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Working Together

A Case Study of a National Arts Education Partnership

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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 2. Research Methodology

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RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

Research Process

This study of the ArtsSmarts partnership program is titled Working Together: A Case Study of a National Arts Education Partnership. The title was selected to acknowledge the focus on artist-teacher collaboration throughout the program. Integrated Inquiry, a multiple-perspectives methodology, was employed to develop an in-depth understanding of the effectiveness of the partnership (Andrews, 2008b). The research method involves combining data from multiple interrelated protocols, qualitative and/or quantitative, or combining the data from one or more protocols in different periods to acquire a holistic understanding of an issue or issues under investigation. This author is familiar with Integrated Inquiry and has previously published several research articles using this method of combining data; for example, using multiple interrelated qualitative protocols within the same study (Andrews, 2010a), qualitative and quantitative protocols from individuals (Andrews, 2008a) or different groups (Andrews & Carruthers, 2004), qualitative and quantitative responses within the same instrument (Andrews, 2002), and combining analyses of quantitative data on multiple concepts within a study (Andrews & Trumpower, 2009). The research literature supports the combining of multiple perspectives in ← 15 | 16 → this way to acquire an in-depth understanding of field-based problems (e.g., Creswell, 2012; Miles & Huberman, 1994; Patton, 1990).

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