In recent years many school districts have had to restructure their arts curriculums to meet the growing emphasis on standards that is central to most school reform. This unique collection is meant to assist educators, policymakers, grantmakers and other stakeholders by focusing on the potential benefits of arts education for students and communities alike, and providing examples of creative ways school districts are handling their constraints.

Search this collection

Clear all

8 results found

reorder grid_view

Deconstructing Engagement: A First Generation Report on the ArtsSmarts Student Engagement Questionnaire

October 12, 2007

During the school year 2006-2007, ArtsSmarts representatives collaborated with Karen Hume to design a questionnaire to measure students' engagement before and after ArtsSmarts programs. The questionnaire was administered to a large number of students who were being taught by an ArtsSmarts team comprised of an artist and a teacher. ArtsSmarts uses an innovative approach to arts integration, by allowing the self construction of programming in classrooms; and by acting as a facilitator in providing resources for artists and teachers teams develop programming for students in their classrooms. This programming develops a context where student learning and engagement in tasks and activities can take place. ArtsSmarts does not dictate this creative process; rather, it plays a supportive role in acting as a reference point for the teacher-artist teams to rely on. This approach not only allows for the innovation to evolve organically from the generation of the artist-teacher teams to student interaction, but also excites the creative learning process within the classroom. This report is a summary of the results from this first administration of the ArtsSmarts Student Engagement Questionnaire (i.e., first generation). The overall purpose of this report is firstly to examine student engagement, and secondly to examine the quality of the questionnaire, for further refinements. This report has three areas of focus: 1. To summarize the responses of students who completed the questionnaire.2. To compare student engagement before and after intervention.3. To identify strengths and weakness in the questionnaire for further revisions.

Student Outcomes

Engaged in Learning: The ArtsSmarts Model

February 5, 2007

Approximately a dozen internal research studies into student learning and program effectiveness were conducted during ArtsSmarts' first eight years. In the spring of 2006, we compiled the results of those studies, along with a like number of reports by outside researchers, to create a synthesis of possible directions for future work. Although we used a small sample of available outside studies, it was immediately and glaringly evident that the arts and educational communities are hungering for research that will "help us understand what the arts learning experience is for children, and what characteristics of that experience are likely to travel across domains of learning" (Deasy, 2002:99). It was equally evident to all ArtsSmarts partners that, while future ArtsSmarts research could be taken in any number of directions, it made the most sense to identify and build from ArtsSmarts' own strengths and successes. We also felt the need to align the research direction and the methods of data collection with our intended audiences.Different groups would find different aspects of ArtsSmarts compelling, and distinctly different types of data would be required for each. Partners identified educators (teachers, administrators, and senior Board office personnel) as the audience they most wanted to reach.With that in mind, the decision was made to develop a theory of learning that would serve the dual purposes of explaining ArtsSmarts' impact in Canadian classrooms and framing the research work of the next few years. We felt that establishing an ArtsSmarts theory of learning would help to answer the question, "If ArtsSmarts didn't exist, what would be lost?" Further, a theory of learning would assist teachers, artists and partners in identifying key, essential components of the ArtsSmarts experience, and would also prevent ArtsSmarts from being viewed as a pleasant but unnecessary add-on to classroom activity. The paper that follows develops an ArtsSmarts theory of learning centred on the concept of student engagement.

Classroom Examples

Arts Smarts at Caslan School: A Longitudinal Case Study

January 15, 2007

This study examines the impact of ArtsSmarts over a three year period at Caslan School, a small K-9 school 200 kilometres northeast of Edmonton attended by 130 students from the Buffalo Lake Métis Settlement. With a history of poor achievement, attendance, behaviour, parental involvement and high staff turn-over, the school applied to ArtsSmarts for support. In all, 70 collaborative projects were undertaken, involving all grades and many curricular areas, with the highest number being related to science or social studies. The school became a showplace of Métis art and culture, students had hands-on exposure to multiple art forms, and their displays and performances generated new pride and engagement on the part of students and parents. With respect to Caslan's five objectives for the introduction of ArtsSmarts, the findings were mixed.

Student Outcomes

Walking Tall in the Hall: A Mapping Review of ArtsSmarts Projects in Aboriginal Settings Across Canada

December 1, 2006

The objective of this mapping review is to provide a 'snapshot' of the impacts of a variety of ArtsSmarts projects on teachers, students, and communities in 15 off-reserve Aboriginal communities. Research was conducted between April 1 and August 30, 2006 using surveys, interviews, focus groups, document review and selected site visits. The projects themselves were undertaken at both the elementary and secondary school levels and varied considerably in numbers of participants (8 -- 185), length of project (1 day -- 6 months), number of teachers involved (1 -- 8), and art forms explored. All projects received ArtsSmarts funding, averaging $4,405 (excluding one large grant of $89,000). These projects have taught a number of important lessons about ArtsSmarts as an intervention. They are centred around four broad questions: What works for schools?What are the indicators of and contributing factors to success?What are the components of successful classroom partnerships?What can be done to transfer or expand success to other schools?

