Honors Theses

Date of Award

2019

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Department

Teacher Education

First Advisor

Kenya Wolff

Relational Format

Dissertation/Thesis

Abstract

In this thesis, I will address the perceptions of elementary school teachers on the use of arts integration as a teaching practice in their classrooms and how those perceptions impact student performance. Throughout my student teaching experience this year, I engaged in a reflective practice of making field notes as I observed, assisted with, and taught arts-integrated lessons in a kindergarten classroom. Additionally, I conducted one-on-one interviews with three in-service teachers at the rural Mississippi elementary school in which I was placed. I made this a mixed methods study by adding a third source of data via an online questionnaire taken by in-service teachers at the same Mississippi elementary school. I went through a process of coding and analyzing the data from both the personal field notes and the teacher interviews in order to establish the perceptions on arts integration, as well as the reasoning behind the perceptions, of both the in-service teachers and myself as a pre-service teacher. I analyzed the data from the questionnaire as well to create a more comprehensive understanding of the results of the study. Based on the findings, I highlighted ways in which teachers can learn to engage in the use of arts integration in their classrooms. I found that while teachers may perceive constraints that hold them back from using the arts, they do see a high level of value in using arts integration in order to improve students’ cognitive, social, and emotional skills.

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