An Introduction to The Transformative Power of the ARTS in Closing the Achievement Gap California County Superintendents Arts Initiative
Acknowledgments Introducing a new resource for understanding the critical role of the arts in closing the achievement gap and developing the capacities needed for 21st century learning and success • CCSESA Arts Initiative and the CISC VAPA Subcommittee • William and Flora Hewlett Foundation • San Francisco County Office of Education • Francisca Sánchez, SFUSD Chief Academic Officer, Project Executive Producer • Dr. Fred Dobb, Principal Researcher and Writer • Antigone Trimis, San Francisco USD VAPA Staff Lead • Debra Koffler and José Luis Mejía, Conscious Youth Media Crew, Video Producers • Patty Taylor, CCSESA Arts Consultant, Document Reviewer
Context & Purpose • Focus on the Transformative Power of Visual and Performing Arts Education and Educators • Spark, increase, and sustain student engagement, achievement and 21st century success, especially powerful for marginalized youth • Provide positive, life-enhancing experiences, skills, and direction • Help eliminate demographic predictability • Purpose • Share this potential through a variety of connected resources • Provide the essential background parents and educators need to understand the relationship between the achievement gap and arts education
Transformative Power The ability to spark, increase, and sustain engagement, academic achievement, and 21st century success outside of school, particularly for students marginalized by traditional curriculum and instructional practice, narrowly focused standardized assessments, and institutionalized biases.
Convening the Community • If you had to live in one of the arts disciplines, which would you choose: • Visual Arts • Music • Go to the corner labeled with that arts discipline. • Introduce yourselves. • In what ways has this art transformed your lives? • Create a summary statement about this. • What is one implication of your experiences for school reform efforts? • Dance • Theatre
Sharing Out • Select a spokesperson to: • Introduce the group members. • Share • A summary statement about your experiences of the transformative power of your art discipline. • An implication of this transformative power for our school reform efforts.
Outcomes • Engage participants in expanding their understanding of how to use The Transformative Power of the Arts in Closing the Achievement Gap with a variety of arts leaders and educators. • Guide participants in exploring how to translate the ideas in to support transformative, gap-closing classroom practices in the arts.
Agenda • Welcome • Acknowledgments • Context & Purpose • Convening the Community • Overview • Outcomes & Agenda • Journal • Organization & Key Questions • Introduction to Key Concepts • The Achievement Gap & the Arts • Benefits of the Arts • Discussion & Reflection • Five Lenses for Understanding the Gifts of the Arts • The Five Lenses • Introduction to the Jigsaw Activity • Jigsaw Activity • LUNCH • Poster Presentations • Supporting Resources • Closing the Day • Elevator Speech • After Action Review • Closing Comments/Evaluation
JOURNAL Transformative Power of the Arts Notes & Reflection Journal - Purpose • Organize workshop notes • Apply what we know about the brain • Writing helps us sort things out. • Writing helps us solve problems. • Writing helps us move new learnings into long-term memory. • Writing helps us personalize understanding. • Writing makes us smarter.
Journal Organization Table of Contents # Topic Page TOPIC Page # Reflection/ Question Notes First Page 6 Pages In
An Introduction • Document Organization & Key Questions • The Achievement Gap • Reflection
Organization Document Narrative http://www.ccsesaarts.org/content/TransformativePowerArts_guide.asp • Section 1 • Executive Summary (1) • Acknowledgments (2) • Introduction (3) • Section 2 • What Is the Achievement Gap? (5) • What Does All of This Have to Do with the Arts? (10) • What Are the Benefits of the Arts? (13) • Section 3 • Language for Appreciating the Gifts of the Arts (21) • What Are the Gifts of the Arts? (26) • Section 4 • Gifts of the Arts in Action: Programs Reaching Across the Achievement Gap (32) • Professional Development (34) • Section 5 • Summary (36) • References (40) Visual Displays of Information(20, 23 – 24, and 26-31) Profiles (4, 8, 12, 19, 35, 39) Video Profiles http://www.ccsesaarts.org/content/TransformativePowerArts_guide.asp
Key Questions • What do the arts have to do with the achievement gap? • What are the benefits of the arts for students? • What does research say about the arts and student academic and personal growth? • What are the gifts of the arts for individuals and society? • How do we artfully redefine the achievement gap and those trapped in it?
