Arts Impact is committed to ongoing arts education research and program evaluation as a means to investigating and refining best practices for teacher professional development in the arts. Arts Impact has received seven highly competitive U.S. Department of Education (DoEd) grants. Six projects have been completed: four of them Arts Education Model Development and Dissemination (AEMDD) grants, two of them Professional Development for Arts Educators (PDAE) grants. The seventh is a PDAE grant in its second year of implementation.
Each program focuses on a specific curricular and/or research area and includes both student learning and advanced teacher professional learning components. Each is based in research and is data-driven, using multiple sources to guide program improvement and demonstrate impact. Arts Impact investigates and compares the distinct features of these different professional development models for K-5 and middle school teachers and their impact on teacher knowledge, skill, and readiness to teach the arts.
These grants enable Arts Impact to expand program model types and the number of teachers and students served. Program evaluation helps educators and policy makers better understand the levels of support necessary to improve teacher conceptual knowledge and practice in planning, teaching, and assessing a new content area, as well as the impact of conceptual integration on student achievement in reading, writing, and math.