Defining Quality in Arts Education

Arts Education Demonstration Project of the Marin Community Foundation

Tool Box


Defining Quality Arts Integration with a Rubric

Teachers and Administrators in the Project have worked with Program Evaluation Team members to create a rubric that describes what in-depth, quality arts integration looks like. Teachers are using this to reflect on and evaluate their lesson and unit plans.

AEDP Arts Integrated Instruction Rubric.doc

Process Guide to Planning an Arts Integrated Unit 

A step by step guide for teachers to use in developing authentic connections between disciplines in arts integrated units of study.

Planning Process Guide.pdf

Planning Template

An arts integrated unit plan template utilized in the Arts Education Demonstration Project based in "Teaching for Understanding" and inquiry-based instructional design concepts.

Arts Integration Unit Outline.doc

Observation and Documentation of Teacher Researchers

Teacher Researchers allowed the Evaluation Team to observe and document the arts integrated lessons and units they had created. After the observation, a reflective conversation occured between the teacher researcher and the observer. Documentation of these conversations and lessons was available to other teachers who could in turn reflect on the qualities of the teaching. This occured in grade level groups and staff meetings.

Teacher Observation Reflection Tool 2013.doc


 Leadership Rubric

To sustain a quality arts program leadership is needed at all levels within a school community. In order to describe how this happens we created a rubric which describes leadership at various stages of development. This was used as a self reflective tool in planning continual improvement of the program.

Program Developmental Rubric 1.13.doc

Making Learning Visible Process Guide

An approach to documenting the process of student learning in the arts and across the disciplines.  Called Making Learning Visible, this practice is modeled after the work of early childhood schools in Reggio Emilia Italy. Making Learning visible walls were created during the teaching of an arts integrated unit for students, teachers and parents to reflect on the learning that took place. Arlene Shmaeff, one of the Arts Integration Planners in the project, had co-created this process guide with others from the Alameda County Office of Education prior to the project.

Making Learning Visible Toolkit.pdf


During the five years, several summative assessments were piloted that had been created for the project by teachers in Visual Arts and Music with the help of an assessment expert. It turned out that the districts did not have adequate resources to administer this type of assessment and they were not as informative as hoped in terms of actual student learning. If you would like more information about these pilots contact the project consultants listed on the Home page. Meanwhile the two assessment practices that did take hold and were found to be valuable are documented below.

Looking at Student Work Protocol

This tool was one of the first used by Visual Arts Teachers to assess their teaching as well as student learning. It was also a useful tool to help classroom teachers and administrators understand the content, skills, and techniques developed through the visual arts.  It has been adapted from a similar protocol from Harvard Project Zero.

Looking At Student Work Protocol.docx

Visual Arts Rubric

Visual Arts teachers, guided by Dr. Dennie Wolf, began a multi-year project of creating a portfolio of student work representing various levels of a rubric that they wrote. The Rubric references the Studio Habits of Mind from Harvard Project Zero.

VA Rubric obs.drawing.pdf


Luna Dance Institute offering advanced professional development for teachers in dance pedagogy

Harvard Project Zero and the  Studio Habits of Mind

National Arts Education Association 

Alameda County Integrated Learning Program 

Wallace Foundation Qualities of Quality 

Artful Teaching and Learning Handbook Perpich Center Minnesota 

© 2017   Created by Elizabeth Lindsley.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service