Date of Conferral

1-1-2009

Degree

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

School

Education

Advisor

Nathan Long; Mark Ryan

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.