Neuroeducation: Learning, Arts, and the Brain

Arts and Culture;Education and Literacy

Neuroeducation: Learning, Arts, and the Brain

Excerpts presentations and discussions from a May 2009 conference on the intersection of cognitive neuroscience, the arts, and learning -- the effects of early arts education on other aspects of cognition and implications for policy and practice.

Geographic Focus: North America-United States

Los Angeles Unified School District Arts Education and Creative Cultural Network Plan

Arts and Culture, Education and Literacy

Los Angeles Unified School District Arts Education and Creative Cultural Network Plan

This paper describes the 2012-2017 plan for funding arts education in the Los Angeles Unified School District. This mission for this project is as follows:

The Visual and Performing Arts are an integral part of the District's comprehensive curriculum and are essential for learning in the 21st century. All LAUSD students, from every culture and socioeconomic level, deserve quality arts learning in dance, music, theatre, and visual arts as part of the core curriculum.

Geographic Focus: North America-United States (Western)-California-Los Angeles County

Arts for All: the Vanguard Districts Case Studies

Arts and Culture, Education and Literacy

Arts for All: the Vanguard Districts Case Studies

Arts for All: The Vanguard Districts -- Case Studies from the First Five Years fills a gap in our knowledge about arts education efforts. There is a robust and rigorous body of research on the impact of arts education on students but there is sparse research on the effective strategies for implementing, sustaining and stewarding arts education efforts. Not since Arts Education
Partnership's (AEP) Gaining the Arts Advantage (1999) has there been a comprehensive study of how school districts animate the arts in their schools. We believe these case studies and subsequent cross-case analyses offer new insights about the differences between planning to restore arts education and making that plan a reality.

Geographic Focus: North America-United States (Western)-California

Thinking Through Art: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum School Partnership Program - Summary Final Search Results

Arts and Culture, Education and Literacy

Thinking Through Art: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum School Partnership Program - Summary Final Search Results

Museums and schools have a long history of working together to facilitate students' learning in and through the arts. While art museums have traditionally served school audiences through arange of single-visit tours, increasingly they offer more extensive school programs in an effort toprovide students with in-depth, comprehensive learning experiences. Studies suggest that a smany as half of American museums offer some form of a multiple-visit school program in which students might visit the museum from two to ten times a year. Museums also offer extended experiences such as pre- and post-visit activities in the classroom

Recent research suggests that many multiple-visit programs focus on creative and critical thinking skills, skills that are considered increasingly important in the general education of young people. Yet, until now, the museum education field has neither articulated exactly what is meant by critical thinking skills, nor how the museum provides a unique environment for learning such skills.

In 2003, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (ISGM), in partnership with the Institute for Learning Innovation (ILI), received a 3-year grant from the Department of Education to research students' learning in and from an art museum multiple-visit program. The ISGM's School Partnership Program (SPP) provided the context for this study and focused on three overarching goals described in the report in more detail. Launched in 1996, the SPP is a multiple-visit program serving K-8 students from neighboring inner-city public schools. Over the three years of the study, the pedagogy for the SPP shifted from a Socratic-method to more open-ended questions, using the Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) questioning model which focuses on learning to look at and make meaning from works of art, as well as gaining familiarity with the museum environment in order to feel comfortable using the Gardner as a community resource.

Geographic Focus: North America-United States (Northeastern)-Massachusetts-Suffolk County-Boston

Chicago Arts Partner Study: Theatre and Literary Arts

Arts and Culture, Education and Literacy

Chicago Arts Partner Study: Theatre and Literary Arts

In summer 2010, the Chicago Community Trust commissioned four nonprofit arts organizations, including the League of Chicago Theatres, to work with arts educators and develop practical and actionable recommendations that will enable arts partners to serve more Chicago Public Schools (CPS) students -- and serve them better -- through arts education. Over the past year, the theatre and literary arts education communities have contributed countless hours and numerous invaluable insights, many of which are reflected in this report.

This study asked a few straightforward questions: What is the capacity of Chicago's theatre and literary arts partners? What will enable arts partners to increase that capacity, and what is getting in their way? How can supports -- new or existing -- be created, adapted, expanded, or simply better distributed to give arts partners new tools and techniques?

