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The 1999 Charles Fowler Colloquium on Innovation in Arts Education: "Enlightened Advocacy: Implications of Research for Arts Education Policy and Practice"

This two-day colloquium, "Enlightened Advocacy: Implications of Research for Arts Education Policy and Practice," was a forum for current thought on:

  • the parameters of research in arts education
  • recent arts education research studies identified as worthy of serious attention
  • how the results of research studies in arts education are being used and to what effect
  • the priority issues in arts education research for the next decade

This colloquium was directed to an audience of arts educators and arts education administrators at levels from early childhood through college, especially those who work in schools and colleges. It was also of importance to education policy makers at local, state and national levels, members of the community concerned with education (parents, day-care workers, others who work with youth), and professionals in the arts. All participants were happy to take advantage of this exciting opportunity to hear about research in arts education and to discuss its implications for setting policy and for affecting what happens in the classroom.

This colloquium featured:

  • Plenary sessions with speakers presenting new research, opinions, perspectives and challenges regarding research and public policy in arts education advocacy
  • Small-group discussion sessions for all participants
  • Opportunities for informal discussion at lunches (included in registration)

The 1999 Charles Fowler Colloquium on Innovation in Arts Education invited researchers, educators, and administrators to submit descriptive reports and/or research-based studies specific to the theme "Strong Arts, Strong Schools." Their work was featured in a poster session.

About the Speakers

Liora Bresler

Professor, College of Education, University of Illinois

Dr. Bresler's current research and recent writings focus on aesthetic education and qualitative research methodologies, both in the context of the elementary school arts curriculum. Dr. Bresler's presentation title is "Needed Research for Arts Education." In the overview she provided for her presentation, Dr. Bresler writes:

The meaning and possibilities of any art is inseparable from the conditions under which it is generated and experienced. "School art" is no exception. In this paper, I argue that improvement and effective reform is seldom born of merely goal-setting and standards-raising, but rather of intensive analysis of contexts, problems and experiences of participants, and careful delineation of areas susceptible to improvement. Hence the need to complement the philosophical and experimental arts education literature with research studies of the operational and experienced curricula, examining the micro, meso and macro contexts for arts education, and how they affect students' specific and general skills, achievements, and attitudes. The construction of a knowledge base grounded in school reality will facilitate dissemination to various interested communities and constituencies, including school practitioners, and policy makers.

James S. Catterall

Professor of Urban Schooling: Curriculum, Teaching, Leadership and Policy Studies, and Assistant Dean, Administrative Programs, UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies

Dr. Catterall is an expert in education policy. In addition to the issues of equity in education policy, his academic research interests include teachers in communities at risk and the methodlogies they employ to reach their students. Dr. Catterall's presentation is titled "The Arts and Success in Secondary School: Continued Evidence." In this presentation, Dr. Catterall expands on his recent monograph titled "Involvement in the Arts and Success in Secondary School." The extended work examines student performance through grade 12; the analysis also explores involvement in music and mathematics achievement, as well as dramatic arts and communications skills.

Richard Deasy

Director, Arts Education Partnership

Richard Deasy is the Director of the Washington, DC-based Arts Education Partnership, a group effort of more than 100 national organizations committed to promoting arts education in elementary and secondary schools throughout the country. Mr. Deasy will open the Colloquium with a presentation which will focus participants on the theme of "Enlightened Advocacy."

Elliot W. Eisner

Professor of Education and Art, Stanford University School of Education

Dr. Eisner's research interests and numerous publications focus on the development of aesthetic intelligence and on the use of critical methods from the arts for improving education practice. The title of Dr. Eisner's address is "What Justifies Arts Education: What Research Doesn't Say." In his overview, Dr. Eisner writes:

When pressures upon arts education become severe, there is a tendency to justify their existence by extravagant claims that often have little to do with what the arts are about. The most recent salvo is related to what research supposedly says about the contributions of the arts to achievement in "academic" subjects. My presentation will examine the evidentiary basis for those claims and describe how arts education might be constructively viewed in the context of American schools.

Frances Rauscher

Assistant Professor of Childhood Development, Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh

Dr. Rauscher's much-publicized multi-disciplinary research focuses on the relationship of music cognition to other cognitive domains in preschoolers, adults, and animals. Dr. Rauscher's presentation at the Colloquium is titled "Current Research on Music, Intelligence, and the Brain." She will present recent international research on the effects of music and the brain. After providing a summary of research suggesting that early music training influences brain development and cognition, Dr. Rauscher will discuss the most recent findings from her ongoing research with kindergartners and Head Start preschoolers regarding music's effect on spatial-temporal abilities.

Poster Presentations

The 1999 Charles Fowler Colloquium on Innovation in Arts Education invited researchers, educators, and administrators to submit descriptive reports and/or research-based studies specific to the theme "Strong Arts, Strong Schools." Submissions were subjected to blind review by members of the Charles Fowler Advisory Board. The authors of the reports and studies selected by the Advisory Board were invited to present their findings at a Poster Session on the second day of the Colloquium.

The following posters were selected to present at the 1999 Fowler Colloquium:

  • Nancy Browne, Jeff Bush
    "Arts Education in Saskatchewan Schools: From Dream to Reality"
    University of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
  • Claire Detels
    "Soft Boundaries: A New Approach To Arts Education"
    University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
  • Julianne K. Ferris
    "Leadership Audit of University-Based Performing Arts Centers: A Delphi Approach"
    University of Maryland, College Park
  • Martin F. Gardiner, Elizabeth K. Beery Olson
    "Arts Training in the Fabric of Learning: Further Evidence of Academic Impact on First Graders in an Inner City Minneapolis Public School"
    Brown University, Providence, RI
  • Denise B. Geier
    "The Principal's Challenge in Art"
    Perry L. Drew Elementary School, East Windsor, NJ
  • Rebecca L. Gorton
    "Art as a Way of Learning: Fostering and Maintaining Partnerships that Benefit Arts Education"
    Northampton Community College, Bethlehem, PA
  • Susan L. Harlan
    "Exploring the Early Childhood Education Student's Beliefs about Art Education"
    East Stroudsburg University, East Stroudsburg, PA
  • John Harland, Kay Kinder
    "The Effects and Effectiveness of Arts Education in Schools"
    National Foundation for Educational Research, UK
  • Frank Heuser, Jonathan Phillips
    "UCLA Music Partnership Programs: Providing Outreach and Service to Area Schools and Communities"
    University of California, Los Angeles
  • Abigail Housen
    "Thinking Through Art, Pilot Assessment Project"
    Visual Understanding in Education (VUE), New York, NY
  • Claire W. McCoy, Joanna Cortright
    "Empowering Teachers to Transform Schools Through Arts-Infused Teaching and Learning"
    The University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
  • Tracie Costantino Nappi
    "The Artist in the Classroom: A Model of Collaboration"
    Art Resources in Teaching (ART), Chicago, IL
  • Lillian H. Pailen
    "The Design and Implementation of 'Good Practice' Indicators for General Education Fine and Performing Arts Courses for Nonmajors"
    George Mason University, Fairfax, VA
  • Hilary R. Persky
    "The NAEP Arts Performance Assessment"
    Educational Testing Service, Princeton, NJ
  • Catherine Richmond-Cullen
    "An Evaluation of How Teachers Implement Training Received in an Intensive Arts Staff Development Program"
    Northeastern Educational Intermediate Unit (NEIU 19), Archbald, PA
  • Mitchell Robinson
    "Rebuilding America's Musical Cities: Linking the Community, the Schools, and the University"
    Eastman School of Music, Rochester, NY