For more than a century, extracurricular and cocurricular activities have been an integral part of the American public school system. Advocates of these types of activities firmly believe that participation results in higher levels of academic achievement and the development of such traits as self-discipline, problem solving, and sportsmanship, which lead to higher achievement. However, recent widespread budget cuts in school funding have occasioned the curtailing or even elimination of these activities, especially music and athletics, by the boards of many school districts. Because of the stringent demands of school accountability measures, educators look for ways to preserve activities and programs that contribute markedly to academic achievement. For this reason, this study sought to determine whether or not there was a significant difference in academic achievement of students who participate in music programs, those who participate in athletic programs, and those who participate in both activities at a Metro-Atlanta high school in Georgia. Quantitative inquiry yielded a comparison of the scores from the Critical Reading and Mathematics sections of the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) and those from the Georgia High School Graduation Test (GHSGT) for 567 juniors and seniors. Of the 567 juniors and seniors in the study, 238 students participated in music programs, 236 students participated in athletic programs, and 103 students participated in both activities. Based on the analysis of the data, the Critical Reading and Mathematics scores of students who participated in both activities were significantly higher than those of the athletics group; however, there was no significant difference between the students who participated in both activities and the music group. An analysis of the data revealed that on the GHSGT, those students who participated in both activities scored significantly higher on each section of the test than the athletic and music groups. This research study found that students who participated in both music and athletic programs outperformed students who participated in music and athletic programs independently, thus giving credence to the usefulness of music and athletic programs in the school environment rather than these types of programs being faced with the financial ax each year.
|Advisor:||Beazley, Jackson S.|
|Commitee:||Gibson, Adrienne, Pasanen, Carol|
|Department:||School of Education|
|School Location:||United States -- Minnesota|
|Source:||DAI-A 68/12, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||School administration, Music education, Physical education, Recreation|
|Keywords:||Academic achievement, Athletic programs, Differences in music and athletics, Music programs|
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