Through an extensive survey, interviews, and numerous group convenings, this study came at those questions from a variety of angles. And strikingly, the copious amounts of data generated and the extensive conversations all pointed to a few basic ideas.

Fundamentally, the ability of theatre and literary arts partners to develop new programs depends on the relationships they have built. And their ability to sustain successful programs, too, depends on the relationships they have built. What is the biggest constraint to their capacity? Those same relationships. This becomes particularly true in an environment in which resources are constrained -- the single most effective step that individual theatre and literary arts partners can take is to concentrate on the relationships they are building with principals and teachers and with their contacts in the district office.

When working with high schools, where challenges and distractions are even greater, these steps become ever more critical. Theatre and literary arts partners already know that principals and teachers are critical to their success. We recommend that:

  • Arts partners work closely with principals and teachers to understand schools' priorities and goals prior to pitching potential program offerings. Many groups have found that customizing or semi-customizing their programs after such a conversation leads to a better and longer-lasting fit with the school. Arts partners may want to reach out to other school stakeholders such as resource coordinators, curriculum coordinators, parents, and local school councils, among others, to conduct a needs assessment. Theatre and literary arts partners should also take advantage of the wealth of information that existing "matchmaker" organizations know about schools. Similarly, when they find a "true believer" -- a principal, teacher, parent, student that can enthusiastically engage others about the impact of the organization's arts programs and/or the field -- that person should be enlisted immediately as an advocate to his or her peers. Lastly, the theatre and literary arts education community should work together to share their successes and strategies on an ongoing basis.

  • Funders assist by providing information about local needs and introductions to key leaders in communities. Funders should also support training for arts partners in developing and sustaining effective partnerships.

  • CPS help arts partners make connections with principals and should facilitate opportunities for supportive principals and teachers ("true believers") to share their arts education experience with their peers.These critical relationships and partnerships can help theatre and literary arts partners weather a complicated set of challenges within schools. Some arts partners have described CPS as a place of tremendous uncertainty, where a sense of being in "survival mode" prevails. In this environment, where principals and teachers are under pressure to improve test scores and academic outcomes, translating the value of arts programming can be difficult: effective tools do not yet exist; arts partners do not have access to the data that could help them make their case; assessment and evaluation can be difficult and frustrating for all concerned. To ensure that theatre and literary arts partners can build successful, sustainable programs for CPS students, we recommend that:

  • Arts partners evaluate and measure programs based on the priorities and goals they jointly establish with school leadership, so they can then demonstrate progress according to the schools? needs. Arts partners should share program evaluations with all stakeholders, including teachers and students, and could engage these stakeholders in focus groups to deepen their understanding of program impact. The theatre and literary arts partners also expressed a strong interest in working together, across organizations, to share and learn from each others approaches to assessment.

  • Arts partners, funders, and CPS generate greater awareness of the assessment tools and supports that currently exist for arts partners because a large number of providers do not know about current resources in Chicago. Arts partners, funders, CPS should also collaborate to demonstrate arts program effectiveness in terms that matter to school leaders, such as the linkages between these programs and academic outcomes.

  • Funders provide resources for deeper, quantitative studies of program effectiveness, especially in academic terms. Funders should also enter into a dialogue with arts partners to establish effective approaches to assessment that will meet both the funders' needs and the schools' needs, without being burdensome for arts partners.

  • CPS enhance the Chicago Guide for Teaching and Learning in the Arts to include the supports that theatre and literary arts partners say would most enable them to expand capacity: best practices in developing and continuing relationships with principals and teachers; guidance on translating the impact of theatre and literary arts programs to Common Core standards and academic outcomes; and comprehensive approaches to assessment. CPS should also complete the sections still in development, such as the literary arts chapter, and ensure greater awareness of the Guide among classroom teachers and arts partners. Active users of the Guide could be enlisted to train non-users.

Meanwhile, the field as a whole -- arts partners, funders, CPS, and stakeholders -- needs to continue working together to transform policy and support for arts education. Everyoneshould engage new CPS district leadership and push to establish changes in policy that will lay the groundwork for stronger arts education in schools, including graduation requirements, structural support for arts education, and training requirements for principals and teachers.

