Date of Award

Spring 3-30-2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership for Learning Dissertations


Educational Leadership

Committee Chair

Dr. Susan Padgett-Harrison

Committee Chair/First Advisor

Dr. Albert Jimenez

Second Committee Member

Dr. April Munson

Third Committee Member

Dr. Arvin Johnson


Arts integration is a research-based strategy that has revealed positive outcomes in student achievement (Catteral,1999). In this study student achievement is described as students acquiring knowledge, skills, attitudes, and learning behaviors that will prepare them to lead successful lives. Studies have discovered that arts integration, an interdisciplinary method of connecting two disciplines supports to transform the learning environment. Students’ attitudes towards learning particularly for students of disadvantaged backgrounds has fostered self-efficacy, student engagement, attendance, motivation to learn, and improving school culture and climate (Stevenson & Deasy, 2005; Walker, Tabone, & Weltsek, 2011).

The purpose of the qualitative study was to examine the impact of arts integration as an instructional strategy on fourth-grade students at two elementary schools awarded a federal grant funded through the Arts Educational Model Development and Dissemination (AEMDD) project. The grant was supported by ArtsNow a nationally recognized leader of arts integration. ArtsNow designed and delivered the arts integration professional learning.

The study also sought to investigate teachers’ perception of arts integration and the transfer of teacher professional learning to student achievement. The qualitative data surveyed teachers’ perception on the benefits of the professional learning impacting teacher practice resulting in student achievement, interviews to document experiences

with arts integration and classroom observation to record the transfer of art integrated strategies to classroom practice.

Results suggest that arts integration enhances the learning experience for students and teachers. Teachers credit the use of arts integration for increased student self-efficacy, motivation and critical thinking skills. Teachers also recognize arts integration as building their repertoire of instructional strategies. The finding suggests arts integration may lead to improved student learning.


The study sought to assess the impact of arts integration on student achievement, described as students acquiring knowledge, skills, attitudes, and learning behaviors that will prepare them to lead successful lives. Additionally, the study explored teachers’ perspective of the ArtsNow professional learning sessions, and its transfer to classroom practice and influence on student outcomes.