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ERIC Number: ED532569
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 217
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1094-6509-9
Arts Integration: An Exploration of the Dis/Connect between Policy and Live(d) Practice
LaJevic, Lisa M.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The Pennsylvania State University
This dissertation explores the dis/connect between arts integration policy (i.e. written texts and curriculum documents) and the live(d) practice of teachers working with arts integration. Although previous studies have examined how arts integration is implemented in schools and how it affects student achievement, particularly standardized test scores, little qualitative research has focused on the lived practices of teachers working with arts integration and how such approaches are envisioned in schools. This study is unique as it concentrates on how elementary teachers' experiences, access to, and understandings of policy strongly affect how arts integration is organized, implemented, and measured. This study investigates why the arts are used primarily as decoration for the classroom, and when arts integration projects are planned, implemented, and assessed, the arts component is frequently diluted and deemphasized. Teachers continue to use the arts even though they have lofty expectations placed on them, especially in regard to pressures of teaching the prescribed school district curriculum document and working within the confines of the mandated state tests. This dissertation theorizes how misunderstandings of arts integration are perpetuated over time, and how these misunderstandings lead to un/certainty. Adopting a more felt approach to teacher education may help construct curricula that takes into account the ambiguity and un/certainty of teaching, the necessity of risk taking, and embraces arts integration in teaching and learning. The research study includes a textual analysis of written documentation on arts integration at a national, state, and local level and qualitative research in the field. Classroom observation, focus groups sessions, and teacher interviews regarding beliefs, practices, and training were conducted in order to understand the relationship between theory and practice. Furthermore, narratives are woven throughout the dissertation to highlight the voices of the researcher and elementary teachers. In the gaps between policy, beliefs and practice, generative discussions and curricular possibilities will be revealed that will impact arts integration, elementary education, and teacher education. Thus, this study presents an understanding of the un/certain space of dis/connect between official policy and live(d) teacher practice, and emphasizes the necessity of building a bridge between the two spheres. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A