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The effects of art education on self-efficacy in middle school students

ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, 2009
Dissertation
Author: Ellen P Mitchell
Abstract:
Researchers have theorized that student achievement and its contingent effects on self-efficacy are important factors in art education. There is, however, a paucity of research addressing this relationship, which in turn affects students' and educators' levels of success. Accordingly, this study was an investigation of the relationship between art education and self-efficacy in middle school students and tested the constructivist theory, as embodied in Bandera's theories on the foundations of self-efficacy beliefs. This pretest-posttest control-group true experimental design tested the relationship between the independent variable, art education and the dependent variable, self-efficacy in middle school students. The instrument, Patterns of Adaptive Learning Scales (PALS), was employed to gather data from a treatment group ( n = 60) receiving art education and a comparison-control group (n = 60) who had never taken middle school art. These quantitative data were analyzed using a one-way ANOVA. Inferential statistics yielded nonsignificant findings for the treatment group except on 1 of 14 scales, the Self-Presentation of Low Achievement Scale. Both descriptive and inferential data reinforced that levels of self-efficacy remained in the low to moderate range throughout the testing period for all participants. These reported self-efficacy profiles provided pathways for facilitating social change by driving the development of guidelines for middle school curriculum programs that support and assess the development of adolescents' self-efficacy. Furthermore, results pointed to the need for additional empirical studies that will help educators and communities better understand the relationship between art education and overall academic achievement.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

LIST OF TABLES ...............................................................................................................v LIST OF FIGURES ......................................................................................................... viii

CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY ...........................................................1 Introduction ....................................................................................................................1 Problem Statement .........................................................................................................3 The Nature of the Study .................................................................................................5 Research Questions and Hypothesis ..............................................................................5 Purpose Statement ..........................................................................................................6 Theoretical Base.............................................................................................................6 Operational Definitions ..................................................................................................8 Assumptions ...................................................................................................................9 Limitations ...................................................................................................................10 Delimitations ................................................................................................................11 Significance of Study ...................................................................................................11 Summary ......................................................................................................................13

CHAPTER 2: REVIEW OF LITERATURE .....................................................................14 Introduction ..................................................................................................................14 Review of Related Research and Literature .................................................................16 Past and Present Challenges in Art Education .......................................................16 Art Education promoted Self-Awareness and Understanding of the World..........20 Cognitive Abilities Were Sharpened .....................................................................26 Art Instruction Elevated Learning and Improved Literacy in Other Disciplines ...29 Art Education Built Self-Esteem and Improved Behavior ....................................43 Art Education Enhanced Sensitivity and Learning in the Affective Domain ........46 Art Education Fostered Pleasure and Self-Satisfaction .........................................49 Accepting and Extending the Claims .....................................................................52 The Role of Self-Efficacy and Its Development in Students .................................53 Defining the Relationship Between Art Education and Self-Efficacy ...................56 Concerns and Considerations for Art Education ...................................................59 Research Basis for the Methodology, Data Collection, and Analysis ...................62 Conclusion ...................................................................................................................66

CHAPTER 3: METHODOLOGY .....................................................................................67 Research Design and Approach ...................................................................................67 Population, Sample, and Setting ..................................................................................71 Treatment .....................................................................................................................74 Validity Threats to Treatment ......................................................................................75 Instrumentation ............................................................................................................78

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Data Analysis ...............................................................................................................84 Participants’ Rights ......................................................................................................88

CHAPTER 4: PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS OF DATA ......................................91 Introduction ..................................................................................................................91 Research Instrument.....................................................................................................93 Data Analysis ...............................................................................................................94 Pretest/Posttest Descriptive and Inferential Statistics ............................................95 Pretest Results: Descriptive Statistics for Treatment and Control Groups ............96 Pretest Descriptive Statistics Overall Summary of Findings ...............................116 Pretest Results: Inferential Statistics for Treatment and Control Groups ............117 Pretest Inferential Statistics Overall Summary of Findings .................................128 Posttest Results: Descriptive Statistics for Treatment and Control Group ..........130 Posttest Descriptive Statistics Overall Summary of Findings .............................143 Posttest Results: Inferential Statistics for Treatment and Control Groups ..........144 Posttest Inferential Statistics Overall Summary of Findings ...............................155 Conclusion .................................................................................................................157

