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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 6. Arts Appreciation


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· 6 ·


Valuing the Arts

The artists, teachers, and project coordinators noted that indicators of an appreciation of the arts emerged in several different ways throughout the projects. There was evidence of an artistic perspective by students gained from working as artists; transformation of the school from an institutional to aesthetic environment; student engagement in real-life arts experiences; and increased enjoyment of learning when participating in arts activities. Another dimension noted by the teachers was that the arts activities were intrinsically motivating and actively engaged students in learning. The project coordinators noted that the students made a connection between school learning and art presented by local artists, thereby gaining an awareness of the arts in their own communities. Overall, the partners noted that students learned to view the world from an artistic perspective, thereby gaining an understanding the role of the artist in society (refer to appendix 4, pp. 125–128). ← 51 | 52 →

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