The Achievement Gap • Often used to refer to differential test scores between identifiable groups of students • Historically Underserved Racial/Ethnic Minorities • African Americans, Latinos, Pacific Islanders, American Indians • Poor Students • English Learners • Special Needs Students
The Achievement Gap • Persistent • Has Always Existed • There are no “good old days.” • Officially Recognized for Several Decades • Resistant to and Sometimes Exacerbated by Most Official School Reform Efforts
The Achievement Gap • Pervasive • Across Definitions of Achievement • Test Scores, Grades, A-G Completion, and Credit Accrual • Drop-Out, Graduation, and College-Going Rates • Placement in Honors/Advanced Courses, GATE Programs, and Special Education; • Retention in Grade, Suspensions, and Expulsions • Disciplinary Referrals • Across and Within Socio-Economic Levels • Across Geographic Areas
The Achievement Gap • Predictable • Achievement gaps in schools reflect social stratification, discrimination and power relations in the society. • Institutional Biases & Inequities • Connected to Issues of Power and Access to: • Resources: Funding Instructional Materials, Facilities • Powerful Curriculum & Instruction • Experienced & Well-Qualified Teachers • Culturally & Linguistically Responsive Approaches • High Expectations & Welcoming Learning Environments
The Achievement Gap & the Arts He was transformed by this experience (acting in a film) and continues to follow an actor’s path. During times of incredible hardship, I watched him use this as a focus to transform his feelings of hurt and anger. Giving kids a chance to articulate and work through their emotions without taking it out on the street or another person is the most important reason to teach any art form. It is life-changing for many young people. Anonymous Teacher’s Comment Forum, KQED Radio, April 12, 2009
The Achievement Gap & the Arts Innovation, of course, is a business buzzword. So some business schools are embracing an innovation-oriented approach known as ‘design thinking’ in which students take their understandings of the world and use them on the path to creativity. “Multicultural Critical Theory. At B-School?” New York Times, 1-10-10 Financial firms are sending their back-office jobs overseas. But what do artists do? They create something new, unexpected and delightful that changes the world. Masters in Fine Arts’ abilities are harder to outsource and more important in an abundant world. Daniel Pink, author of A Whole New Mind
The Achievement Gap & the Arts The arts can help students become tenacious, team-oriented problem-solvers who are confident and able to think creatively. These qualities can be especially important in improving learning among students from economically disadvantaged circumstances. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan
Discussion & Reflection • At your table, do a quick whip around so each person has 10 or 15 seconds to respond to this question: • What stood out to you from what we’ve shared and experienced thus far? • Now, discuss the following: • How do the information and experiences match or not match your experience in your work setting? • Save 2 minutes to do a quick journal reflection.
Benefits of the Arts • Benefits for All Students • Academic Benefits across the Curriculum • Benefits for Marginalized Populations • Intrinsic Benefits
Benefits for All Students • The Arts, Creative Learning, and Student Achievement • Higher reading, writing, and science test scores • Lower dropout rates • Better preparation for future education and the workplace • Enhanced parental involvement • Strengthened workplace skills of creativity and imagination • Making a Case for the Arts (3-year study of 10 elementary, middle and high schools) • Higher standardized test scores • Greater student motivation for school work • Greater student roles in their own learning • Improved student behavior and attendance
Academic Benefits • Correlation v. Causality • Most studies show a relationship between student participation in the arts and growth in other areas, rather than direct causation. • Doing Well and Doing Good by Doing Art • Reports positive correlations between a student’s involvement in: • The arts and academic success • Instrumental music and mathematics achievement • Sustained involvement in theatre arts and development of a student’s empathy, self-concept and motivation • These findings held for low-income students. • James Catterall in Critical Evidence • Students involved in the arts are demonstrably doing better in school than those who are not.
