Arts Start Evaluation Documents
Teacher Training Evaluation: Participating teachers were asked to evaluate the teacher training workshop on-site at the conclusion of the session, using an evaluation instrument developed by Sangamon Auditorium project staff.
Summary of 2011-2012 Teacher Training Evaluations:
Thirty-two Head Start teachers and twenty-five assistant teachers attended the workshop “Drama Every Day,” on September 2, 2011. The teachers expressed an overwhelmingly positive response to the program, with 76% of the teachers giving the workshop an overall ranking of “excellent,” the highest ranking, and an additional 21% of teachers ranking it “good.”
Sangamon Auditorium project staff members were particularly pleased that 84% of the teachers ranked the presentation style and format for the workshop as “excellent.” Based on discussions with Deb Lahey, Education Coordinator for the Head Start program, we were aware that this kind of hands-on, arts-based presentation was outside of the usual professional development experience of the Springfield Head Start teachers. Their comments also generally echoed pleasure with the format and the content. Select responses (all of which were positive) included “I learn better with hands-on. Excellent!”, “Great audience participation along with education,” and “We really enjoyed the activities.”
There were no rankings of “poor” in any of the ranked categories, and only one ranking of “fair” in each of the categories. Two teachers suggested that the ideas presented in the workshop would have been more useful to them if resources including books, videos, CDs, and props had been incorporated into the training. This is useful feedback for our advisory committee and project staff to keep in mind when planning future professional development events; we might be able to incorporate such resources in future years.
Class Acts Evaluation: Teachers were asked to complete a brief evaluation form on which they offered their evaluation of the pre-show preparation and attending the live performance. This evaluation form was distributed to Head Start classroom teachers on the bus when they arrived in the parking lot at UIS for the performance. Criteria for evaluation included the experience’s perceived contribution to school readiness as well as age appropriateness, anticipated student interest, and practicality. Evaluative questions covered the several components of the Class Acts process, including the classroom learning materials, the pre-show visits by Auditorium staff, and the field trip and performance.
Summary of 2011-2012 Class Acts Evaluations:
As Head Start classes arrived at Sangamon Auditorium for Class Acts performances, each teacher was given a survey and an envelope with prepaid postage. The survey included questions about the Teacher Guides, the pre-show classroom visits, and the performance experience. It also asked teachers to conduct an oral survey with their students. Approximately 70 surveys were distributed; we received 20 responses throughout the year.
When asked how useful the Teacher’s Guide was in preparing students for the performance, eleven rated it a 10, and none rated it below a 5. Fifty percent of the respondents used “some” of the Teacher’s Guide materials, and 35% used “most,” which is fitting with our concept of providing a variety of activities from which individual teachers can choose.
When asked how useful the pre-show classroom visit was in preparing students for the performance, 65% of teachers rated it a 10 out of 10, and none rated it below a 5. Through their comments, several teachers expressed how much they liked that we introduced the students to some new vocabulary words and told them expectations of their behavior on the field trip.
All teachers rated the quality of the performance as a five or better, and one hand-wrote a 20 on our scale of 1-10.Many teachers expressed surprise that their students remained engaged throughout the show, but a few felt some of the content was too advanced for their students. We also asked teachers to share any comments or suggestions about the procedures for attending the show. We received many positive comments, but some teachers pointed out some seating issues that we have since been able to improve.
The oral survey responses reflected a great deal of retention among the students. After the performance they accurately remembered some of their favorite sights and sounds, and they expressed understanding that they had seen people dressed up as animals.
At the end of the survey a few teachers expressed their thanks for this program by writing, “We are very thankful to PNC for choosing to give to youth in such a grand fashion while teaching the children about the arts! Thank you!,” “We want to come back,” and “This was a great experience for the Head Start children.”
Family Event Evaluation: Parents and caregivers were asked to evaluate the Family Event via a mail-back survey instrument, with questions touching on the following criteria: interest and engagement of children in pre-show activities, their own and children’s response to the performance, and questions or responses children had following the event. This survey was distributed to parents and caregivers when they checked in at the event they attended.
Summary of 2011 Family Evaluations
Evaluation surveys were distributed to the 60 families who attended the Head Start Family Night event, Imago Theatre’s ZooZoo. Sixty surveys were distributed at check-in with pre-addressed, postage paid envelopes; six completed surveys were returned.
The responses to the experience of the evening were overwhelmingly positive, and seemed to reflect that the families received sufficient advance information about what they could expect from the evening, which included a complimentary meal, pre-show craft activities, and a performance.
One parent responded that s/he disagreed that there was educational value in the evening and stated, “I think this performance was for entertainment purposes only.” This is representative of a way of thinking that is challenging to our organization on a regular basis. While we appreciate and place value on the parent’s finding that the performance was entertaining, we also wish to continue to stress that there is educational value in nearly all the performing arts events we present. The educational value comes in learning about an art form, a culture, a new way of approaching a challenge, and possibly in other subject areas as well, depending on the nature of the particular performance.
Two of the six parent responses indicated that their Head Start student had never attended a performing arts event until this event. This is exactly the kind of headway we had hoped this program would make, introducing students and families who are not regular arts participants to performing arts programming.