Date of Award

Fall 10-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. Rebecca Panagos

Second Advisor

Dr. Joseph Alsobrook

Third Advisor

Dr. Sherrie Wisdom


Since the beginning of recorded history, artists of distinction have contributed to society’s aesthetic sensibilities through their media of choice. The lives of these artists continue through their visually recorded work. We see their best products featured in history books and films, thus generally contributing to our day-to-day lives. Despite the influence of art on society, this deep and multi-faceted subject is often among the first to be cut during periods of economic instability or budget constraints. While funding may reflect the impact of arts programs on the educational experience, the true value of arts programs emerges when their usefulness extends beyond the classroom to have a direct, positive impact on society. Thus, this research discusses the perception that limited funding decreases arts proponents’ abilities to champion the arts in school curricula. Although the current body of research indicates that educators view the application of arts programs in school curricula positively, arts education in the public school arena is often viewed through four contexts: purpose, application, usefulness, and funding. This research describes the arts in these contexts in the attempt to determine how to best assess the value of an arts education program. Through a mixed-methods design study, this research incorporated quantitative and qualitative data through surveys and focus groups with respondents who were either elementary-school principals or elementary-school fine arts teachers. Among the goals of this study was to expand the existing body of research on the importance of arts education. Moreover, this study set out to compare and analyze the possible relationship between Missouri elementary schools whose students participated in arts-related classes, and those schools that did not have an arts-related curriculum.


Copyright 2017