Date of Award
PHD - Doctor of Philosophy
The aim of my dissertation research is to understand the relationship between interdisciplinary arts experiences and the establishment of a community culture in a mainstream public high school in northeast United States. With this research, I hope to provide evidence to support the inclusion of interdisciplinary arts projects in the fabric of students’ high school curricular and extra-curricular experiences. Through engagement in design, art, video, music, dance, theater and the close study of a minority culture, high school participants provided regular responses to planned survey questions and open-ended survey questions (Experience Sampling), as well as through interviews, written prompts and my own field observations. This mixed-method approach allowed for a deep consideration of the pedagogical and social conditions necessary for students to experience a positive “psychological sense of community” (McMillan and Chavis, 1989).
My research attempted to answer the following overarching questions:
- How does the collaboration of diverse participants from a community in a high school setting influence a student’s broader idea of what community means?
- How does immersion into an unfamiliar culture through interdisciplinary learning impact a participant’s perception of being a member of a global community?
- Do interdisciplinary arts performance projects build a sense of community for students in a school setting, and if so why and how?
- How do elements of democratic learning (Wyatt, 1999), creative design opportunities and moments of flow (Csikszentmihalyi, 1997) contribute to a student’s feeling of being an essential member of a community?
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Pappas, Ida, "Interdisciplinary Arts as an Agent for Community Building in a U.S. Public School" (2017). Educational Studies Dissertations. 133.
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