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Revitalizing Arts Education Through Community-Wide Coordination

Revitalizing Arts Education Through Community-Wide Coordination

Susan J. Bodilly
Catherine H. Augustine
with Laura Zakaras
Copyright Date: 2008
Edition: 1
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 108
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  • Book Info
    Revitalizing Arts Education Through Community-Wide Coordination
    Book Description:

    Initiatives to coordinate schools, cultural institutions, community-based organizations, foundations, and/or government agencies to promote access to arts education in and outside of schools have recently developed. This study looks at the collaboration efforts of six urban communities: how they started and evolved, the kinds of organizations involved, conditions that helped and that hindered coordination, and strategies used.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-4593-5
    Subjects: Political Science, Education, Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  4. Figures and Tables
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Summary
    (pp. xi-xvi)
  6. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
  7. Abbreviations
    (pp. xix-xx)
  8. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-8)

    Arts education in the nation’s schools is clearly in a state of decline (von Zastrow and Janc, 2004; Rowe et al., 2004; Hamilton et al., 2007; McMurrer, 2007; Woodworth, Gallagher, and Guha, 2007; West, 2007). For many communities, the decline started with significant public budget shortfalls in the 1970s and 1980s that led school districts to drastically cut programs deemed not as central to the academic mission. More recently, the test-based accountability mechanisms of state standards-based reforms and the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (Public Law 107-110, 2002), commonly known as NCLB, caused schools to focus on...

  9. CHAPTER TWO The Evolving Ecology of Arts Education
    (pp. 9-24)

    This chapter presents a common history of arts education across America’s urban centers and sets forth important issues that communities must face as they attempt to improve the provision of arts education. We based this discussion on the literature on arts education learning, the oral histories of arts learning provided by the experts we interviewed, and what we discovered during our site visits. This chapter illustrates that the field of arts education is conceptually rich and complex, but that arts education initiatives start from a weak position compared with those in other fields of education. The fact that researchers, practitioners,...

  10. CHAPTER THREE Coordination Efforts Within Six Communities
    (pp. 25-46)

    This chapter describes the coordination efforts undertaken in our six case-study sites, or communities, to improve arts learning. Our intent here is to set the stage for the findings of our cross-site analyses, which are discussed in Chapters Four and Five. We thus provide only the information needed to discern the coordination efforts’ differences and similarities.

    The six communities have much in common. All have very vibrant arts sectors comprising theaters, symphonies, museums, etc. All have a varied set of arts education providers, as well as foundations and state agencies that promote arts learning. In short, all of them have...

  11. CHAPTER FOUR Strategies for Improving Access and Quality
    (pp. 47-62)

    This chapter describes the most prevalent strategies used by our six case-study sites to improve both access to and quality of children’s arts learning experiences. Some strategies were used to improve either access or quality; others, such as strategic planning and capacity building, were used to improve both. We begin by describing these strategies in the order in which they were implemented in our sites, but it should be noted that many of them were pursued simultaneously or iteratively. We then discuss why sites employed these strategies and how they implemented them. We also point out tensions and limitations inherent...

  12. CHAPTER FIVE Sparking and Sustaining Coordination Across Providers and Influencers
    (pp. 63-72)

    Chapter Four synthesized the strategies employed across the six study-case sites to improve both access to and quality of arts learning experiences for children. In this chapter, we consider the extent to which coordination of efforts accelerated and/or improved the effectiveness of these strategies in the six sites. We start by discussing coordination as an enabler of improved access and quality; we then turn to the conditions that have fostered coordination and impeded it in our sites. We also provide observations about both the advantages and the drawbacks of participating in coordination efforts.

    Of the eight strategies adopted to improve...

  13. CHAPTER SIX Conclusion
    (pp. 73-80)

    In this chapter, we gather and present our findings and offer guidance, in the form of recommendations, for communities attempting to improve access to quality arts learning experiences for children. We end the chapter with an important message about the power, and the fragility, of coordinated efforts aimed at improving access to high-quality arts education.

    In conducting this work, we learned that the arts education ecology comprises multiple providers of and influencers of arts education. Some of these advocate for specific approaches to arts learning and its provision (which leads to entrenched disagreements); others search for commonalities. In general, we...

  14. References
    (pp. 81-88)