Resource Summary

Many children in the United States have little or no opportunity for formal arts instruction, and access to arts learning experiences remains a critical national challenge. In addition, the quality of arts learning opportunities that are available to young people is a serious concern. Understanding this second challenge: the challenge of creating and sustaining high quality formal arts learning experiences for K12 youth, inside and outside of school is the focus of our recent research initiative, The Qualities of Quality, commissioned by The Wallace Foundation and conducted by Project Zero. The study focuses on the character of excellence itself and asks three core questions:

How do arts educators in the United States including leading practitioners, theorists, and administrators conceive of and define high quality arts learning and teaching?

What markers of excellence do educators and administrators look for in the actual activities of arts learning and teaching as they unfold in the classroom?

How do a programs foundational decisions, as well as its ongoing day-to-day decisions, affect the pursuit and achievement of quality?