Evaluation of Creative Partnerships Work With Schools

David Smith and Steph Hawke were at a Creative Partnerships event yesterday at the Cornerhouse. The event was led by David Wood, an independent consultant who has been working on analysing the findings of all the lengthy project evaluation forms that Creative Agents have been submitting to the projects database over the years since CP began in 2002. His project took a sample of 80 change schools and 9 case studies which were researched over 2 years. More info and the reports are available at http://www.creativitycultureeducation.org/research-impact/evaluation-and-audit-of-creative-partnerships/

His findings showed:

  • the majority of schools focussed on arts based subjects (literacy, animation/ digital tech, art & design) – which indicates that even as the CP agenda shifted from funding for the arts to a drive to develop creative teaching and learning in disadvantaged schools, headteachers were still keen to put the funding behind the arts
  • across the curriculum CP has impacted mainly in the areas of
    • learning environments
    • tackling cultural disadvantage and isolation
    • parental involvement – (CP has made a difference to family learning)
    • staff development – (the biggest distance travelled was the development amongst staff of a commitment to creativity)
  • 5/9 case study schools said if funding allowed, they would like to keep their Creative Agent as a critical friend
  • Whilst early years and foundation stage projects had embraced new philosophies like that of Reggio Emilia,  few were taking this intellectual dialogue about pedagogy into the other key stages – schools still don’t seem to be reading beyond Ken Robinson’s ‘All Our Futures’ – this is something that Pat Thompson and Ken Jones in their research with Nottingham and Keele Universities, have described as ‘sense making collective intelligence’

After this initial presentation, the participants were asked to work in groups to look at what concerned us about the research and what confirmed for us our own feelings about CP. We moved into looking at creative skills development and how to evidence this. We were asked to look at examples of evaluations and suggest which elements were good and which, as agents, we would be looking to probe. After lunch the afternoon focussed on help and advice for completing the paperwork for the Change Schools Programme.

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