It has never been easy to work with large districts like Chicago Public Schools, which itself faces many challenges in trying to help its students succeed personally and academically. And it is to the credit of arts partners that they choose to bring their dedication, passion, and ingenuity to a task that is simply so challenging.

The data that follow paint a vivid picture of these challenges. The recommendations will absolutely require hard work by many parties -- but the heartening news is that they are attainable. Part of the solution is in helping people better relate to each other in creative ways.

Geographic Focus: North America-United States (Midwestern)-Illinois-Cook County-Chicago

Annual Arts in Schools Report 2011-2012

Arts and Culture, Education and Literacy

Annual Arts in Schools Report 2011-2012

Data from the 2006-12 Annual Arts Education Surveys and other NYCDOE databases for 2006-12 have yielded valuable information to school leaders, teachers, parents, and community-based organizations to expand students' access to and participation in the arts. Under the leadership of Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Walcott, the NYCDOE maintains a strong commitment to arts education for all students. The success of our endeavor to build the quality of arts instruction and equity of access across all schools, as articulated in the Blueprints for Teaching and Learning in the Arts, will depend on our continued collaboration with the arts and cultural community, the higher-education community, and other city and state agencies.

Working with the New York State Education Department (NYSED), the arts and cultural community, and the higher-education community, along with school leaders and parents, the NYCDOE is fully committed to supporting quality arts education, even in the face of the most severe fiscal crisis in 40 years, and will continue to:

  • ensure student achievement in the arts;
  • support school leaders to plan and provide comprehensive, sequential Blueprint-based instruction for all students;
  • build capacity of teachers to deliver quality teaching and learning in the arts; and
  • support all schools to meet ArtsCount/NYSED requirements.

The Office of Arts and Special Projects (OASP) -- within the Office of School Programs and Partnerships, Division of Academics, Performance, and Support -- continues to analyze arts education data to refine and develop strategies to address the findings of the Annual Arts in Schools Report and support arts education citywide.

Geographic Focus: North America-United States (Northeastern)-New York-New York County-New York City

Music Matters: How Music Education Helps Students Learn, Achieve, and Succeed

Arts and Culture, Education and Literacy

Music Matters: How Music Education Helps Students Learn, Achieve, and Succeed

Beyond the intrinsic value of music to cultures worldwide, education in music has benefits for young people that transcend the musical domain. The Arts Education Partnership (AEP) reviewed an extensive body of research to identify high quality, evidence-based studies that document student learning outcomes associated with an education in and through music. The results show conclusively that music education equips students with the foundational abilities to learn, to achieve in other core academic subjects, and to develop the capacities, skills and knowledge essential for lifelong success.

Benefits of Music Education

A. Music education prepares students to learn

1. Enhances fine motor skills

2. Prepares the brain for achievement

3. Fosters superior working memory

4. Cultivates better thinking skills

B. Music education facilitates student academic achievement

1. Improves recall and retention of verbal information

2. Advances math achievement

3. Boosts reading and English language arts (ELA) skills

4. Improves average SAT scores

C. Music education develops the creative capacities for lifelong success

1. Sharpens student attentiveness

2. Strengthens perseverance

3. Equips students to be creative

4. Supports better study habits and self-esteem

Geographic Focus: North America-United States

ARISE 2009 Annual Performance Report to the US Department of Education

Arts and Culture, Children and Youth, Education and Literacy

ARISE 2009 Annual Performance Report to the US Department of Education

This is the second of three annual performance reports from the Performing Arts Workshop to the U.S. Department of Education about Project ARISE (Arts Residency Interventions in Special Education). The report includes performance measure data for the Arts in Education Model Development and Dissemination (AEMDD) grants program. The ARISE Project offers public schools weekly artist residencies lasting between 25 and 30 weeks in theater arts and creative movement for third to fifth grade students. Classrooms participating in ARISE are identified as Special Day Classes or general education classes with special education inclusion (or mainstreamed) students. The ARISE residencies emphasize critical-thinking while engaging in the creative process. In the 2008-09 school year, the Workshop provided ARISE residencies to 22 classrooms from five schools within the San Francisco Unified School District

Geographic Focus: North America-United States (Western)-California-San Francisco County-San Francisco

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