Organizational Characteristics and Curricular Structures of a Sustained Arts-Integrated Program in an Urban Elementary/Middle School
By: Shyla Rao
Published: 05/16/2012
Uploaded: 11/09/2017
Uploaded by: Pocket Masters
Pockets: 2012 (May) Teachers College Columbia University Ed.D. Dissertations, Gottesman Libraries Archive, Historical Dissertations
Tags: art education, Arts Integration, community of practice, Curriculum Development, distributes leadership, school leadership

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Description/Abstract: This case study explores the characteristics of a ten-year arts integration program in an urban public elementary/middle school that has sustained its practices and school vision. The researcher investigated relationships between school vision, organizational members, and school structures as they have changed over time. The grounded social constructionist case study utilized a constant comparative model of data collection and analysis. Participants in the study acted as co-analyzers of data, providing insights to the findings as they emerged from the researcher’s analysis. The data collection included interviews with twenty school community members, observations of school events,
analysis of historical documents, and personal and observational notes in the researcher’s
journal.

Findings (re)present the history of the arts integration program through the lens of a particular moment in time. Just as the researcher’s perceptions of the situation were dynamic throughout the data collection, analyses, and reporting of this study, so were the participants’. Key to this research is attention to the perspectives and identified roles of parents,
administrators, teachers, and structures within the school. Particular attention was paid to the social construction of knowledge within a community of practice created to support the vision of arts integration and academic excellence in the school. Aiding in the development of a school vision was a rhizomatic structure of leadership and supports. Integral to the community of practice was human and non-human “actors” influenced by one another in the development of arts integration at Winter Run.
This study aims to offer insight into school structures and curricular approaches that may impact the sustainability of arts integration programming in urban public schools.
Educational aims for this study are to provide a descriptive analysis of the sustainable characteristics of an arts integration program. While this case study may not be able to be generalized, it provides a list of factors for school leaders to consider when developing an arts-integrated program in a school.