CHAPTER 5: SUMMARY, INTERPRETATION OF THE FINDINGS, LIMITATIONS, RECOMMENDATIONS, AND COMMENTARY.............................160 Summary ....................................................................................................................160 Interpretation of the Findings.....................................................................................163 Emerging Phenomenon ..............................................................................................168 Limitations .................................................................................................................175 Recommendations for Future Research and Social Change ......................................182 Commentary ...............................................................................................................187

REFERENCES ................................................................................................................190

APPENDIX A: SCALE ADMINISTRATORS’S SCRIPT .............................................202 APPENDIX B: CONFIDENTIALITY AGREEMENT ..................................................203 APPENDIX C: CONFIDENTIALITY AGREEMENT ..................................................204 APPENDIX D: PATTERNS OF ADAPTIVE LEARNING SCALES ...........................205 APPENDIX E: SCALES FOR PATTERNS OF ADAPTIVE LEARNING SCALES ...213 APPENDIX F: CONSENT FORM ..................................................................................215 APPENDIX G: ASSENT FORM ....................................................................................217

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LIST OF TABLES Table 1. Pretest Descriptive Statistics for Mastery Orientation .........................................98

Table 2. Pretest Descriptive Statistics for Performance-Approach Goal Orientation .......99

Table 3. Pretest Descriptive Statistics for Performance-Avoid Goal Orientation ...........101

Table 4. Pretest Descriptive Statistics for Classroom Mastery Goal Structure ...............103

Table 5. Pretest Descriptive Statistics for Classroom Performance-Approach Goal Structure ...........................................................................................................................104

Table 6. Pretest Descriptive Statistics for Classroom Performance-Avoid Goal Structure ..........................................................................................................................105

Table 7. Pretest Descriptive Statistics for Academic Efficacy ........................................107

Table 8. Pretest Descriptive Statistics for Academic Press .............................................108

Table 9. Pretest Descriptive Statistics for Academic Self-Handicapping Strategies .......110

Table 10. Pretest Descriptive Statistics for Avoiding Novelty ........................................112

Table 11. Pretest Descriptive Statistics for Cheating Behavior .......................................113

Table 12. Pretest Descriptive Statistics for Disruptive Behaviors ...................................114

Table 13. Pretest Descriptive Statistics for Self-Presentation of Low Achievement ......116

Table 14. Pretest Descriptive Statistics for Skepticism about the Relevance of School for Future ..............................................................................................................................117

Table15. Pretest Inferential Statistics for Mastery Orientation .......................................120

Table 16. Pretest Inferential Statistics for Performance-Approach Goal Orientation .....120

Table 17. Pretest Inferential Statistics for Performance-Avoid Goal Orientation ...........121

Table 18. Pretest Inferential Statistics for Classroom Mastery Goal Structure ...............122

Table 19. Pretest Inferential Statistics for Classroom Performance-Approach Goal Structure ...........................................................................................................................122

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Table 20. Pretest Inferential Statistics for Classroom Performance-Avoid Goal Structure ...........................................................................................................................123

Table 21. Pretest Inferential Statistics for Academic Efficacy ........................................124

Table 22. Pretest Inferential Statistics for Academic Press .............................................124

Table 23. Pretest Inferential Statistics for Academic Self-Handicapping Strategies .......125

Table 24. Pretest Inferential Statistics for Avoiding Novelty ..........................................126

Table 25. Pretest Inferential Statistics for Cheating Behavior .........................................126

Table 26. Pretest Inferential Statistics for Disruptive Behaviors .....................................127

Table 27. Pretest Inferential for Self-Presentation of Low Achievement ........................128

Table 28. Pretest Inferential Statistics for Skepticism About the Relevance of School for Future ..............................................................................................................................128

Table 29. Non-Art and Art Students’ Pretest Inferential Statistics Overview .................130

Table 30. Posttest Descriptive Statistics for Mastery Orientation ...................................131

Table 31. Posttest Descriptive Statistics for Performance-Approach Goal Orientation ..132

Table 32. Posttest Descriptive Statistics for Performance-Avoid Goal Orientation ........133

Table 33. Posttest Descriptive Statistics for Classroom Mastery Goal Structure ............134

Table 34. Posttest Descriptive Statistics for Classroom Performance-Approach Goal Structure ...........................................................................................................................135

Table 35. Posttest Descriptive Statistics for Classroom Performance-Avoid Goal Structure ...........................................................................................................................136

Table 36. Posttest Descriptive Statistics for Academic Efficacy .....................................137

