Robin Vande Zande

Robin Vande Zande

School of Art
Professor - Art Education
Contact Information


Dr. Robin Vande Zande is professor of art education at Kent State University. Her research and publications have focused on design education for PreK-12 grade students.  Currently, she has broadened her research to the future of education worldwide.  Her articles have been widely cited in the U.S., Turkey, China, Australia, France, Portugal, and Canada.  Besides her books, she has 16 referred publications, has been a keynote or featured speaker for over 30 national or state events, has presented over 55 juried papers and has been an education committee member for the National Building Museum, Washington, DC; for the Fallingwater Museum, PA; and a consultant for the Wescott House in Springfield, OH.

Her book, Design Education: Creating Thinkers to Improve the World (2016), is a resource on teaching design to PreK-12 students. Her second co-authored book entitled Teaching Fashion will be published in early 2020. Robin is also co-editor of the 4 volume Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference for Design Education Researchers.  She chaired the International Conference, LearnXDesign2015: The 3RD International Conference for Design Education Researchers and Design Educators, hosted by the School of the Art Institute in Chicago, Illinois. Thirty-six countries and 120 institutions were represented that year.

More recently, Robin chaired the International Symposium, Re-Designing Education to Shape a Better World in Florence, Italy, with 40 chosen delegates from 13 countries in 2019.   Following the symposium, she lead a small curriculum team to develop an education plan from the symposium conceptual framework.  The third part of this initiative is to work with researchers who will conduct studies on research strands that emerged from the symposium work.  The research studies will be reviewed to be included in an edited book. 

As Chair of the Design Issues Group of the National Art Education Association, she spearheaded the movement to include the teaching of design in art education. Her efforts were instrumental in the inclusion of design in the National Art Education Standards (2014). She was a consultant to lead the South Carolina writing team to develop the first stand-alone design standards in the country. Robin is co-founder/trustee of DESIGN-ED, with the mission to develop support for design education at national/state levels. 

Robin was a consultant and speaker for a design education research project at the Universidad del Bio-Bio, invited by Gabriel Hernández Martrou, Director Departamento de Artes y Tecnologías del Diseño, Chile (2019). She has facilitated design thinking workshops, in school districts locally, in many states, and internationally to include Turkey and Chile schools.  

She has been honored with national awards that include:  National Distinguished Fellow for the National Art Education Association (2018), National Higher Educator of Art Education award (2018), the Western region (19 states and Canada) Higher Educator of Art Education award (2018), and Design Educator of the year by the Design Issues Group of the National Art Education Association (2014).  In Ohio, she was awarded Higher Educator of the year by the Ohio Art Education Association (2017) and Northeastern region Higher Educator (2017).  Kent State has honored her with a Distinguished Teaching award (2017) and the Kent State President’s Faculty Excellence award (2018).  Robin has been selected as a Fulbright Specialist, 2019-2022. Robin currently serves as Vice Chair of the Faculty Senate at Kent State University.

Art Education Programs


Design Education, Design Thinking, design principles and practices, prek-12 design education

Research Institutes and Initiatives

Environmental Science and Design Research Initiative