Arts Integration Curriculum: Building Relational Capacities Public Deposited

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  • March 20, 2019
  • Randolph, Deborah
    • Affiliation: School of Education
  • In this qualitative study I examined the role of arts integration in interrupting individualistic education through relational capacity building by studying 13 arts integration programs including arts-based school reform models, arts institution-based models, and teaching artists and single art form models across 11 States in the American South. I identified the ways in which providers of arts integration curriculum explicitly and intentionally sought to help students have a better understanding of how they related to one another, their teachers, and the world. The relational capacities that were the framework for this study were relationship and social self-efficacy, social imagination and cultural competence. I examined publicly accessed artifacts (lesson plans, videos, organization websites, articles, published research and program evaluation) and interviewed key personnel from these arts integration programs. I countered the evidence of relational capacity building through arts integration with evidence of individualistic education in the language and consequences of accountability. Equally, I was interested in how arts integration developers and practitioners navigated the terrain between relational and individualistic education. I thought of this navigation between relational education and individualistic education as a form of “code switching,” which provided a way to traverse this divide. This data revealed the intentions of arts integration developers, professional development providers and practitioners to create moments of relational capacity building and interrupt the audit culture in schools that focuses on individual performance. Arts integration has the potential to build relational and social self-efficacy through increased opportunities for self and other awareness, increased social interaction and collaboration, improved communication skills, moments to exhibit empathy and more joy and respect among peers. Increased capacity for social imagination may be built through opportunities to imagine future selves, improved communities and world citizenship. Opportunities to build cultural competence were also present in the data; however, the complicated ways in which this capacity is built is often burdened with cultural bias and appropriation. This study, focusing on arts integration curriculum broadly, points to opportunities for relational capacity building and strategies for interrupting individualistic education, and as such, may contribute to the fields of arts integration and arts education.
Date of publication
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Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Derry, Sharon
  • Grumet, Madeleine
  • O'Sullivan, Rita G.
  • Osmond, Chris
  • Hinson, Glenn
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2016

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