Primary Focus - A Partnership Model for Artists in Schools
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The increasing marginalisation of visual arts in the primary education curriculum, partly attributed both to gaps in generalist primary teacher education (Davis 2008) and the narrowing national education agenda, as well as the low levels of income traditionally experienced by artists has led to compensatory funding to encourage professional partnerships. International arts education research literature reports on many partnership models including apprenticeships (Griffiths and Woolf, 2008), mentoring programs such as Arts Impact (Gonzalez and Watts, 2006) and arts integration programs such as Learning Through The Arts (Smithrim and Upitis, 2005) that seek to increase understanding of and efficacy in using the arts to expand the repertoire of techniques available to teachers and promote active, creative teaching and learning (Oreck, 2004). Primary Focus, a partnership between a teacher professional body, the Primary Arts Network Ipswich, and the Ipswich Art Gallery, arose from a shared interest in facilitating and sustaining quality artist in residence projects in primary schools using an approach that promotes ongoing relationships between schools, galleries, arts organisations and the local community. This paper reports on an evaluative study designed to overcome the limitations of routinely used self-evaluations and anecdotal evidence of successful outcomes. The project was embedded in the curriculum and incorporated a participatory action research dimension to generate quantitative and qualitative data to enable the impact of artist in residence projects on learning achievement to be substantiated.
Australian Art Education
Education Assessment and Evaluation