The RSA is working with Arts Council Bridge Organisations to champion the role of evidence and evaluation in improving the quality and impact of arts and cultural education. The Evidence Champions Network will connect 100 artists, educators, evaluators, cultural organisations and funders who want to support better use of evidence and evaluation in arts and cultural learning. Find out more about the Network and how you could get involved.

A new network of practitioners championing evidence and evaluation

From September, the RSA’s Evidence Champions Network will connect 100 cultural learning practitioners from across England who want to support better use of evidence and evaluation in their sector. Through the network, Champions will develop knowledge and skills in evidence-rich practice and help spread the word about its value, convening online and in regional hubs in partnership with the Arts Council Bridge Organisations.

What is Evidence-Rich Practice?

A process for using evidence and evaluation to strengthen arts and cultural education practice and increase its benefits for learners:
• Source appropriate evidence to design projects for impact
• Take ownership of project evaluation, even if working with an external partner
• Collect evidence from your work that can tell you accurately what you have done, the difference you have made and how you might improve for the future
• Share learning in ways that support colleagues and peers to improve their work and more participants to benefit from effective practice.

What is an Evidence Champion?

Champions will represent the diversity of the sector, including freelance arts practitioners; arts and cultural organisations; schools; funders and sector support organisations; independent evaluators and HEIs. Whether early-, mid-career or in senior roles in their organisations, enthusiastic newcomers to evidence and evaluation, or experienced evaluators Champions will all be:
1. Learners: Motivated and committed to improving their own and their organisation’s practice
2. Collaborators: Focused on collegiality, community, cooperation and reciprocity in the Network
3. Advocates: Able to make the case for evidence rich practice outside the Network and influence how others think about its importance in ongoing improvement
4. (Evidence) Specialists: Knowledgeable about art form/s, participatory practice, pedagogy and school contexts. Either knowledgeable about evaluation and evidence or aiming to learn through the Network.

How will the Evidence Champions Network operate?

A national community with online activity and regional meet-ups, the Network will enable Champions work with other members, gaining new perspectives on how to learn from evidence to improve outcomes for children. Peer learning with other practitioners in your region will help you to embed evidence and evaluation in your work. Monthly webinars, regular face-to-face training and RSA-developed resources will provide new ideas, expertise and technical knowledge and help you communicate the idea of Evidence Rich Practice to others. In autumn 2019, Champions will be among the first to engage with the evidence from the RSA and Education Endowment Foundation’s Cultural Learning Trials and help support informed debate in response to the findings.

Want to find out more?

If you’re interested in taking part, you can read more about the Network, or you can head straight to the application form.

Deadline for submissions is 30 June 2018 and you will be told if you have been successful by 20 July 2018.
If you aren’t accepted to join the Network this year, you can still make use of the resources we create, which will be available on the RSA’s website as they are produced throughout the year. You can stay up to date with everything to do with Learning About Culture by signing up on the project homepage.

 

Mark Londesborough, RSA, Associate Director, Creative Learning and Development