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Working Together

A Case Study of a National Arts Education Partnership


Bernard W. Andrews

Partnerships among a variety of institutions – for profit, not-for-profit, and non-profit – are a relatively recent organizational development. Such partnerships link businesses, government, and social agencies. The primary reason for these relationships is to achieve goals sooner and more efficiently by building on the resources and expertise of each partner. In arts education, schools, arts organizations, cultural institutions, government agencies, and universities have engaged in joint ventures to improve the teaching and learning of the arts disciplines in their schools and in their communities. These partnerships have been particularly beneficial for teachers, many of whom have limited background in the arts but are expected to teach them in their classrooms. Arts partnerships initially focused on the goals of the participating organizations; that is, to develop artistic skills, to build future audiences, and/or to encourage young people to consider an artistic career. More recently, partnerships focus on educational goals rather than solely artistic ones. Despite the challenges and complexities of arts education partnerships, most partners believe that the benefits to students, teachers and the community outweigh the disadvantages and consequently, as the research in Working Together demonstrates, they are willing to justify the time, energy, and expense involved to improve the quality of arts education.


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Chapter 4. Arts Integration


· 4 · arts integration Nature of Arts Instruction All partners described similar ways in which the projects integrated arts activities across the curriculum: multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary, and inte- grated arts (refer to appendix 2, pp. 111–115). In addition, both the artists and project coordinators described disciplinary and field-based approaches, and the teachers described parallel disciplines and multicultural arts. These approaches may be placed on an arts learning axis from disciplinary-based to integrated arts to describe a shifting emphasis from subject matter focus (i.e., learning in, within, and about the arts) to arts integration (i.e., learning with and through the arts) (refer to table 4.1). Table 4.1. Arts Learning Axis. Discipline-based Interdisciplinary Field-based Multidisciplinary Integrated Arts Learning in the arts Learning within the arts Learning about the arts Learning with the arts Learning through the arts 32 a case study of a national arts education partnership Disciplinary-based Instruction (Learning in the Arts) Discipline-based refers to instruction that focuses on the elements, concepts, and principles of an arts discipline. For example, in music the basic elements of sound are pitch, duration, volume, and timbre, and when several sounds are linked in a sequence one after another, we have the concept of melody. To create a melody that is recognizable, composers employ principles of com- position appropriate to the style of music they are composing. For example, a tonal melody would focus on the tonic (1st note), subdominant (4th), and dominant (5th) notes of the major scale and feature a resolution to the tonic....

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