Paul Sproll

Paul Sproll led RISD’s Department of Teaching + Learning in Art + Design (TLAD) for nearly three decades and spearheaded its move to the Division of Liberal Arts. His professional work as a teacher educator centered on developing a progressive paradigm for curricular and pedagogical practice that deepened learners' understanding of the nature of art and design as conveyors of meaning. Throughout his career, a central focus has been articulating inquiry-based teaching practices that promote discovery, creativity, innovation, personal voice and play. In June 2021 Sproll was presented with RISD’s John R. Frazier Award for Excellence in Teaching. This award recognizes RISD faculty who have had an enduring influence on student learning.
Sproll’s longstanding commitment to engaged practice within K-12 contexts was inextricably linked to his college teaching. Throughout his career, he maintained an enduring interest in matters of social justice and access to education and displayed a passion for work at the intersection of formal and informal education. Dismayed by the inequities regarding students’ access to quality visual arts programming throughout Rhode Island’s urban-core city public schools, Sproll founded Project Open Door in 2005, a college access program for creative teens attending the state’s most under-resourced public high schools. And in 2015, the nonprofit Providence CityArts for Youth recognized his community-based practice with its Sister Ann Keefe Award for Creativity and Social Justice. His programming designed for K-12 educators and students attracted significant governmental and philanthropic grant support totaling over $2 million. Further, his expertise in reimagining curriculum, pedagogy and policies for art and design education within elementary and secondary schools led to numerous consultancy opportunities, including travel to Qatar, where he co-authored a set of guiding principles for the establishment of a high school for the visual arts and design in Doha. Sproll retired from RISD on July 1, 2022.

a photo portrait of RISD faculty member Paul Sproll
  • Paul Sproll’s CV
  • BA, The Open University
  • MA, The Ohio State University Columbus
  • PHD, The Ohio State University Columbus