2.3.6 Evaluation of the area of arts and cultural eduaction

There is no real tradition in Austria to produce empirically based evidence for cultural education. Nowadays there are more and more intentions to do so, but Austria is faced with a lack of power and financial support to carry out these evaluations. Recently some empirically based evidence has been produced. Besides a few pilot programmes have been evaluated as well as associations and institutions in the field of cultural education.

EDUCULT, the Austrian centre of expertise for research in arts and cultural education in Vienna has carried out a number of research and evaluation projects.
EDUCULT - Institute for Cultural Policy and Management

Evaluation of national arts education programmes

Some specific programmes have been evaluated.

  • p[ART], the national programme to foster sustainable cooperation between schools and cultural institutions, supported by KulturKontakt Austria [KulturKontakt Austria], has been evaluated. The evaluation focused on the effects of the partnership on the students involved (KulturKontakt Austria, 2010).
  • Macht|schule|theater, a national theatre programme which focuses on collaboration between schools and theatres, which is supported by the Federal Ministry for Education, the Arts and Culture [Bundesministerium für Unterricht, Kunst und Kultur], was evaluated by EDUCULT in 2010. The evaluation focused on the process and structure of the collaboration between the institutions involved.
  • The Institute for Interdisciplinary Research on Nonprofit Organisations (NPO-Institute) [NPO-Institut - Institut für interdisziplinäre Nonprofit Forschung an der Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien] evaluated the dialogue events [Dialogveranstaltungen], which are supported and organised by KulturKontakt Austria, from 2004/05 and 2005/06. Questionnaires were completed by 409 students, 86 artists and 350 teachers. Results are:
    • Dialogue events can support students in their personal and artistic development.
    • Students enjoy dialogue events, but they do not learn much about contemporary art and foreign cultures.
    • Artists feel comfortable with their roles in dialogue events and see many benefits for themselves as well as for students.
    • Teachers and artists alike judge the process and the organization favourably (NPO-Institut, 2007, p. 5-6).

Concerns

The association for art education, technical crafts and textile crafts has expressed concerns about the reduction in hours reserved for art education through measures of school autonomy in lower secondary education.
(BÖKWE, 2010)

An unsolved problem in lower secondary schools is that there are too many teachers that are inadequately equipped to teach the arts, music and technical and textile crafts. This in contrast to grammar schools and special grammar schools who only work with teachers qualified in a particular subjec. Hence, the teaching of culture and the arts is more professional in upper secondary education and takes place in better working conditions.