: Cultivating creativity through projects, passion, peers, and play. MIT Press.

Robinson, K. (2011). Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative. Capstone.

Singer, D., Golinkoff, R.M., & Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2009). Play = Learning: How Play Motivates and Enhances Children’s Cognitive and Social-Emotional Growth. NY: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0199733828


Required eTexts:

CCIE. (2016). Exchange Everyday. Redmond, WA: Childcare Information Exchange. Delivered five days a week containing news, success stories, solutions, trend reports, and much more. Enroll in ExchangeEveryDay, a daily electronic newsletter all about early childhood education. This will help you keep up-to-date with all things topical and pertinent in early childhood education. ExchangeEveryDay is the official electronic newsletter for It will be delivered to you five days a week bringing news stories, success stories, solutions, trend reports, and much more. To subscribe to ExchangeEveryDay go to

Copple, C. & Bredekamp, S. (2020). Developmentally Appropriate Practice. Washington, DC: National Association for the Education of Young Children. Available online:

Texas Education Agency. (2009). Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS).

Recommended Resources:

DeVinney, J., Duncan, S., Harris, S., Rody, M.A., & Rosenberry, L. (2010). Inspiring Spaces for Young Children. Lewisville, NC: Gryphon House.

Greenman, J. (2017). Caring spaces, learning places: Children’s environments that work. Lincoln, NE: Exchange Press.


1. Readings, Discussions, Quizzes, & Participation (whole class, small group, & Literature Circle Book Club)

2. Compile a digital notebook of ‘Arts for Children’ (and their teachers and families), opportunities in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Include a review of ‘Arts for Children’ events.

3. Write five reviews of journal articles (academic, scholarly, peer-reviewed) regarding Arts Education.

Identify a specific arts discipline and create a unit for young children. Present it in our class in three stages.

     4. Unit: Introduction (by Jan 31)

     5. Unit: Engaging Activities (by Feb 28)

     6. Unit: Documentation (by Mar 31)

7. Annotate 50 children's books, categorized by arts disciplines

8. Participate in Literature Circle Book Club

9. Final Summative Reflection

10. Create, make, do, craft, compose, choreograph, write, sing, sculpt, paint an original project.

Disclaimer: This site may contain links to web sites not administered by A&M-Commerce or one of its divisions, departments, units or programs. A&M-Commerce is not responsible or liable for the accuracy or the content of the linked pages.

Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional Valid CSS!