Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership


The purpose of this study was to research integration of the arts into other areas of the curriculum as a teaching tool in North Dakota’s K-12 classrooms. Emphasis was placed on the perceptions of North Dakota’s K-12 principals relating to integration of the arts, the current state of arts programs in North Dakota’s K-12 schools, and principals’ perceived barriers to integration of the arts. Attention was also given to the degree to which teachers in North Dakota’s K-12 schools currently integrate the arts into lesson plans as a tool to enhance and reinforce learning in other areas of the curriculum.

North Dakota’s K-12 principals were surveyed through an electronic survey attached to an e-mail. Data included demographic information pertaining to the school building enrollment, grade levels administered by the principal, and the undergraduate major of the principal. Survey items relating to the curriculum addressed arts courses and co-curricular opportunities currently existing in North Dakota’s K-12 schools and the percentage of teachers in each school who have had training in arts integration.

A Likert scale was used to analyze the principals’ perceptions regarding benefits of arts integration and potential barriers to arts integration.

Data results indicated that band and choir were especially popular as part of the schools’ curriculum with drama being the most popular co-curricular activity. Principals reported strong support for the arts and for arts integration among teachers, principals, and school board members. They also reported that few teachers had training in arts integration and that lack of time, budget restraints, and demands of federal programs were barriers to utilizing arts integration.

Findings were used to develop recommendations that could be adopted to guide the use of arts integration in North Dakota’s K-12 classrooms. Recommendations were directed toward K-12 and higher education educators, the North Dakota Council on the Arts, and artists. The first set of recommendations relates to K-12 curriculum, the second set relates to K-12 educators’ training, and the third set relates to higher education. Recommendations include use of North Dakota’s arts standards, maintaining the integrity of the arts, and providing training in creative and efficient use of time and funding to support arts integration.