Arts Working Group: Exploring the Element of Instruction

Arts Working Group: Exploring the Element of Instruction
Date: November 18, 2014
Location: Old Town School of Folk Music

What is the Arts Working Group?

Communities In Schools of Chicago has been working the last few years on developing tools that outline best practices for student-focused programs provided by community-based organizations. Last year we released the Elements of Effective Violence Prevention Programs, which is organized around three key aspects of most school-based programs: The quality of their instruction; the rigor of their program model, and the expertise and cultural competence of their educators/facilitators.

During the 2013-14 academic year, CIS of Chicago turned its focus to arts education, school-based programs. Members of the CIS of Chicago program team met with multiple stakeholders in the arts education industry of Chicago, as well as explored a wealth of research documents and tools for gauging the quality of arts-based programs. Through this variety of activities, our team recently developed a tool to assess effective art education practices.

On November 18, 2014, CIS of Chicago hosted the first of a series of Arts Education Working Groups for community partners to explore the new Elements of Effective Arts Education Programs.

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Essential Highlights:

      • The Elements of Effective Arts Education Programs are broken into three categories: Instruction, Program Model, and the Facilitator. This training focused specifically on Instruction
      • The Elements of Effective Arts Education Programs apply to programs that range in structure, objectives, and methods of delivery.  For the purposes of this framework, we have defined three areas of arts education programs: Arts Integration (curriculum connections), Arts Specialty (skill-based programs) and Arts Enrichment (field trips and performances)
        • Many arts organizations have programs that fall into more than one of these categories or have programs that may be a combination of these distinct approaches. The Elements of Effective Arts Education Programs apply to both Arts Integration and Arts Specialty programs. Some Elements align with Arts Enrichment programs, and are indicated in the document by a yellow check mark with a brief explanation for application.


Community Arts Partners gathered at Old Town School of Folk Music in Lincoln Square to engage in discussion and discovery around the new framework – The Elements of Effective Arts Education Programs. After a brief overview introducing the framework, participants went through a series of activities designed to explore the three elements under the category of Instruction.

The three elements include:

  • Structured Lesson
  • Engaging Lesson
  • Amplified Learning

Materials from Event:

Common Core Overview and Multiple Learning Styles HANDOUT



Participating Organizations:

Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education (CAPE)
Chicago Community Arts Partnerships (CCAP)
Chicago Opera Theater
Design Dance
Emerald City Theatre
Fifth House Ensemble
Foundations of Music
Hyde Park Arts Center
Ingenuity Incorporated, LLC
Lyric Opera of Chicago
Museum of Contemporary Art
Northlight Theatre
Old Town School of Folk Music
She Crew
South Chicago Arts Center


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