Date of Award

11-8-2009

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)

Degree Program

Global Leadership - with a specialization in Education

Department

College of Education

First Advisor

Adam Kosnitzky

Second Advisor

Heather Butler

Third Advisor

Leslie Wasson

Abstract

The National Commission on Excellence in Education (1983) published A Nation at Risk to relay the academic performance level of American students. The results revealed that Americans students were performing considerably below other countries. Consequently, accountability through testing became the focus for policy makers to promote educational reform and educational equality (Linn, 2000). The focus on testing, however, has hindered student achievement and led to more (a) social promotion; (b) remedial courses; (c) retention rates; (d) teachers leaving the field; (e) dropout rates; and (f) invalid achievement results (Hoffinan, 2001).

As more schools have reassigned staff members to meet the demands of testing and have altered the school curriculum to cover the academic standards being tested, art programs and teachers have been removed from schools across the nation. The elimination of the arts in the curriculum, nevertheless, has not proven to be a remedy for improving student achievement. The average reading score for fourth and eighth graders has only increased by two points, since 2005 and four points compared to the first assessment 15 years ago (National Assessment of Educational Progress, 2007).

The literature review on the impact of the arts on learning clearly supports the implementation of the arts to improve student achievement and the overall quality of education. The results of one particular research study at UCLA revealed that students involved in the arts were more successful in school than those who were not involved (Caterall et al., 1999).

The theory of multiple intelligences (Gardner, 1999) encompassed the essence of the creative genius of artists. People were more inclined to learn when involved in an activity for which they have talent due to the arts: (a) providing powerful points of entry; (b) offering models; and (c) providing multiple representations of the central idea (Gardner, 1999).

The gap in the literature suggested that researchers had not explored the impact that the multiple intelligences of teachers had on the effectiveness of learning, which in turn, could raise student achievement. The purpose, therefore, of this non-experimental study was to examine whether the multiple intelligences of art and non-arts teachers, measured by the Multiple Intelligences Test (Chislet & Chapman, 2005), impacted teachers' perceptions of teacher efficacy, measured by the Teachers' Sense of Efficacy Scale Test (Tschannen-Moran & Hoy, 2001).

The accessible population was Palm Beach County K-12 teachers who responded to the surveys online. The researcher ran the following statistical tests into the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) Version 14.0: (a) Cronbach's Alpha to determine the reliability estimates; (b) Pearson's Chi-Square Test to observe frequency distributions; (c) Correlation Matrix to determine the degree of the relationship between groups; (d) Multiple Regressions to ascertain the criterion-related validity; (e) ANOVAS to establish the means of each group; and (f) t tests to establish whether the difference of the means were statistically significant.

The outcomes of the study will provide additional information for the body of research that supports the inclusion of the arts as an indispensable element of the school's curriculum for (a) raising the quality of instruction and (b) providing a more equitable education for American students.

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