Table 37. Posttest Descriptive Statistics for Academic Press ..........................................138

Table 38. Posttest Descriptive Statistics for Academic Self-Handicapping Strategies ...139

Table 39. Posttest Descriptive Statistics for Avoiding Novelty ......................................140

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Table 40. Posttest Descriptive Statistics for Cheating Behavior .....................................141

Table 41. Posttest Descriptive Statistics for Disruptive Behaviors .................................142

Table 42. Posttest Descriptive Statistics for Self-Presentation of Low Achievement .....143

Table 43. Posttest Descriptive Statistics for Skepticism About the Relevance of School for Future .........................................................................................................................144

Table 44. Posttest Inferential Statistics for Mastery Orientation .....................................146

Table 45. Posttest Inferential Statistics for Performance-Approach Goal Orientation ....147

Table 46. Posttest Inferential Statistics for Performance-Avoid Goal Orientation .........147

Table 47. Posttest Inferential Statistics for Classroom Mastery Goal Structure .............148

Table 48. Posttest Inferential Statistics for Classroom Performance-Approach Goal Structure ...........................................................................................................................149

Table 49. Posttest Inferential Statistics for Classroom Performance-Avoid Goal Structure ...........................................................................................................................150

Table 50. Posttest Inferential Statistics for Academic Efficacy ......................................151

Table 51. Posttest Inferential Statistics for Academic Press............................................151

Table 52. Posttest Inferential Statistics for Academic Self-Handicapping Strategies .....152

Table 53. Posttest Inferential Statistics for Avoiding Novelty ........................................152

Table 54. Posttest Inferential Statistics for Cheating Behavior .......................................153

Table 55. Posttest Inferential Statistics for Disruptive Behaviors ...................................154

Table 56. Posttest Inferential for Self-Presentation of Low Achievement ......................154

Table 57. Posttest Inferential Statistics for Skepticism about the Relevance of School for Future ..............................................................................................................................155

Table 58. Non-Art and Art Students’ Posttest Inferential Statistics Overview ...............157

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LIST OF FIGURES

Figure 1. Non-Art and Art Students’ Pretest Descriptive Statistics Mean Scores Summary ........................................................................................................................................ 118

F igure 2. Non-Art and Art Students’ Posttest Descriptive Statistics Mean Scores Summary ........................................................................................................................ 145

CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY Introduction The benefits of art education extend far beyond the art classroom. Consider the following scenario from a central Georgia middle school: For the third time during his seventh-grade school year, David had returned to the same middle school. His family had moved several times that year in search of better jobs or new dwellings, but had returned once more to the same school district. David, who had never been a particularly gifted art student, requested upon his return to be placed back into art class. His art teacher was not surprised by this request; she had heard similar requests made many times throughout her 15 years of teaching, including students repeatedly asking to remain in the art room beyond their scheduled time. In a related scenario, students from other disciplines asked permission to construct or complete a science, social studies, or language arts project in the art room. These middle school students came before school, during school, and after school—all wanting to enhance their projects using art. These requests were sincere, often emphatic, and implied that students wanted and needed art beyond the traditional boundaries of the art classroom. Notwithstanding the art-driven interests of students and art educators, the documented history of art education offers clear evidence of the persistent struggle to include art education in our schools’ curricula. From the late 1800s, when art classes served the industrial needs of the local community (Stankiewicz, 1997), through the First World War, when art education was viewed as a way to advance children’s motor control and visual perceptiveness (Clark, 1996), and even through the No Child Left Behind Act

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(NCLB) of 2001, when proponents of art education have fought to establish its inherent value and sustain its continuance in the curriculum. This study examined the publications of researchers, theorists, and educators that reviewed educational programs, case studies, and extensive reports on the benefits of art education. The topics include how art education has promoted self-awareness (e.g., Eisner, 1972; Lowenfeld, 1975); built self-esteem and improved behavior (e.g., Ezell & Levy, 2003; Skilling & Carstensen, 2003); increased cognitive abilities (e.g., Anderson & Milbrant, 2005; Burton, 2001; Eisner, 1979; Ohler, 2002); elevated learning in other disciplines (e.g., Lowenfeld, 1975; Nickell, 2003; Ohler, 2002); created self-satisfaction (e.g., Wilson, 1998); and enhanced learning in the affective domain (e.g., Bolin, Khramtsova & Saarnio, 2005; Liff, 2003; Main, 1992). The findings indicate art education contributes positively to student success and establishes the advantages of including art education in today’s curriculum. The fundamentals of the art education curriculum, according to research, create a rich learning environment. However, none of the studies specifically examined the qualities discussed in the literature in terms of their relationship to students’ self-efficacy, that is, students’ beliefs in their capability to succeed. This study’s review of self-efficacy literature explored the phenomenon of self- efficacy and its benefits. Scholars reported that self-efficacious students worked harder, persisted in their tasks longer, persevered in the face of adversity, and had greater optimism with lower anxiety, all resulting in higher levels of academic achievement (Bandura 1986, 1995, 1997; Pajares, 2006). Researchers also claimed that self-efficacy

