Alliance Theatre Institute Research

The Alliance Theatre Institute engages in a research-based evaluation process to assess the impact, effectiveness, sustainability, and quality of its programs. The strategies allow for the creation of a Responsive Program Cycle that includes listening to student and teacher needs and matching them to Institute programs, training Teaching Artists and educators to deliver high quality programs, and measuring the results in order to increase program effectiveness.

Georgia Wolf Trap Early Learning Through the Arts Research

  • The Alliance Theatre Institute is proud to share the research from our 2005-2008 and 2008-2012 Arts in Education – Model Development and Dissemination Grants. (AEMDD) In these two randomized control studies, we tested the hypothesis that Kindergarten students whose teachers participated in a multi-year program of Wolf Trap would show greater improvements in language development and in academic achievement than children in control schools. We found strong support for this hypothesis with both low-income African-American students and low-income Latino English Language Learning (ELL) students.
  • In our first study from 2005-2008, we showed that instructional strategies integrating drama enhanced communication and academic achievement in low-income Kindergarteners. Our statistical analysis indicated that compared to children in control schools, children who received the intervention showed significantly greater improvement in grammar development and in quantitative and qualitative measures of writing during their Kindergarten year. Further, these students showed increases in report card grades and standardized test scores in two subsequent years of schooling without further intervention. Students classified as having special needs showed an even greater benefit from the project over time.
  • In our second study from 2008-2012 with ELL Kindergarten students, we found that the intervention had a significant and positive effect on students’ English oral language development, their English story writing skills (increasing the use of words, sentences, emotion, and dialogue), as well as academic measures of language arts and mathematics.

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smART stART Research 

A team from Roanoke College designed a smART stART assessment plan that was implemented from 2012-2015. The purpose of the assessment was to measure student gains in meeting the Common Core Georgia Performance standards in English Language Arts and the effectiveness of training strategies for the classroom teacher. The findings reported in the spring of 2015 were consistent with findings from previous years of the assessment plan. They included the fact that students showed positive gains on literacy skills of +5.77, almost one level of competence on the evaluation scale. All teachers participating in the smART stART Professional Learning workshop “Agreed” or “Strongly Agreed” to survey questions regarding the workshop’s effectiveness. Teachers implementing the smART stART program “Agreed” at a rate of 100% that arts integration can increase student appreciation of and interest in the arts.

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