Student Outcomes

Fire Log: A Report on the Fire Project

May 1, 2004

Building on the workshop process developed during The ICE Project, DanceArts Vancouver, now Judith Marcuse Projects, in the period 1998 to 2001, organized dozens of wide-ranging, carefully-constructed and challenging workshops in movement, theatre, media literacy and film and video production that were attended by a highly-diverse group of more than 400 hundred youth aged 15-18 throughout British Columbia. This in-depth process produced a body of stories, observations and insights that provided the "raw material" for the later creation, by the core artistic team, of the script for the production, FIRE....where there's smoke. While ICE explored the issue of teen suicide, FIRE explored the nature of violence as experienced by youth and its effects on their lives.

Student Outcomes

Evaluation de la strategie de GenieArts: Impact et viabilite

December 1, 2003

Le present rapport vise a : 1) presenter une analyse des conclusions d'une enquete, d'entrevues et de groupes de discussion sur des projets GenieArts finances par la Fondation de la famille J.W. McConnell au Canada, en 2002-2003; 2) appuyer les activites de representation visant a obtenir un financement a long terme et a assurer la viabilite de l'approche GenieArts. Le rapport est axe sur l'impact des projets sur les eleves, le systeme d'education, la collectivite et le milieu des arts touchant ainsi les 'spheres d'influence' cles du systeme d'education.

Student Outcomes

Le programme GenieArts: Description et evaluation synthese

October 29, 2002

ArtsSmarts is a national program that promotes the teaching of arts infused curricula and the invaluable lessons that artistic practices can contribute to self-awareness, creativity, empathy, and community. The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation funds the ArtsSmarts program, and the Canadian Conference of the Arts acts as the ArtsSmarts Secretariat. Organizations from across Canada have been chosen as ArtsSmarts Partners to oversee projects that meld the program objectives with localized needs, resources, and visions for learning through the arts. More than 125,000 young people, 2,500 artists, and 4,500 teachers and community members have participated in Phase I (1998-2001) of the ArtsSmarts program. The evaluative research into Phase I of ArtsSmarts has shown that the program is meeting its goal of promoting collaborative efforts that bring the arts to schools and communities. Artists are bringing new insights and skills to learning, while passing on their passion for the arts. Teachers and administrators are expressing gratitude for the infusion of the arts into their teaching, their schools, and their community centres. Young people are enthusiastically engaging in art making and showing consistent signs of gaining new understandings of curriculum subjects, of themselves, and of their communities. Parents are volunteering time to the implementation and support of the projects. Whole communities are beginning to recognize the benefits of having the ArtsSmarts program in their midst and are providing venues, media coverage, collaboration, and, in some case, additional funding for the projects. ArtsSmarts is embarking on Phase II of its programming, in which it will continue to support existing projects, expand the reach of ArtsSmarts to other Partners and communities, and identify strategies that will ultimately allow localized projects to become self-sustaining. The ArtsSmarts program is providing both leadership and opportunities to ensure that the arts remain a vital component of the lives and learning of Canadian young people.

Student Outcomes

The ArtsSmarts Program: Description and Evaluation

October 25, 2002

ArtsSmarts is a national program that promotes the teaching of arts infused curricula and the invaluable lessons that artistic practices can contribute to self-awareness, creativity, empathy, and community. The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation funds the ArtsSmarts program, and the Canadian Conference of the Arts acts as the ArtsSmarts Secretariat. Organizations from across Canada have been chosen as ArtsSmarts Partners to oversee projects that meld the program objectives with localized needs, resources, and visions for learning through the arts. More than 125,000 young people, 2,500 artists, and 4,500 teachers and community members have participated in Phase I (1998-2001) of the ArtsSmarts program.The evaluative research into Phase I of ArtsSmarts has shown that the program is meeting its goal of promoting collaborative efforts that bring the arts to schools and communities. Artists are bringing new insights and skills to learning, while passing on their passion for the arts. Teachers and administrators are expressing gratitude for the infusion of the arts into their teaching, their schools, and their community centres. Young people are enthusiastically engaging in art making and showing consistent signs of gaining new understandings of curriculum subjects, of themselves, and of their communities. Parents are volunteering time to the implementation and support of the projects. Whole communities are beginning to recognize the benefits of having the ArtsSmarts program in their midst and are providing venues, media coverage, collaboration, and, in some case, additional funding for the projects.ArtsSmarts is embarking on Phase II of its programming, in which it will continue to support existing projects, expand the reach of ArtsSmarts to other Partners and communities, and identify strategies that will ultimately allow localized projects to become self-sustaining. The ArtsSmarts program is providing both leadership and opportunities to ensure that the arts remain a vital component of the lives and learning of Canadian young people.

Student Outcomes