Date of Conferral

2014

Degree

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

School

Education

Advisor

Howard Moskowitz

Abstract

Many new institutions struggle with issues of identity and purpose, which can create instability and lack of growth. Mission statements are often used to clearly identify the characteristics that make an organization unique. This study was informed by theories of organizational management, art integration constructivism, and Bronfenbrenner's cultural ecology. The literature indicates that there is a strong connection between a clear and concise mission statement and the organization's behaviors. This study examined a small Southeast Michigan charter school devoted to integrating arts and academic curricula to determine how the stated mission was understood and implemented by its stakeholders. An applied, mixed methodology design was used to investigate the connection between the stated mission and the actions of the school's stakeholders. A 4-point, Likert type, quantitative survey was administered to 40 teachers, administrators, and board members and descriptive statistics were used to analyze the summative data. The analysis examined coded themes and found inconsistencies in the knowledge base of the school's stakeholders, primarily related to a lack of shared understandings of organizational statements and arts integration. The study recommendations include a guide for a staff introduction to ongoing pragmatic action research as a method to investigate and implement possible resolutions to the stated problem. The action research would help the school meet its stated goals of providing a coherent, arts-integrated learning experience for the school's students. The study and recommendations will lead to positive social change in that a coherent, arts-integrated education has been shown to provide an educationally and socially beneficial learning environment for the individuals involved in the program.