Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Curriculum & Instruction/Literacy Studies

Committee Chair

Joy Faini Saab.


This study examines what phenomena may be associated with the self-concept and perceptions of beauty of adolescent girls who completed an Arts-Integrated Curriculum (AIC) in Elementary School. It is designed to add to the descriptive data on the perceptions of beauty that students, teachers, and parents have, especially with regard to girls' concept of self in relation to the AIC learning experiences. This work is driven by a qualitative research method known as phenomenology, which describes the lived experiences of a phenomenon for a group of people (Patton, 2005). The main research data were collected from interviews with ten participants: four students, three parents, two teachers, and a university liaison. Participants offered rich narratives that reflected their unique experiences. The interviews were driven by three minor research questions that helped to explore the main phenomena of the AIC experience: 1) How do young ladies (referring to adolescent girls) who completed an AIC describe their experience? 2) How do their parents describe it? 3) How do their teachers describe it? In addition to the interviews, the process of writing memos (memoing) and conducting follow-ups on the interviews and peer reviews, and referencing a related study from Devono (2009), support the triangulation of the data. The phenomena that were discovered are encouraging and indicate that participants report their perceptions of the importance of the arts and in AIC in the schools. Participants shared an interest in music and art, positive descriptions and characterizations of art, positive self-concept through arts, interdisciplinary learning, an appreciation for beautiful things, and a secure sense of self. The results of this study thus reveal personal implications reflecting the student perspective, societal-practical implications representing the parental and community perspective, and professional-intellectual implications that are relevant to the field of education, including schools' or teachers' perspectives.