"A man should look for what is, and not for what he thinks should be."--Albert Einstein  

With support from the U. S. Department of Education, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Wallace Foundation, and the Ford Foundation.

ArtsEdSearch is a project of the Arts Education Partnership (AEP) to be used as a resource for policymakers, education stakeholders, and local education leaders to better understand and articulate the role that arts education can play in the facilitation of education reform. ArtsEdSearch is designed to be an interactive living resource that will grow and evolve along with arts and education research and practice. AEP staff and consultants, including teams of scholars across the country, identified research for inclusion in ArtsEdSearch through ongoing reviews of the existing research literature.

To be included, all studies must meet a set of criteria for excellent research developed in consultation with the American Educational Research Association (AERA) and the American Evaluation Association (AEA). Studies meeting the criteria are summarized in a user-friendly manner, with jargon either replaced or clearly defined, so that all the research is accessible to a general audience. AEP staff and consultants developed implications for policy based on the collected research in collaboration with experts in arts and education policy.

2010 Choreographers' Lab at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival

Led by Celeste Miller and Lisa Donovan, 8 choreographer/ teaching artists and 4 dance researchers convened at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival for one week in an investigation of choreographic and documentation approaches to strengthen the case for embodied learning in educational settings.

We combined our expertise in daily movement and writing labs. This collaborative work began the development of rigorous methods for capturing the critical and creative thinking specific to dance-making and essential to successful learning. On the final day, we presented our work to an invited group of dance teaching artists and educators for feedback and discussion.

The Nature of Insecurity as it Relates to Artistic Identity: An Arts-Based Research Exploration, 2010

As in any field, the arts require cultivation of skill and steady practice. Participating in the arts, however, often intimidates people because they feel they lack inborn talent. This study uses an arts-based approach, specifically the choreographic process, to research the nature of insecurity as it relates to artistic identity. Arts-based research uses the artistic process to examine and understand human experience. After grounding itself in the history and methodology of arts-based research, the study utilizes a reflective narrative to gain insights from the choreographic process. Survey data from professional artists support a discussion on insecurity, identity, artistic process, and creative process using Csikszentmihalyi’s Flow theory. This study illuminates insecurity in regard to artistic practice and validates its place within the creative process. It affirms that the creative process is both possible and essential to cultivate not only for artists, but for everyone. The conclusions speak to implications that artistic insecurity and the creative process have for teaching practice. View a clip of the dance performance: Not/Alone?.

What is Arts-Based Research? 

These scholars explain this emerging social and educational research methodology:


Voices from the Field: What Graduates of Lesley University's M.Ed in Integrated teaching through the Arts Tell Us about Arts Integration in America's Schools, 2010

Funded by the Ford Foundation

The Voices from the Field project examines the research question – what is the relevancy of arts integration pedagogical practices in today's educational climate? Through a survey, focus groups and interviews of Lesley University's Integrated Teaching through the Arts (ITA) M.Ed program alumni, the study illuminates the successes and challenges of ITA alumni teachers in 19 states providing a national perspective on arts integration practices. It offers a glimpse into the work teachers are doing around the country, and the impact this is having on them and their students. The conclusions of the study point to the impact arts integration has on students' learning and the effect this then has on teachers' experiences in the classroom. Arts integration produces a state of "deep learning" where students experience qualities of intense engagement and focus which leads to increased and lasting academic achievement. Teachers in the ITA program have experienced their own deep learning, taking risks to produce and share work outside of their comfort zone. Because of this the teacher is able to create this type of learning in the classroom.

Core Research Team

Kerrie Bellisario, Principal Investigator
Lisa Donovan, Principal Investigator
Monica Prendergast, Researcher
Lauren Stevenson, Researcher
Rebecca Kirk, Research Assistant

Lauren and Rebecca listen to ITA educator David talk about his teaching methods.  Photo Kerrie Bellisario 2009

The Performing Arts in Society: Exploring the Roles and Relationships, 2004

In this case study of Harper Joy Theater's production of Pride and Prejudice, the conventions of theater are analyzed from a Symbolic Interactionist perspective.  Using Erving Goffman's Dramaturgical Theory, parallels are made to the social world, thus understanding performing artists as members of society as well as the traditions of theater as social.  Implications are then made for the importance of live theater in society noting its ephemeral, yet powerfully communicative attributes.

All original artwork and photographs by Rebecca Ann S. Kirk unless otherwise noted.
© Copyright 2010-2017 by Rebecca Ann S. Kirk. 

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