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19th April 2013 Sara Lock

A guide to evaluating arts education projects

By: Felicity Woolf, Arts Council England


Partnerships for learning is an authoritative booklet to help everyone involved in arts education projects understand evaluation clearly and to evaluate effectively, according to their particular needs. In the long term, the aim of the guide is to raise the standard of arts education projects.

Arts-based projects are difficult to evaluate and the guide does not try to suggest that there is only one way of approaching evaluation. It aims to provide a flexible framework, which can be applied in many different situations and used to evaluate short or more extended projects. It provides context, advice, guidelines and checklists.

Managing the partnership

When all partners meet to decide on aims and objectives, they are likely to have many different agendas. It can be very difficult to get all partners to agree a set of aims, with objectives that can be realistically achieved through one project. It may well be that some aims and objectives will not be shared by all partners.

Compromise is nearly always necessary. Try to:

● discuss all partners’ agendas openly

● make sure you understand each other – you may think you are speaking the same language, but specialist terminology can be confusing

● focus on one or two overarching aims for the project, and encourage partners to express their different agendas through specific objectives

● focus on one or two overarching aims for the project, and encourage partners to express their different agendas through specific objectives

● agree objectives and measures of success which are acceptable to all, even if, they are not shared by all partners

● be realistic about what can be achieved

● be as specific as possible - what exactly are you trying to achieve?

● wherever possible, include participants in initial planning

| Published:2013

Smart tags: evaluation education

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