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helped to prepare students not only to gain new knowledge and cultivate new skills but also to accept responsibility for their own education (Bandura, 1997; Zimmerman, 1995). Students’ experiences with academic success, as indicated by self-efficacy researchers Eisenberger, Conti-D’Antionio, and Bertrando (2005) were an important part of building a stronger sense of efficacy. The review of literature on self-efficacy and its beneficial effects on students was, however, limited and only included research in the areas of students’ academic subjects. The lack of information on the relationship between art education and the enhancement of student self-efficacy has left a gap in the research for educators and policy makers who plan, implement, and support art education in America’s schools. This study attempted to fill that gap by exploring the research question, “What is the relationship between art education and self-efficacy in middle school students?” Establishing a research-based justification for valid and motivational art programs was at the heart of this study. This information was critical to stimulating fruitful educator reflection on improving instructional programs so that they promoted positive student attitudes and learning. A more detailed discussion of the literature review will follow in chapter 2. Problem Statement Previous research found that art education environments were associated with positive intellectual and social outcomes for students. Numerous studies (Efland, 2002; Eisner 1972, 1979; Ezell & Levy, 2003; Lafer & Tchudi, 1996; Roberts, 2005) indicated that the students’ hands-on and aesthetic opportunities experienced by the students in the

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art education classroom contributed significantly to success factors beyond acquiring art skills, theory, appreciation, and aesthetics. It was declared that increased emotional, social, and academic achievements were attained with the likelihood of enhancing student self-efficacy (Bandura, 1997). Methods for increasing students’ capacities for intellectual and social self-concept beliefs have been the constant driving force behind past and present art and non-art educational mandates (Bandura, 1997; Clark, 1996; No Child Left Behind, 2001; Soupy, 1990; Stankiewicz, 1997; Wachowiak & Clements, 2006). Seeking out practices and techniques that motivate and increase student achievement have been the goals of educational theorists and practitioners and have in turn, prompted continuous instructional research. These studies, however, left substantial gaps in their inquiries. Specifically, the existing evidence on the enhancement of students’ self-efficacy is based largely on research designs that tested self-efficacy (a) only in the academic arenas and (b) with a focus primarily on elementary and high school populations (Ketelhut, 2005). Together, these designs left open the question of the middle school student and, in particular, any link between art (as opposed to academic) education and a middle school students’ self-efficacy. Closing this gap requires finding adequate solutions for testing the viability of art education based on solid peer-reviewed sources as well as theoretical foundations. Such research could lead to useful changes in best practices in the art classroom and improve understanding of the role and function of art education for the middle school student. Additionally, extending the existing knowledge on art education and self-efficacy could help establish a sound basis for the continuance

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of art education in our schools as well as contribute to answering the question, “What is the relationship between art education and self-efficacy in middle school students?” The Nature of the Study In this study, the researcher examined the relationship between art education and self-efficacy in middle school students. Data were collected from randomly selected seventh- and eighth-grade art and non-art education students (N = 120) at a central Georgia middle school. The instrument, Patterns of Adaptive Learning Scales (PALS) (Midgley et al., 2000), was a 72-item measurement that included 14 scales designed to evaluate student self-efficacy beliefs as impacted by resulting classroom experiences. A one-way ANOVA was employed to assess the data on a pretest/posttest basis. The descriptive and inferential statistical data compared descriptions of feelings, perceptions, and capacity beliefs between the treatment group (art students) and comparison-control group (students who had never taken middle school art). The following research question and hypotheses guided the study. Research Question and Hypotheses The research question was: “What is the relationship between art education and self-efficacy in middle school students?” The null and alternative hypotheses of this study were: HO: There is no relationship between art education and self-efficacy in middle school students. HI: There is a relationship between art education and self-efficacy in middle school students.

