Attitude toward and frequency of use of discipline-based arts education among John Paul Getty Institute trained educators

Paula Wallis Triche

Abstract

Once again the arts in education are in jeopardy. If the arts are to survive in contemporary education, the nation's classroom teachers must be capable of delivering meaningful, standards-based, content-driven instruction in the arts which can be achieved through quality professional development. This study examined the attitude and frequency of classroom and school use of discipline-based arts education among teachers and administrators who had accessed professional development training at a John Paul Getty Institute for Education in the Arts. Data for this study was collected using the Teaching with the Arts Survey (TWAS), authored by Barry Oreck (2000). Multiple regression was used to determine the relationship between the criterion variables of attitude and frequency of use and selected independent variables of age, gender, background of experiences in the arts, level of students taught, highest degree attained, background of experiences in the arts, length of time elapsed since training, and discipline of the arts in which the educator was trained. In terms of results, although there was no significant relationship found between the dependent variable of attitude and the constructs of motivation, support, or concerns and the composite set of independent variables; there was a significant relationship determined between the independent variable of self-efficacy and attitude. Moreover, a significant relationship was identified between the dependent variables of frequency of use and the composite set of independent variables. Although the participants were motivated by the Getty training, expressed confidence in their ability to provide arts instruction to students, noted support from administrators in the school system, and indicated minimal constraints placed on them to include the arts in daily instruction, the frequency of use of discipline-based, comprehensive arts was lower than expected. The study identified the need for continuous training, feedback, and follow-up activities to insure the success of professional development initiatives in the arts and to facilitate quality arts education for children. Further, the data derived from this study assisted decision-making regarding the allocation of funding for training in the arts.