Arts for Academic Achievement Program
The Minneapolis Schools ‘ Arts for Academic Achievement Program is a program that aims to reform schools by using collaborations between teachers, artists, and artistic organizations. The main goal is to raise the students’ academic achievement with strong content focus and arts strategies. Minneapolis Schools’ Arts for Academic Achievement Program was launched in 1997 as part of the Annenberg Foundation educational reform grant. The Arts for Academic Achievement Program is a direct partnership with the Perpich Center for Arts Education. After the success of the Minneapolis Schools’ Arts for Academic Achievement Program, the Perpich Center for Arts Education has expanded the Arts for Academic Achievement Program across Minnesota.
The Minneapolis Schools’ Arts for Academic Achievement Program wants to provide the urban students of Minneapolis with opportunities in music, dance, writing, and other artistic forms. Arts for Academic Achievement Program teaches students how to express themselves better. It has also proven to reduce absenteeism among high school students. The more that the arts were integrated in the classroom, the better all students performed on tests, especially students with barriers to learning. The program is based on a great deal of educational research that shows the positive impact of arts based learning on students in not only academic areas but personal and social as well.
Research shows that teachers and their teaching are altered by the Minneapolis Schools’ Arts for Academic Achievement Program as well. The program changes the teachers’ perceptions about students. Through their participation in the arts students gain intelligence, leadership and motivation and this is shown in the classroom. Many teachers change their instruction to a more student-centered approach. Teachers encourage the concept of self criticism and risk-taking.
The Organization of the Minneapolis Schools’ Arts for Academic Achievement Program
The Arts for Academic Achievement Program involves planning; teachers plan using clear standards to teach in and through the arts. The Arts for Academic Achievement Program provides teachers with a support system that includes teams that work together to integrate arts into teaching and learning. These teams are based in a school and different school teams work together in cross school groups to develop lessons that include learning through the arts. The Minneapolis Schools also provides teachers with to understand more deeply and examine more rigorously their arts integrated teaching practice.
A big part of the Minneapolis Schools’ Arts for Academic Achievement Program is collaboration between various groups. This includes cooperative efforts between artists, arts partners, and other educators to forge new and/or deepen existing models and strategies to successfully engage all students in meaningful learning in and through the arts. One of the biggest parts of the collaboration is, of course, the students. Currently the Minneapolis Schools’ Arts for Academic Achievement Program works with around 8,000 students from 35 elementary, middle, and high schools. This also includes 150 teachers, several hundred art organizations and independent artists.
The Minneapolis Schools’ Arts for Academic Achievement Program in 2006-2007
There are continued challenges for the Minneapolis Schools’ Arts for Academic Achievement Program in this year’s school year. The collaborations mentioned above must continue, already some schools from 2005 have not continued their involvement in the program. The program is also affected by the artists and teachers that leave the program.