Amy Duma, Journal for Learning Through the Arts, v10 n1 2014
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts has been involved in an intensive, sustained partnership with schools, Changing Education Through the Arts (CETA), since 1999. The CETA program is a whole school reform model designed to impact student learning and attitudes by building teachers’ capacities to make arts integration one of their primary approaches to teaching across the curriculum. During its first decade (1999 to 2009), the program formally examined its impact through three independent, multi-year evaluation studies. Examined together, the three studies shed light on a decade of arts integration outcomes for students, teachers, and schools. Findings are reported in four areas–the CETA program design, and the program’s impact on students, teachers, and schools. Findings for the program design include: the structure of the CETA program’s professional learning model was integral to its success in schools and the most critical factor for improving practice; and the importance of opportunities for arts coaching in the classroom and participation in study groups as ongoing program supports. Findings for the impact on students include: increased student engagement, both socially and academically; a moderately high positive relationship between student engagement and the extent of teachers’ professional development; growth in students’ cognitive and social skills; and gains in standardized test scores for lower performing students. Findings for the impact on teachers include: development of strong support for the value of arts integration for reaching all kinds of learners, widening the opportunity for all students to be successful, and providing multiple ways for students to express knowledge and understanding; teachers’ increased use of collaborative learning strategies with students; change in the role arts specialists play in schools; and time as a critical factor for effective implementation. Findings for the impact on schools include: changes in school culture, including increased teacher collaboration resulting in a more positive and cohesive, and child-centered environment; growth of the school as a learning community; and the importance of administrative support and leadership.
Center for Learning in the Arts, Sciences and Sustainability. University of California Irvine, School of Biological Sciences III, Office 2656, Irvine, CA 92697. Tel: 949-824-4317; Fax: 949-824-2965; Web site: http://www.clat.uci.edu