Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Hannah Eads


The purpose of this study is to reveal the past position and present status of arts programs in general education for the state of Illinois. For the past two decades, the arts have experienced tremendous cutbacks and a general lack of support. This study discloses Illinois' course of action for developing, expanding, and advocating the arts in general education.

The introduction to this study is designed to provide helpful background information on the state of the arts on the national level in order to compare similar problems and progress as achieved by the state of Illinois.

Beginning with the year 1978, a study of the historical background of the state of the arts in Illinois education is combined with a brief examination of the current status of the arts in Illinois' education in Section Two. These findings reveal the need for maintaining and promoting the arts in general education.

The body of this study encompasses Section Three. This section contains Illinois' approach to advancing, expanding, and promoting its arts programs. Included in this section is the state's arts plan which embraces its resolutions, its philosophy, and its attitudes toward the important roles the arts play in general education. This particular part of the study incorporates Illinois' Comprehensive Arts Education Program and its six components: Generalized Arts Instruction, Traditional Arts Instruction, Integrated Arts Instruction, Interrelated Arts Instruction, Specialized Arts Instruction, and Extended Arts Instruction. Each component is discussed along with actual examples of implementation in Illinois school districts.

The conclusion summarizes these findings. This closing segment presents research which emphasizes the strong need to advocate Illinois arts education and national arts education as basic and essential within the general curriculum.