As Program Specialist for The Right Brain Initiative, I work with educators at our schools and our staff to gather “data” all year long. I am privileged with the opportunity to do things like conduct student interviews, help create and refine surveys, observe and record in classrooms, and coordinate a roster of volunteers and staff to do the same, all in an effort to gather the evidence that Right Brain is having an impact in the schools.
It does require a perky pace to keep up with multiple residencies all happening in different schools, on various schedules, but I am so often energized by the stories that emerge in otherwise frenetic blur of my gathering. I see learning everyday, in a vast array of contexts. (Imagine the diversity of perspectives amongst the 11,000 students participating in sixty-six unique arts experiences!) These anecdotes and experiences show us that arts integration is an effective way for kids to learn, but we also know that we need to illustrate this for everyone else, and to summarize what we are finding.
This is why I am elated when our Evaluation Partner, Dennie Palmer Wolf, so graciously lends her brain, not only to plan our strategy for data collection at the beginning of each year, but to synthesize and summarize what our data provides in the months after. She has the invaluable perspective of being both close enough to know the details of our operation, but also a global arts education lens to see how our evaluation work fits into the larger field. Our evaluation process not only informs how we will move forward as a program, but it helps us paint a picture for everyone else – in charts and graphs – that our work is moving onward and upward.
Below are some hand-illustrated graphics from our just released 2012 Evaluation Report:
We are pleased to share DPW’s Executive Summary of the 2012 Annual Report with you, as well as this nifty one-pager illustrated by Halle Cisco featuring highlights from the report. Please contact us with questions and comments at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to furthering the conversation about evaluating our work and looking ahead.