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The way they see it: an evaluation of the Arts across the curriculum project

Coutts, Glen and Soden, Rebecca and Seagraves, Liz (2009) The way they see it: an evaluation of the Arts across the curriculum project. International Journal of Art and Design Education, 28 (2). pp. 194-206. ISSN 1476-8062

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This paper reports on an evaluation to interrogate the efficacy of a Scottish Government sponsored initiative to introduce an arts-infused education model to primary (elementary) and secondary (high) schools. Arts Across the Curriculum (AAC) was a three-year pilot project, with ambitious aims. The aims included aspirations to increase pupils' achievement and motivation to learn; to develop the skills of teachers to work collaboratively and creatively; to encourage links between different areas of learning and thus erode subject barriers. In addition, the project sought to improve the ethos of the school and explore the efficacy of the expressive arts as a delivery mechanism across the curriculum (FLaT, 2006). Between April 2005 and December 2007, the evaluation team gathered data using a variety of instruments including surveys, structured observations, interviews and video diaries. This paper presents some of the findings from the evaluation and in particular it focuses on the artists' views of the efficacy of the project; in short we wanted to know how they 'saw it'. It should be noted that the research team that evaluated the initiative had no say in the design of the AAC project.