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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 10. Parent Perspectives


· 1 0 · parent perspectives Introduction During the on-site visits by the evaluation consultant, three parents in three different sites (under the auspices of three different partner organizations) volunteered to be interviewed. In discussions prior to the interview, the par- ents indicated which of the questions they felt they could adequately answer. In addition, substitute questions were developed where the original questions seemed inappropriate for them to answer. The parent interview data was analysed using NVivo, a qualitative software package, to identify patterns in the responses to each question. Quotations for each question are also provided to support the interpretation of the data. To analyse the data, the evaluation consultant generated a data link for each question, titled a tree node, from the corpus of responses to the in-depth inter- views. Each tree node constitutes a clustering of similar responses to a ques- tion from the parents. These tree nodes provide evidence of convergence of responses to a question (refer to appendix 8, pp. 143–146). 86 a case study of a national arts education partnership Partnership Issues Role of Parents The parents strongly believed that they had a role to play in the arts part- nership projects. They indicated that parents should be involved, and such involvement would enhance the community’s understanding of the learning that occurs in schools. As they commented: Parent I think parents need to be part of the creative process and come in to help the class. That is very important for my own children to...

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