Curriculum Research & Development Group place first in Program Evaluation Studies Category of Outstanding Publications Competition

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Posted: Apr 10, 2008

HONOLULU — Paul R. Brandon, Brian E. Lawton, and Val Krohn-Ching of the College of Education‘s Curriculum Research & Development Group (CRDG) at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa received first place in the Division H (Applied Research, Assessment, and Evaluation in Schools) Outstanding Publications Competition from the American Educational Research Association (AERA).

Their entry in the Program Evaluation Studies category, Evaluation of the Final Year of the ARTS FIRST Windward Research Project, was prepared under a grant subcontract to the Hawaiʻi Arts Alliance from the U. S. Department of Education Arts in Education Model Development and Dissemination program. "We wanted to submit the most comprehensive and therefore competitive report that we could," Principal Investigator Brandon said. "It turned out that many more reports than we anticipated were entered, so we feel quite honored to have received the award. I am thankful for having such competent and dedicated colleagues." This year, the Program Evaluation Studies category received 31 entries, more than any of the other 12 categories.

The primary purpose of the ARTS FIRST Windward Research Project (AFWRP) was to train elementary school teachers to use the arts to teach reading and mathematics. The project was based on a six-year arts education strategic plan for Hawaiʻi grades K—5 students and teachers. Infusing the arts into the curriculum is an increasing challenge because of a lack of arts specialists in Hawaiʻi public schools. The evaluators examined the quality of the implementation of the project and the extent to which the project affected teacher and student outcomes such as teacher and student attitudes toward the arts and student achievement and attitudes toward school.

The AERA judges found that the AFWRP evaluation report included "strong summative and formative evaluation components and utilized a most rigorous research design and mixed methodology." The report was also cited for its thoroughness and clarity. "It was nice to have a document that detailed three years of our work recognized on a national level and in such a competitive environment," said Project Manager Lawton.

Formative evaluator and project observer, Val Krohn-Ching, added, "Getting to know the three-school environment on the Windward side of Oʻahu, observing the dedicated teachers in their classes, seeing my artist colleagues as mentors, appreciating the professionalism of the Arts Alliance‘s education coordinator, and finally working with my brilliant and supportive colleagues was an exciting and memorable treat, indeed."