“...the new mission of schools is to prepare students to work at jobs that do not yet exist, creating ideas and solutions for products and problems that have not yet been identified, using technologies that have not been invented.” Linda Darling Hammond, Stanford University education researcher and policy expert
“Our future as an innovative country depends on ensuring that everyone has access to the arts and to cultural opportunity . . . But the intersection of creativity and commerce is about more than economic stimulus; it’s also about who we are as people.” –First Lady Michelle Obama, Honorary Chair, President’s Committee on the Arts & the Humanities
Teaching Through the Arts
Marin County Office of Education has expanded its partnership with Marin Community Foundation to increase access to arts education, ensuring that every student receives a complete, well balanced, and competitive education that positions him or her for success—an education that prepares young people to participate and navigate an increasingly diverse society oriented around entrepreneurship, technology, and creativity.
Research confirms that arts education develops students’ critical thinking skills, including skills for comparing, hypothesizing, critiquing, and exploring multiple and alternative viewpoints (Montgomerie and Ferguson, 1999). Working on arts-centered projects, students learn to express their intentions, exchange constructive criticism with their peers, and listen actively to others. Art-making both invites students to tap their innate intelligence and express it, and participate as active members of a community and work with others to achieve common creative goals (Heath and Roach, 1999).
Yet we know that disparities in access to arts education exist.
The Teaching Through Arts initiative, implemented as a partnership of MCOE and the Marin Community Foundation, uses a multi-pronged approach to expand and ensure equitable access to arts education:
GATHER AND SHARE DATA: Produce a “living” (interactive, up-to-date, comprehensive) map of Marin’s arts education ecosystem, train people how to use it, and use it to track progress toward universal student access to high quality arts education across multiple arts disciplines.
Timeline: May through November 2016
Who’s Involved: District Superintendents, School Principals, Teachers, Arts Nonprofits working in Marin Schools
Timeline: Hire part-time Visual & Performing Arts (VAPA) Coordinator in March 2016
DELIVER QUALITY, SEQUENTIAL ARTS EDUCATION AND ARTS-INTEGRATED INSTRUCTION: Continue to build the knowledge, skills, and capacity of Teaching Artists, teachers, and administrators to deliver quality programs.
Timeline: Continue arts education partnerships with nonprofits in 2016-2017 school year and launch a multi-faceted arts education professional development stream the same year
Who’s Involved: MCOE Assistant Superintendent, VAPA Coordinator, District administrators and faculty, Teaching Artists
ADVOCATE AND ALIGN FUNDING: Support Districts to prepare arts education strategic plans; strive to align public and private funding to support consistent delivery of sequential, standards aligned, culturally responsive arts education across multiple art forms.
Timeline: Launch a MarinArtsEd Working Group in August 2016, to produce an Arts Education Vision for Marin by November 2016; support Districts with information about public and private funding sources for arts education; explore potential to establish a Pooled Fund for Arts Education involving foundation and individual donors beginning July 2016
Who’s Involved: VAPA Coordinator, District Superintendents and all educational stakeholders, funders interested in arts education
Key resource and documents: