Theses and Dissertations


Robert Mamrak

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Hare, R. Dwight

Committee Member

Davis, J. Edward

Committee Member


Committee Member

Scholtes, Tina

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Elementary, Middle, and Secondary School Administration

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


Department of Educational Leadership


Researchers are finding that the No Child Left Behind legislation's mandatory testing provision has resulted in many schools reducing art instruction (Abrams, Madaus, & Pedulla, 2003). In addition to the reduction of art instruction in formal curricula, incorporation of art into classroom teaching strategies has also declined (Barksdale-Ladd & Thomas, 2000). While many schools neglect art to focus on subject areas addressed by No Child Left Behind mandated tests, others have embraced the arts as an instructional strategy to improve test scores (Rabkin & Redmond, 2006). Mississippi's Whole Schools Initiative, a school improvement program that infuses art throughout the curriculum, has stimulated and enriched student learning when it is seriously and systematically implemented (Corbett, Morse, & Wilson, 2004). This study investigated the process through which art infusion is taking place in a Mississippi Whole Schools Initiative model school. The research design was descriptive. The participating school was purposively selected. The emerging analysis of collected data directed the selection of key informants. Observations, interviews, informal conversations, and an examination of documents and other artifacts were used to collect data. The study found the following: (a) the school's staff felt art infusion is a more effective way to teach because it motivates students, involves parents and the community, addresses student learning styles and multiple intelligences, and enhances staff morale; (b) the site administrator was particularly concerned with hiring staff, staff development, planning, finances, and parental and community support; and (c) staff development, planning, specialists, artists in residence, fund raising, resources, parental and community support, classroom management, and instructional strategies are particularly important areas in infusing art throughout the curriculum. Recommendations are the following: (a) making Mississippi educators aware of the potential of art infusion as a school improvement strategy, (b) including art infusion instruction strategies in teacher education programs, (c) including art infusion strategies in local school district's professional development plans (d) employing at least one certified art teacher in every Mississippi public school, (e) increasing funding for Mississippi schools addressing school improvement through art infusion, and (f) conducting further research on specific strategies for enhancing instruction through art infusion.