Document Type



Doctor of Education


Educational Practice

Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

Charles Granger, PhD


Keith Miller, PhD

Helene Sherman, EdD


Arts integration is an interdisciplinary teaching model in which the arts become a conduit for the contextualization and understanding of non-arts content. Research has shown this approach increases academic engagement and content retention (Rinne et al., 2011). The use of arts integration also provides gains for teachers. Teachers perceive their practice more innovative and better able to reach the needs of diverse learners (Bellisario & Donovan, 2012). For the benefits of arts integrated learning to be achieved, teachers must acquire the knowledge and techniques of this teaching model. This requires knowledge in both arts content as well as the pedagogical strategies of the instructional model. Professional development (PD) is often how this learning is disseminated (Saraniero et al., 2018). Understanding what information is retained from these PD experiences may help provide a foundation to design subsequent training. A mixed-methods research design was utilized to discover to what extent learning from a prior arts integrated PD was retained by K-12 classroom teachers. Instruments used were a 5-point Likert survey and in-depth interviews. Retention from the PD was examined using Knowles’ Six Assumptions of Andragogy (1980). Results showed an increase in teachers’ understanding and implementation of the arts integration teaching model. Confidence and use of visual arts strategies were reported at higher levels than other art forms. Teachers identified a need for continued support after the PD to help with implementation of arts integration into their teaching practice.