Based on interviews, site visits, and a literature review, examines how excellence in arts education is defined, how it is measured, and how decisions at all levels affect program quality. Offers tools to help decision makers reflect on and align goals.
  • Observation: For the majority of interviewees, ideas about what constitutes quality in arts education were inextricably tied to their values and to fundamental issues of identity and meaning.
  • Observation: The question of what constitutes high-quality arts education is deeply linked to the question of why the arts should be taught; when arts educators discuss excellence they also express ideas about the fundamental purposes of arts education – ideas about what students ought to learn through the arts and why these outcomes are important.
  • Observation: Decision makers at all levels including those distant from the classroom (e.g., administrators, funders, policy makers), outside the room (e.g., parents), or "in the room" (e.g., students, teachers, artists) affect the quality of arts learning experiences
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