Academic Benefits – Causal Evidence • Listening to Music and Spatial-Temporal Reasoning • Medium-Sized Causal Relationship • Suggests that music and spatial reasoning may rely on some of the same underlying skills and on some of the same, or proximal, brain areas • Learning to Play Music and Spatial Reasoning • Large Causal Relationship • Effect greater when standard music notation was learned as well • Effect works equally for both general and at risk populations • Classroom Drama and Verbal Skills • Medium-Sized Causal Link • Drama helped children’s verbal skills with respect to the texts enacted • Also helped children’s verbal skills when applied to new, non-enacted texts
Benefits for Marginalized Students Artslearning experiences play a vital role in developing students’ capacities for critical thinking, creativity, imagination, and innovation. These capacities are increasingly recognized as core skills and competencies all students need as part of a high-quality and complete 21st-century education. And, as a matter of social justice, we must be concerned when students are denied access to a high-quality education—one that includes learning in and through the arts—simply because of where they live or go to school. Sandra Ruppert Critical Evidence of How the Arts Benefit Student Achievement
Benefits for Marginalized Students The arts provide pathways of expression and understanding that come directly from the students’ experiences; they are ways for teachers to gather information about learners and their cultures. The arts are our history and our vision. They record, are shaped by, and reflect culture, and in turn, transform culture by providing a focus for reflection…. When students are actively engaged in creatively thinking, they focus on ways that call for flexibility in thought and integration of emotionality, rationality, and meaning that is necessary for success in academic settings and elsewhere. Mary Stone Hanley and George W. Noblit Cultural Responsiveness, Racial Identity and Academic Success
Benefits for Marginalized Students • The arts allow students to: • Own the process and content of learning • Communicate their life experiences • Reinterpret their lives. Engagement in the arts may provide a means of redirecting the anger, anxiety, and alienation reported by numerous students of color. Stone Hanley and Noblit
Culturally & Linguistically Responsive Arts Instruction • Uses culture to promote positive racial and ethnic identity. • Uses that identity as an asset in learning and development. • Educates about racism and group advancement to encourage high achievement and resilience in the face of oppression. • Employs the arts to produce a wide range of competencies. • Develops caring relationships as an initial step to inspire students to work academically. • Builds on student strengths and assumes academic and personal success.
Intrinsic Benefits of the Arts The arts are fundamental to children’s education and they are fundamental because the arts are fundamental to human nature, to the human being, so I do not see art as an instrument to teach something else. The primary reason why we need strong arts programs in the schools is that human beings are artists. One way we grapple with ideas is through the arts…. A school that has ignored the artist in us has done damage. Deborah Meier
Intrinsic Benefits of the Arts • Students in Arts-Based Organizations/Programs • Exhibited strong motivation, persistence, and critical analysis and planning abilities. • 25% more likely to report feeling satisfied with themselves • Twice as likely to win awards for academic achievement • 23% more likely to feel they can make plans and successfully work from them • The arts hold the potential for both personal and societal transformation.
Intrinsic Benefits of the Arts Private Benefits Private Benefits with Public Spillover Public Benefits Captivation Pleasure Expanded Capacity for Empathy Cognitive Growth Creation of Social Bonds Expression of Communal Meaning FromGifts of the Muse
Discussion & Reflection • At your table, talk about: • What new learnings or insights have emerged for you as a result of what you have heard or experienced thus far today? • What one thing must you now do (differently) as a result of these new learnings or insights? • Save 2 minutes to write a quick reflection in your journal.