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A more detailed discussion of the nature of this study will follow in chapter 3. Purpose Statement The purpose of this experimental study was to examine the relationship between art education and self-efficacy in middle school students in central Georgia. The underlying theory of the constructivist paradigm, as embodied in Bandera’s (1986, 1995, 1997 theories on the foundations of students’ self-efficacy beliefs, became the conceptual framework tested in this study. The independent variable, art education, was generally defined as the study and manipulation of artist skills and techniques, art history and culture, art criticism and analysis, and visual aesthetics (Mittler & Ragans, 1992; Wachowiak & Clements, 2006). The dependent variable, self-efficacy, was defined as a person’s sense of believing that he has the capacity to perform a task (Bandura, 1997). Self-efficacy can become one of the most influential factors in ensuring students’ success in their personal life as well as in the school environment (Costa & Kallick, 2004; Johnson & Johnson, 1996; Murphy & Alexander, 2002). Based on the findings from research-based literature, the fundamentals of the art education curriculum were expected to provide a rich environment for the development of art skills, theory, appreciation, and aesthetics but were not limited to the possibilities of promoting students’ self-efficacy beliefs. Theoretical Base In forming a theoretical perspective for studying the relationship between art education and self-efficacy in middle school students, the researcher found that Bandura’s theories on self-efficacy together with the constructivist theory (Walker, 2002)

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provided useful models. These theoretical frameworks also integrated Vygotsky’s (1996) views of social and cultural impact on mental activities with Glasersfeld’s (1996) insight that authentic learning depended on personal, hands-on experiences. These theorists were preceded by Dewey’s statements on learning and its dependency on relationships between an organism and its environment as cited in Vanderstaeten & Biesta (1998). “Every organism participates entirely in his life world. There is no reality without experience. Every act creates a new reality. Social interaction enables and forces everyone involved in it to pay attention to the contributions made by other participants” (p. 43). The basis of the constructivist theory advocated what art education magnified: Learning is an active process in which learners must be provided with opportunities to interact with sensory data and construct their own meanings from their experience (Walker, 2002). Each meaning constructed makes a student better able to give meaning to other sensations, which can fit a similar pattern. The crucial act of constructing meaning is a mental process and the learner needs to be provided with activities that engage the mind as well as the hands. Assimilation of new knowledge in the constructivist theory is, therefore, structured directly from previous knowledge. “Learners need to discover the means by which to make meaning out of experience and the knowledge they have gained. Through art representation, the child can find new ways to represent meaning” (Wachowiak & Clements, 2006, p. 28). The applicability of the constructivists theory was pertinent to this study as it supported the research on constructing learning as an active, hands-on process as exemplified in the art education arena (Piaget, 1959; Vanderstaeten & Biesta, 1998).

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The supporting theories of the constructivist base were also reflected in Bandura’s (1997) established claims on the development of self-efficacy. He declared that students acquired self-efficacy from four primary sources: actual hands-on performances, vicarious experiences, forms of persuasion or encouragement, and physiological reactions (positive) to having performed or attempted the task. Bandura’s basis for building self-efficacy encompassed not only the competence building elements present in art education but also replicated the essential components of the constructivist theory. Both Bandura’s theories and the elements comprising constructivism laid the foundation for investigating the relationship between art education and self-efficacy in middle school students. Operational Definitions Aesthetic experience: aesthetic experiences include deep involvement or intense reaction by a student to a work of art (Mittler & Ragans, 1992). Art analysis: the process of noting how the principles of art are used to organize the elements of color, line, texture, shape, form, and space (Mittler & Ragans 1992). Art criticism: the process of studying, understanding, and evaluating art works, consisting of four stages: describing, analyzing, interpreting, and evaluating (Mittler & Ragans 1992). Discipline-Based Art Education (DBAE): DBAE was defined in, A Survival Kit for the Elementary/Middle School Art Teacher (Hume, 2000) as contemporary art education that is based on four components: art production, art history, art criticism/analysis, and aesthetics.

