on sabbatical academic year 2021/22
Paul Sproll is dedicated to the development of progressive practices in art and design teaching and learning in K-12 schools and community-based settings. His teaching and research centers on inquiry-based pedagogies for art and design education, and he is a longtime advocate for expanding the K-12 visual arts curriculum to include design and design thinking.
Sproll is committed to educational reform, especially in urban public high schools. His professional practice has increasingly involved work at the intersection of formal and informal education and particularly in the arena of expanded-day and summer learning. He directs Project Open Door—a RISD initiative housed in the Teaching + Learning in Art + Design department—which provides creative teens attending Rhode Island’s urban core public high schools with access to high-quality studio-based learning opportunities. He has received grants in support of these initiatives totaling over $1.75 million from organizations ranging from the National Endowment for the Arts to the Surdna Foundation, the Angell Foundation, the Nellie Mae Foundation, the Hasbro Children’s Fund as well as many others. Sproll is a regular presenter at national forums on art and design education and frequently serves as a curriculum consultant and adviser. In June 2021, he was presented with RISD's John R. Frazier Award for Excellence in Teaching, an award that recognizes RISD faculty who have had an enduring influence on student learning.