Fischler College of Education: Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2016

Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Abraham S. Fischler College of Education

Advisor

David Weintraub

Committee Member

Fatima Mansur

Abstract

African American and Latino students attending Title I schools in the metropolitan Atlanta area were not reading on grade level. The majority of students are low performing readers and minimally met the reading comprehension requirements. The 2015 average 8th grade reading score for these students was 246 out of 500. This applied dissertation was designed to add to existing literature on the benefits of arts integration. Specifically, this study looked at whether the Alliance Theatre’s Collision Plus Program, an arts integration strategy, improved reading comprehension skills. Moreover, from the perception of the English language arts teacher, this study examined to what extent arts-integrated techniques prepare students for college or a career. Using a quasi-experimental mixed methods design, pre- and posttest results of the Scantron Performance Series computer adaptive assessment (CAAS) assessment were analyzed for an ELA control group and treatment group to determine if arts integrated instruction impacted the reading comprehension of the middle school students who participated in the study. Findings indicated that the mean and median scores for the treatment group of students were not statistically different than that of the control group of students after the Alliance Theatre Collision Plus Program lessons. From the perception of the ELA teacher, arts integration helped learners to comprehend what they are reading because they are able to connect to the text. Students showed greater inquisitiveness and the ability to change and produce new ideas. Recommendations for future research include utilizing a larger sample size and providing ongoing professional development to teachers on arts integration strategies.

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