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National Visual Arts Standards: these standards were established by the National Art Education Association (Hume, 2000) and included what students should know and be able to do in the visual arts in Grades K-4, 5-8, and 9-12. They were defined as follows: 1. Understanding and applying media, techniques, and processes. 2. Using knowledge of structures and functions. 3. Choosing and evaluating a range of subject matter, symbols, and ideas. 4. Understanding the visual arts in relation to history and culture. Self-Efficacy: Bandura (1986), a social cognitive theorist, defined self-efficacy as

people’s judgments of their capabilities to organize and execute courses of action required to attain designated types of performances. It is concerned not with the skills one has but with the judgments of what one can do with whatever skills one possesses. (p. 391)

Visual Arts Education: the skillful presentation of concepts and/or emotions (ideas and feelings) in a form that is structurally satisfying and coherent (Lansing, 1969). It is the area of learning that is based upon the visual tangible arts such as drawing, painting, sculpting, printmaking, weaving, designing jewelry, and graphics, and so on (Anderson & Milbrant, 2005). Assumptions 1. One must assume that the visual art education curriculum of this study was based on quality core standards that offered effective instructional content elements. 2. The sampled participants were representative of the total population of seventh- and eighth-grade students at the central Georgia middle school in this study.

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3. The measurement collected honest, unbiased responses from participants each time it was administered. 4. Participants perceived art education to be an important class that could enhance their learning. 5. Participants in this study already exhibited satisfactory levels of self- efficacy in their classroom task performances. 6. Administrators supported the data collection and analysis processes of the study. Limitations The middle school site in this quantitative study controlled the random selection of participants to the treatment and comparison-control groups; therefore, the sample may not be representative of the population of the school or other middle schools in the central Georgia area. The ability to generalize this study may be limited. 1. The findings could be subject to contexts in which instruction was delivered, the ability and interest level of participants in visual art education, the length of time between points of data collection, and the limited length of the art classes themselves. 2. This study examined the effects of art education on self-efficacy. While the researcher cannot control the prior level of self-efficacy among the participants, one must assume that the two groups, treatment and comparison-control, are homogeneous in their prior levels of self-efficacy. 3. Even though the measurement of this study, the PALS, was designed to test self-efficacy generally, it was not art domain specific, which may affect the outcomes.

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4. The quantitative statistical procedures used in this study may limit the quality and range of collected data. Delimitations The scope of this study encompassed an examination of the relationship between art education (independent variable) and self-efficacy (dependent variable) in middle school students. This quantitative experimental study was confined to collecting data from 120 seventh- and eighth-grade middle school students in central Georgia. A pretest-posttest control group design (Dooley, 2001) was used to test the relationship between art education and student self-efficacy. The participants consisted of a treatment group (n = 60) receiving art education and a comparison-control group (n = 60) who had never taken middle school art. A pretest-posttest 72-item self-efficacy measurement scale, the PALS, was administered during one 9-week session. A one-way ANOVA statistical test was employed to analyze the data. Significance of the Study A study of the relationship between art education and self-efficacy in middle school students was important for several reasons. First, this study helped bridge a knowledge gap between art education literature and research and self-efficacy literature and research. The literature reported an abundance of valuable art education qualities that contribute to the achievements of students but rarely dealt with the influences that art education might have on self-efficacy. Self-efficacy studies explored the phenomenon of self-efficacy only in the area of students’ academics. This study extended the literature on

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art education and the literature on enhancement of self-efficacy in an effort to comprehend the dimensions of the relationship between the two entities. Second, understanding relationships between art education and student self- efficacy helped reveal the underlying strategies instituted in art programs that contribute to building self-efficacy. Researchers and educators were guided to evaluate these approaches for future applications of increasing student self-efficacy across the curriculum. Finally, this study provided pathways for facilitating social change by driving the development of (a) a greater knowledge base for the support of art education and its continuance in our schools by our policy makers, (b) programs that focus on the assessment of middle school students’ self-efficacy beliefs beyond the art classroom, (c) guidelines for art and other curricular programs and social experiences that support the development of adolescents’ self-efficacy, and (d) future studies and instruments to investigate self-efficacy that will inform researchers and educators of improved procedures for building student’s beliefs in their capabilities. The significance of this study, then, lies in its potential to increase support for the inclusion of art education in our schools’ curricula by bridging a gap between art education and self-efficacy literature, by revealing art program strategies that contributed to enhancing self-efficacy, and by driving the development of future studies and programs to improve strategies for enhancing students’ self-efficacy.

