An Examination Of Changes In Teachers‘ Attitudes, Teaching Practice, And Perceptions Toward Student Achievement As A Result Of Professional Development In Arts Integration




Spencer-Chapman, Betty Jean

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Many schools, nationally and internationally, have embraced arts integration as an effective instructional tool to increase students’ ability to acquire and retain information. Schools and school systems that embrace the integration of the arts into the core curriculum for grades 6-8 must provide professional development activities to assist their staff in the implementation of arts integration (McDonald & Fisher, 2002; Snyder 2001). The arts contribute to student achievement in many ways-- student engagement, motivation, and social skills (Catterall, 2002). Teachers, who effectively integrate the arts enjoy, increased student cognitive skills, participation, and attendance (Catterall, 2002; Horowitz, 2005; Rooney, 2004; Stevenson & Deasy, 2005). The integration of the arts provides an enriched learning and teaching environment where teachers facilitate meaningful and engaging activities that increase student achievement. The purpose of this research study was to identify changes in teachers’ attitudes, teaching practice and perceptions towards student achievement as a result of their participation in professional development activities related to arts integration. The data was analyzed to determine if there was a correlation between primary subject matter taught, total years of teaching experience, years at current school and frequency of attendance at cultural events, and teachers’ willingness to integrate the arts in their classroom. For the purpose of this research such an impact was studied using the Changing Education Through the Arts program (CETA) professional development program model. Arts Integration Impact Survey (AIlS) was developed to examine changes in teachers’ attitudes, teaching practice, and perceptions towards student achievement as a result of their participation in professional development related to arts integration. It was expected that that the survey would reveal pertinent information in these areas. Descriptive statistics, including frequency and percentages of responses distributions, means, and standard deviations, were used to report the profiles of participants and to provide a comparative representation of the findings for the research questions. Descriptive statistics also included bivariate correlations; multiple linear regressions were used to assess the relative value of each to the independent variables explicated in hypothesis 6 in accounting for the variance in teachers’ perceptions of the impact of arts integration on students’ achievement. A probability level of p<.05 significance was used in all inferential tests. Results showed that subject matter taught generally did not have an impact on teachers’ perceptions, except in the case of perceptions of arts integration in their classrooms, for which Math and Science teachers had more negative views. The main teacher characteristic that was related to perceptions towards arts integration in the classroom was the frequency with which the teacher attended cultural events.



Changes, Teachers', Attitudes, Practice, Professional Development, Student Achievement