IF every student in Marin County is provided a well rounded arts education experience, THEN the students will have the imagination and analytical skills to address the challenges they will face as active citizens and members in a global work force.
Teaching Through the Arts
Marin County Office of Education has expanded its partnership with Marin Community Foundation to increase access to arts education, ensuring that every student receives a complete, well balanced, and competitive education that positions him or her for success—an education that prepares young people to participate and navigate an increasingly diverse society oriented around entrepreneurship, technology, and creativity.
Research confirms that arts education develops students’ critical thinking skills, including skills for comparing, hypothesizing, critiquing, and exploring multiple and alternative viewpoints (Montgomerie and Ferguson, 1999). Working on arts-centered projects, students learn to express their intentions, exchange constructive criticism with their peers, and listen actively to others. Art-making both invites students to tap their innate intelligence and express it, and participate as active members of a community and work with others to achieve common creative goals (Heath and Roach, 1999).
Yet we know that disparities in access to arts education exist.
The Teaching Through the Arts initiative, implemented as a partnership of MCOE and the Marin Community Foundation, uses a multi-pronged approach to expand and ensure equitable access to arts education:
- GATHER AND SHARE DATA: Produce a “living” (interactive, up-to-date, comprehensive) map of Marin’s arts education ecosystem, train people how to use it, and use it to track progress toward universal student access to high quality arts education across multiple arts disciplines.
- CENTRALIZE LEADERSHIP AND COORDINATION: Hire dedicated capacity within MCOE to lead arts education planning and to coordinate district and countywide efforts, and to leverage regional arts education capacity.
- DELIVER QUALITY, SEQUENTIAL ARTS EDUCATION AND ARTS-INTEGRATED INSTRUCTION: Continue to build the knowledge, skills, and capacity of Teaching Artists, teachers, and administrators to deliver quality programs.
- ADVOCATE AND ALIGN FUNDING: Support Districts to prepare arts education strategic plans; strive to align public and private funding to support consistent delivery of sequential, standards aligned, culturally responsive arts education across multiple art forms.