Date of Award


Document Type

Action Research Project

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education



First Advisor

Jane McNinch




This action research study was designed to examine the effects of the arts integration on student learning. Student learning was broken down by focusing on student engagement, critical thinking, and creative response. Research was conducted with 72 participants from fourth grade, fifth grade, and ninth grade classrooms within the social studies curriculum. Data collection methods included a pre-assessment survey, student journal prompts, observation tally sheets, student self-assessments, and the post-assessment survey. The results of our study indicated that student learning in each classroom maintained or improved when the arts were integrated. Students showed enthusiasm and felt optimistic towards integrating the arts into their learning. According to our student survey many students noted an increase in their critical thinking skills and explained that the arts helped them display their knowledge and creativity. However, in the future we would guide students to be more specific in their journal responses to better communicate their ideas. As a result of our study, we have committed to improving student learning by continuing to integrate the arts into the curriculum.

Keywords: arts integration, student learning, student engagement, critical thinking, creative response

Included in

Education Commons