International Journal of Social Policy & Education

ISSN 2689-4998 (print), 2689-5013 (online)

DOI: 10.61494/ijspe

Governing Views and Decision-Making of Art, Music, and Physical Education in Hawai’i

Jeremy T. Yeats, Ph.D.; Emi Tsuda, Ph.D. & James Wyant, Ph.D.


The purpose of this study was to examine how Hawai’i’s educational governance and structure influence decisionmaking regarding art, music, and physical education. A phenomenological case study design was employed. The lens of this study comes from three state-level governance members and 16 principals, who were recruited for this study. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with the participants which lasted 37-102 minutes and served as the primary data source. Creswell’s (2007) case study analysis guidelines served as the umbrella framework for analysis. Governance members mentioned that they recognize the value of art, music, and physical education in the school curriculum to provide a well-rounded education to students. Further, these subject areas are an important vehicle to preserve the unique culture of Hawai’i. However, policies such as federal and state laws, mandates, guidelines, and programs make it difficult to offer classes in those subject areas. Federal and state decisions and limited resources for non-core subjects were also identified as barriers to offer and teach quality art, music, and physical education courses in Hawai’i. Analysis of participant data indicated links between art; music; and physical education; and critical cultural beliefs and traditions of the Hawai’i culture-sharing group. Given the data of this study, there is a contradiction with governance members’ values towards academic subjects, since there is a clear discrepancy between value orientations and acting on those values.