A case study of student participation rate and parental decision variables in a New England suburban community before school elementary instrumental music program

David Neves, Johnson & Wales University

Abstract

This mixed-method case study examined student participation rates and parental decision variables regarding student participation in a before school elementary instrumental music program in New England. Schools across the nation are struggling to find the time for instrumental music instruction. As a result, some are moving instrumental music to before or after the school day (Manzo, 2004). This move may make the program less accessible to some students. The No Child Left Behind law requires that all students have the opportunity to achieve excellence in the Fine Arts, which includes music (Ashford, 2004). Research further shows that studying instrumental music has a positive correlation with student cognitive and affective domains (Deasy, 2002). Thus, any accessibility issue becomes an educational equity issue. ^ Elements of Stufflebeam's CIPP program evaluation model were used to answer four research questions. Document analysis and a parent survey (N = 115, 58% response rate) were used to examine the participation rates of students and participation decision factors for parents. Key informant interviews (N = 8) and N = 2 parent focus groups were used to examine the relationship of the program's structure to the parents' participation decisions. Quantitative data were analyzed through t-tests, chi-square, and correlations to compare participation rates, parental desires, and how the structure affected parental decisions. Qualitative data were analyzed using themes and coding to determine the reality of the participation decisions and program structures for the parents. All data were triangulated to support internal and external validity of the study findings. ^ The results of the study indicated that this program's structure makes it more difficult for two subgroups of students, low-income and METCO (non-resident), to participate. As a result, there was a significant negative difference in participation rates for these students, though their parents expressed an equal desire for participation. These data were used to present recommendations to the school system to correct this educational inequity.^

Subject Area

Education, Administration|Education, Music|Education, Elementary|Education, Curriculum and Instruction

Recommended Citation

David Neves, "A case study of student participation rate and parental decision variables in a New England suburban community before school elementary instrumental music program" (January 1, 2006). Dissertation & Theses Collection. Paper AAI3234957.
http://scholarsarchive.jwu.edu/dissertations/AAI3234957

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