Working in partnership, CCT and the Center for Arts Education in New York City researched how arts integration can effectively promote student understanding of content in both arts and nonarts domains. As school systems throughout the country are increasingly linking curriculum to student achievement as defined by learning standards, this project examined the effects of fully realized arts-integrated curriculum on student learning. Such curricula fully realize the potential and characteristics of both the arts and nonarts disciplines, and include embedded assessments to evaluate student learning, skill acquisition, and understanding of content from both disciplines.
We worked with ten teams of teachers and teaching artists to assemble examples and descriptions of arts integrated curricula and their effects on student learning. We helped these teaching teams to articulate goals for integrated lessons, document how instruction lined up with these goals, and develop assessment tools to capture evidence of learning. Each team met for approximately eight different planning or implementation meetings. Additionally, our researchers spent about four class periods observing the teacher and teaching artist working together, in order to better understand and be able to facilitate the process of goal and assessment development.