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A Multiple Case Study Examining Elementary School Art, Music and Physical Education Teachers’ Perceptions, Attitudes and Beliefs Related to Interdisciplinary Teaching Practice

Coudriet, Ashley (2013) A Multiple Case Study Examining Elementary School Art, Music and Physical Education Teachers’ Perceptions, Attitudes and Beliefs Related to Interdisciplinary Teaching Practice. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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K-12 public school reform in the United States over the last decade has increased educational accountability in reading and math and touted the importance of students’ acquisition of a 21st century skill set. Non-tested content areas, such as art, music and physical education have struggled to maintain their position within the curriculum. In many cases, art, music and physical education teachers have been asked to integrate content from the tested content areas of reading and math or to engage in pedagogical approaches that foster 21st century skills like communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity. This qualitative multiple case study examined both teacher and school principal perceptions, attitudes and beliefs regarding the role, practice and context of selected elementary art, music and physical education teachers in western Pennsylvania in supporting the current aims of public education. Purposeful sampling was used to select a total of 13 participants from three different western Pennsylvania public elementary school sites. Participants engaged in guided conversation interviews at each of the three sites. Additional data was collected during site visits, including teacher schedules, lesson plans, field notes, and other internal documents. Arts-based research methods were employed to analyze and present findings and conclusions. The findings of this qualitative multiple case study provide insight for consideration by school leaders, teachers, school board members, policy makers and administrators in establishing integrated art, music and physical education teacher practice that provides students with opportunities for relevant 21st century learning across the curriculum. Conclusions drawn from this research suggest that many of participants often perceive their content areas to be regarded as subordinate in comparison to tested content areas within their elementary school contexts. Participants’ interdisciplinary teaching practice was influenced by factors including: perceived curricular hierarchy, concerns with declining student creativity, awareness of school accountability requirements, self-efficacy, resources and principal support. Implications of this research suggest art, music and physical education teachers might explore new paradigms for integrated teaching practice, and that administrators and school leaders can support this effort by increasing the priority associated with these content areas to increase capacity and potential for student learning across the curriculum.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Coudriet, Ashley ajc145@pitt.eduAJC145
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee MemberCrawford, Patriciapcrawfor@pitt.eduPCRAWFOR
Committee MemberGunzenhauser, Michaelmgunzen@pitt.eduMGUNZEN
Committee MemberLongo, R. Gerardlongoj@pitt.eduLONGOJ
Committee ChairTananis, Cynthiatananis@pitt.eduTANANIS
Date: 13 May 2013
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 3 April 2013
Approval Date: 13 May 2013
Submission Date: 13 May 2013
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 282
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Administrative and Policy Studies
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: art education, music education, physical education, arts-based research methods, curricular integration, curriculum development, interdisciplinary learning, elementary education, 21st century skills, creativity, school accountability, school leadership
Date Deposited: 13 May 2013 17:34
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:12


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