Arts Research
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Microcredential ID : 2751
Arts Leadership
0.5 USBE Credit


This microcredential represents knowledge, skills, and practices needed for a teacher/practitioner to effectively research the arts in an educational setting. Arts research includes a systematic inquiry of a specific research question through appropriately designed and conducted methods for data collection and analysis. Arts research can be conducted within the realm of any research paradigm (qualitative, quantitative, critical theory, post-modern, etc.).

  • Utah Effective Teaching Standards > Standard 5: Professional Responsibility
    Element 2: Continuous Professional Learning - Engaging in and valuing constructive feedback, reflective practices, professional learning and collaborative activities that support professional, instructional and schoolwide improvement.
How To Earn This Microcredential

To earn this 0.5 USBE credit microcredential you will submit two evidence items to demonstrate your competency with arts research. You will also complete a short written or video reflective analysis. Click Earn This Microcredential to learn more!

A fee of $20.00 will be assessed once the microcredential is submitted for review.

This microcredential represents a teacher’s ability to extend their reflective practice to a systematic inquiry that can be documented, analyzed, recorded and shared in a public setting. Teachers naturally assess and evaluate their teaching practices and learning of students as part of their practice but arts research extends this practice to a more formal process focused on the impact, experiences, or design of arts education in the classroom.

Important Terms
Arts Education:

Arts education refers to the teaching and learning of skills, processes, appreciation, and application of dance, drama, music, media arts, literary arts, and visual arts.

Arts Integration:

Arts integration refers to teaching in which students are engaged in creative processes by exploring, reflecting, interpreting, connecting, applying and demonstrating knowledge of specific objectives in multiple content areas. Integration occurs when learned and applied skills in multiple content areas synergistically and authentically connect to each other. Authentic integration reflects students' life experience and prepares them to contribute positively to society.

Arts Research:

Arts research is taking a systematic approach to explore the phenomenon, impact, or design of arts implementation or integration in the classroom.

Background Scenario / How This Will Help You

Mrs. Paulsen has used visual arts to teach the rock and water cycle for three years in her 4th grade class. She wants to understand which parts of her instructional design or instructional choices in this process have the greatest impact on the students’ learning so she designs a self-study research project. Her self-study project includes collecting data such as video recordings of herself teaching, written reflections, student work, and planning materials. She analyzes the data with her research question in mind. She shares her data and analysis periodically with a professor in education at a local university in education who serves as her critical friend. The critical friend helps her see blind spots or aspects of her teaching that she can’t see on her own. After several rounds of qualitative analysis on her data collection she writes up her findings and submits them to a practitioner journal sharing her practice and recommendations for effective and replicable arts-based instruction in the elementary classroom.

Mr. Glass wanted to test if a new instructional intervention in his high school math class would increase his students’ academic achievement and decided to conduct action-research. He designed a project-based assignment for his students and assigned it to one class-period while using his traditional teaching strategies with another class-period. He collected pre and post test data and then compared the data in a qualitative and quantitative analysis. He took field notes on his teaching activities, documented the choices, thoughts, and feelings he had as he instructed for both the control and experimental group. He collaborated with colleagues in his math PLC for feedback and insight into his data as he analyzed it for findings on what instructional choices supported student achievement. After analyzing the data and addressing the strengths and weakness of the action research model, he wrote up his findings and published it in a practitioner journal to share with other math educators.

Evidence Options
Be sure to submit the type and number of pieces of evidence specified below.
Category: Preparation and Planning

Submit the evidence described below to demonstrate your preparation and planning for arts research.

Unit Plan:

Submit a 2-3 page research proposal or design document that includes a clear rationale for the project, the research questions, method of data collection and analysis, and any ethical issues considered before implementing the project. In a separate section of the unit plan, include citations for research supporting your proposal or design approach. (See the Resources section for examples.)

Category: Implementation

Submit the evidence below to demonstrate your implementation of the research study.

Observation Results:

Submit a copy of the results of the study and how they were communicated or presented for a public audience. This may include an article written for publication in an academic journal, a recording of a conference presentation, or website displaying the research findings.

Review Criteria

Criterion 1: The research is accepted by a reputable organization for publication in their journal or presentation at their conference.

Criterion 2: The evidence effectively describes the research question, the methods of inquiry, and the findings in a clear and persuasive manner.

Criterion 3: The evidence reveals how the educator's thorough, rigorous research contributed new knowledge to the field of education and/or arts education.

Reflection Prompts

Describe your experience as a teacher-researcher. What did you learn personally and professionally? How do you balance both roles simultaneously?

What is the value of practitioner research? What is the value of research in arts education?

What does this project mean for other teachers? What are your next steps?

Review Criteria

Criterion 1: The educator’s reflection is thorough and complete in that they address the personal and professional takeaways of their experience.

Criterion 2: The educator’s reflection is organized, concise, and coherent.

Criterion 3: The reflection includes evidence that the educator can concisely summarize the findings of their research project without being vague (think “elevator pitch” succinctness).

Self-Study of Teacher Education Practices - Special Interest Group

Special interest group focused on self-study of teacher education practices that operates within the American Educational Research Association.

Self-Study of Practice as a Genre of Qualitative Research

Book on self-study

Action Research Toolkit

Toolkit for teachers looking to conduct action research.

Design-Based Research

A link to a chapter in the online textbook The Students’ Guide to Learning Design and Research that provides introductory information on design-based research.

Amy Boehme

Amy Boehme
Lori Nickerson

Lori Nickerson
Joshua Roberts

Joshua Roberts
Bethany Struthers

Bethany Struthers
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