Gifts of the Arts Jigsaw • VAPA Framework Strands • Studio Habits of Mind • Pink’s Six Senses • Eisner’s Ten Lessons the Arts Teach • 21st Century Skills
Select Your “Lens” • VAPA Framework Strands (Pp. 21 and 28-31) • Facilitator: • Studio Habits of Mind (Pp. 22-23 and 28-31) • Facilitator: • Pink’s Six Senses (Pp. 24-25 and 28-31) • Facilitator: • Eisner’s Ten Lessons the Arts Teach (Pp. 21-22 and 28-31) • Facilitator: • 21st Century Skills (Pp. 26-31) • Facilitator:
Jigsaw Task • Review • The appropriate section in the document. • Brainstorm & Consider • Specific arguments for and examples of how this lens connects to the other four and the power of these connections to increase student engagement, achievement, and 21st century skills. • Create • A poster that captures the key points of the lens, the connections, and the impact. • Present • A 3-minute poster session to the larger group.
Poster Pointers • A great poster is: • Readable • Legible • Well Organized • Succinct • Decide what the main message is and what text is required. • Short and sweet title • Measure the space you have. • Eliminate all extraneous material. • Pay attention to the layout. • Center title at the top. • Sequence information from left to right. • Include empty space. • Make room for decorative elements. • Vary the size of the lettering. • Larger = more important • Add color and visual elements.
Gifts of the Arts Jigsaw VAPA Framework Strands Studio Habits of Mind Six Senses Ten Lessons 21st Century Skills • CREATE a poster that captures the key points of the lens, the connections, and the impact. • PRESENT a 3-minute poster session to the larger group. • REVIEW the appropriate section in the document. • BRAINSTORM & CONSIDER specific arguments for and examples of how this lens connects to the other four and the power of these connections to increase student engagement, achievement, and 21st century skills.
Poster Presentations • 3-Minute Presentations • 2-Minute Q/A After Each Presentation • Audience • Take notes in your journal!
Supporting Resources • Featured Programs Videos • Inspiring Voice Materials • References List
Transformative Power Videoshttp://www.ccsesaarts.org/content/TransformativePowerArts_guide.asp Programs • African Diaspora Project • Fundred Project • Oakland Tech Dance Program • Music National Service • Downtown HS Multimedia Arts Project • ORCHKIDS Common Features • An explicit commitment to students served with an understanding of their strengths, potentials, and needs. • A consciousness that the skills taught are pathways to accomplishment within and beyond the arts curriculum. • The ability to draw in students by establishing how the programs are relevant to their lives, and fashion something different along the way. • An ongoing exposure to working artists.
Inspiring Voice • An ARTS LEARNING LEADERSHIP Professional Development Series • Sponsored by SFCOE and CCSESA Arts Initiative • Explores How to Engage and Motivate Students through Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Arts Education • Multiple Resources Available • http://www.ccsesa.org/Arts/ArtsLearningLeadershipSeriesInspiringVoice.cfm
References List • The REFERENCES section of the document provides sources for a number of books, articles, research studies, and other resources. • Pages 40-42
Closing the Day • Elevator Speech • After Action Review • Evaluation • Closing Comments
Your Elevator Speech • Think of one person not in this group who is critical to moving this work forward at your site or workplace. • Real Individual OR Position • Imagine that you’re in an elevator with that person. • Create the 30 - 60 second elevator speech you would share that: • Captures what we intend to put into action; • Provides a convincing message about why it matters to that person; and • Shares a vision of how that person will play a key role in making it happen.
After Action Review • Take one of the colored cards at your table. • Find the others in the room who share your color, and introduce yourselves. • Discuss the following questions: • What happened today? What did we accomplish? • What new learnings and insights emerged? • As a result of these new learnings and insights, what specific leadership actions or next steps will we take to move the work forward? • Decide on one new learning/insight and one action/next step to share out to the larger group. 159
Journal Update & Evaluation • Use this time to update your journal. • Finish notes. • Add reflections or questions. • Review your notes. • Complete the workshop evaluation.