The National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago has released a landmark report on a three-year study of teaching artists (TAs) – artists who make teaching a part of their professional practice. Teaching Artists and the Future of Education found that their work is critical to the future of arts education and to improving the quality of schools.
TAs have been major providers of arts education in community settings for over a century. In the last three decades, though, they have become important resources in primary and secondary schools as well, where they have mitigated a long-term decline in arts education. In the process they have made significant contributions to making schools better places for students to learn and grow. NORC’s new study offers hope to schools struggling to preserve arts education programs and to policy-makers searching for effective education strategies to improve schools.
In addition to providing the most comprehensive data on who teaching artists are, where they work, and the conditions of their work, it explores the reasons for the decline of arts education in schools, how TAs are changing some of the fundamental assumptions about teaching and learning the arts, and strategies for supporting and expanding their reach.