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Working Together

A Case Study of a National Arts Education Partnership

Series:

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 9. Emerging Issues

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· 9 · emerging issues Introduction A meta-analysis of the in-depth interview data across all ten questions revealed a number of emerging issues with the arts partnerships. With each group—artists, teachers, and project coordinators—these issues were tangen- tially related. For the artists, the issues were about artist adaptation to the class- room culture and teacher detachment from involvement in the arts projects; for the teachers, it was about artist value to themselves and their students and classroom management by the artists; and for project coordinators, it was about the complexities of their role and the changing nature of arts education. The data overall was analyzed using NVivo, a qualitative software package, to identify patterns in the responses to all the questions. Several quotations for each question are provided in this section to support the interpretation of the data. To analyse the data, the author generated a data link for emerging themes, entitled free nodes, from the corpus of responses to the in-depth interviews. Each free node constituted a clustering of similar responses to the questions overall from the partners. In this study, the free nodes provided evidence of issues within groups (i.e., artists OR teachers OR project coordinators) (refer to appendix 7, pp. 138–142). For example, 76 a case study of a national arts education partnership an overall examination of the questions revealed a preoccupation by artists with adapting to the classroom and dealing with teacher detachment (appendix 7, pp. 138–139), whereas teachers recognized the value of the...

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