Focus on Quality
What does quality arts education look like?
Quality has been a focus of Arts for All’s work since 2009-10 when it developed and launched the Arts for All School Arts Survey. The survey is a tool to measure the quality and equity of access to arts instruction at the school site level. It measures 16 Quality, Equity and Access Indicators developed specifically for Los Angeles County. The indicators are grouped under the categories of Pedagogy, Student Learning, Environment and Community that were originally identified as “lenses” in Harvard Project Zero’s 2009 report, The Qualities of Quality. A summary of key findings from a pilot of the survey across five school districts is available here.
As the School Arts Survey continues to be introduced to additional school districts, Arts for All has explored how the lenses from Qualities of Quality can be used to increase individuals’ capacity to make informed observations of arts education experiences and to assess and support programs developed by school district and arts education service providers. Drawing on lessons learned from its work on quality with school district leaders in the Arts for All Leadership Fellows Program (summarized here), Arts for All developed a workshop to familiarize audiences with the four lenses and allowed participants to practice applying those lenses to observations of real-life settings. The workshop has since been delivered to arts and education funders, school district arts coordinators/leads and arts and education service providers. An outline of the workshop is available for reference here.