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Summary Far beyond the meaningful experiences of creating and studying art, the potential of this study was to clarify and sustain the multilayered advantages of art education for the enhancement of student self-efficacy. A well-planned and executed visual arts program not only taught students art-making skills, history, and aesthetics but also possibly led to enriched beliefs by students in their capacities to succeed at a task. This study examined the relationship between art education and middle school students’ self- efficacy. During a time when art programs face daily challenges to survive and maintain a significant position in the schools’ curricula, the results of this study may sustain and encourage art programs’ continuance as well as extend their significance. The contents of the remaining four chapters of this study guided and reported this investigation. Chapter 2 presents a review of related art education and self-efficacy literature that deals with evolving trends in practices and procedures of art programs used to enhance self-efficacy. Chapter 3 delineates the research design and methodology of the study. Chapter 4 describes the instrument used to gather the data, the procedures followed, and analysis of the findings. Finally, chapter 5 interprets the findings, presents emerging outcomes, recommends procedures to strengthen the present study, and concludes by advocating future research designs for art education and self-efficacy.

CHAPTER 2:

REVIEW OF LITERATURE

Introduction

Since the late 19 th century, art education in our elementary, middle, and high schools has struggled to validate its existence. In recent years, efforts to maintain effective art education instruction have been challenged and complicated by an ever- increasing emphasis on high achievement on nationally mandated tests as required by NCLB. In response, researchers, theorists, and educators have conducted studies that addressed the problem and advanced educational arguments supporting the continuance of art education. Specific educational programs, case studies, and extensive reports verified the positive effects of art education on student success and guided the strategies to investigate the independent variable of this study. These founded and wide-ranging reports were organized into six constructive areas: (a) art education as it promoted self- awareness and created experiences with and understanding of the world, (b) art education as a mechanism that enhanced cognitive abilities, (c) art instruction as a means of elevating learning and improving literacy in other disciplines, (d) art education as a force that built self-esteem and improved behavior, (e) art education as a curricular contribution that planted the seeds for the appreciation of aesthetics and fostered self- satisfaction, and (f) art education as a means that helped improve sensitivity and learning in the affective domain. These various studies were used to examine the effects of art education on a broad array of student educational outcomes and pointed directly to the

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fundamentals of art education as being a rich environment for the enhancement of students’ self-efficacy. However, none of the studies specifically examined the qualities of art education in terms of their relationship to students’ self-efficacy, the independent variable of this study. This gap led to a review of self-efficacy literature to examine the phenomenon of self-efficacy and its effects on student success. The research question of this study reflected upon the relationship between these two primary areas of scholarship: literature on art education and literature on the sources of student self-efficacy. Several strategies were used for searching the literature. These included online databases from Walden University: ERIC—Educational Resources Information Center, Education Research Complete, eBrary e-book collections, and A to Z E-Journal List. Research topics entered into the databases included art education, benefits of art education, art education history, self-efficacy, self-efficacy and student success, adolescents’ developmental characteristics, constructivism and teaching. These topics led to helpful full text journal articles. Additional journal articles and texts were located at Clayton State University Library, Morrow, Georgia and Georgia State University Library, Atlanta, Georgia and borrowed from art educators’ personal libraries. The main search engine, Google, was used to locate the research instrument, the PALS, as well as social research methods. Several books on self-efficacy were ordered from online bookstores such as Amazon.

Full document contains 230 pages
Abstract: Researchers have theorized that student achievement and its contingent effects on self-efficacy are important factors in art education. There is, however, a paucity of research addressing this relationship, which in turn affects students' and educators' levels of success. Accordingly, this study was an investigation of the relationship between art education and self-efficacy in middle school students and tested the constructivist theory, as embodied in Bandera's theories on the foundations of self-efficacy beliefs. This pretest-posttest control-group true experimental design tested the relationship between the independent variable, art education and the dependent variable, self-efficacy in middle school students. The instrument, Patterns of Adaptive Learning Scales (PALS), was employed to gather data from a treatment group ( n = 60) receiving art education and a comparison-control group (n = 60) who had never taken middle school art. These quantitative data were analyzed using a one-way ANOVA. Inferential statistics yielded nonsignificant findings for the treatment group except on 1 of 14 scales, the Self-Presentation of Low Achievement Scale. Both descriptive and inferential data reinforced that levels of self-efficacy remained in the low to moderate range throughout the testing period for all participants. These reported self-efficacy profiles provided pathways for facilitating social change by driving the development of guidelines for middle school curriculum programs that support and assess the development of adolescents' self-efficacy. Furthermore, results pointed to the need for additional empirical studies that will help educators and communities better understand the relationship between art education and overall academic achievement.