Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Ginger Christian

Committee Members

Pamela Scott, Virginia Foley


The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to examine educator perceptions of teaching art and implementing literacy and interdisciplinary strategies in rural northeast Tennessee school districts. This study explored interdisciplinary connections and opportunities to expand access to literacy acquisition in the art room. Participants included twelve educators who served as art instructors, literacy specialists, and district supervisors in rural public-school systems in Tennessee's First Congressional District. Data were collected through virtual interviews using a semi-structured format. To qualify for the study participants held positions as elementary or secondary art teachers, literacy specialists, or district supervisors in rural northeast Tennessee school districts. The analysis of the data was based on the frameworks of the Art of Education University’s K-12 Art Educator Framework (2023) and Balanced Literacy (1990). The results revealed the following as emergent themes: (a) interdisciplinary instruction and literacy acquisition, (b) art advocacy, (c) creativity and art in rural settings, and (d) leveraging teacher expertise.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.