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.

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The Retention of Chicago's Arts Students in Comparative Perspective

May 28, 2014

Highlights:* 58 percent of Chicago arts-school alumni took up residence in the city within 5 years of the date of their last attendance. Of the regions compared in this report, only New York City has a greater portion of its arts-school alumni taking up residence in the city within 5 years, at 66 percent.* 51 percent of Chicago arts-school alumni were out-of-state applicants who came to Chicago and were still living in the city within five years of their last date of attendance. This is the second highest portion of out-of-state applicants taking up residence in the city of their alma mater. New York City's rate was highest at 54 percent.* Of arts-school alumni who searched for work, 38 percent of those attending school in Chicago obtained work prior to leaving their institution; 85 percent obtained work within a year. Alumni from other regions had similar experiences.*50 percent of Chicago's alumni reported that their first job or work experience was "closely related" to their arts-school training. However, alumni from institutions in Los Angeles County, Cleveland/Columbus and New York City reported higher rates of their first work experience being closely related to their arts training.

The Arts Advantage: Expanding Arts Education in the Boston Public Schools

February 12, 2009

Presents findings from a survey on the availability of arts education in the city's public schools, relevant school traits, funding needs, and partners. Offers recommendations and strategies for a three-year expansion plan. Highlights best practices.

Student Outcomes

Thinking Through Art: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum School Partnership Program - Summary Final Search Results

January 28, 2009

Museums and schools have a long history of working together to facilitate students' learning in and through the arts. While art museums have traditionally served school audiences through arange of single-visit tours, increasingly they offer more extensive school programs in an effort toprovide students with in-depth, comprehensive learning experiences. Studies suggest that a smany as half of American museums offer some form of a multiple-visit school program in which students might visit the museum from two to ten times a year. Museums also offer extended experiences such as pre- and post-visit activities in the classroomRecent research suggests that many multiple-visit programs focus on creative and critical thinking skills, skills that are considered increasingly important in the general education of young people. Yet, until now, the museum education field has neither articulated exactly what is meant by critical thinking skills, nor how the museum provides a unique environment for learning such skills.In 2003, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (ISGM), in partnership with the Institute for Learning Innovation (ILI), received a 3-year grant from the Department of Education to research students' learning in and from an art museum multiple-visit program. The ISGM's School Partnership Program (SPP) provided the context for this study and focused on three overarching goals described in the report in more detail. Launched in 1996, the SPP is a multiple-visit program serving K-8 students from neighboring inner-city public schools. Over the three years of the study, the pedagogy for the SPP shifted from a Socratic-method to more open-ended questions, using the Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) questioning model which focuses on learning to look at and make meaning from works of art, as well as gaining familiarity with the museum environment in order to feel comfortable using the Gardner as a community resource.

Classroom Examples

Revitalizing Arts Education Through Community-Wide Coordination

June 18, 2008

Based on site visits, interviews, and literature and document reviews, presents a comparative case study of how six community initiatives were launched to improve arts education through collaboration among multiple organizations and how they evolved.

Classroom Examples; Community Outcomes