When we invest time and attention in understanding and documenting our work, we are able to see our work more clearly and make the changes we need to better achieve our goals.
 
Individuals, schools, and communities actively engaged in defining and assessing quality inherently find that they advance the quality of teaching and learning first and foremost through their own improved practice.

Educators who spend time defining quality and observing classes bring reflections and new ideas back to their own classes and workplaces and share what they learn with peers, administrators, and colleagues.

To better formalize this distribution of knowledge and insights, we recommend asking observers and other participants in the creating quality process to share what they’ve learned in workshop settings, as mentors, or through other informal opportunities.
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These videos discuss how participation in the process motivates educators to improve and gives them tangible tools with which to do so.

Tools & Resources

More Than Measuring: Program Evaluation as an Opportunity to Build the Capacity of Communities
This book offers a case study of a collaborative evaluation.  Conducted over five years, this longitudinal study used design principals that built the capacity of the Dallas community to design and improve programs for children and youth.

Voices from the Field: Evaluation as Part of a Learning Culture
This report suggests that evaluation, if conducted thoughtfully and properly in the context of ongoing organizational improvement, can make a meaningful difference in the effectiveness of nonprofit organizations.

Improving Quality
This report outlines excellence in the areas of human capital, teaching and learning, and the development of pathways for arts learning found during the second year of Dallas' Thriving Minds initiative.

Nurturing Creative Capital: Successful Children, Strong Families, and Vibrant Neighborhoods
This report introduces a compelling framework for thinking about the investments and results of investing in youth and family creative capital as seen in Dallas' Thriving Minds Initiative.

Equity of Opportunity: Creative Learning Census
This report analyzes the creative and arts opportunities offered by schools, libraries, parks and recreation, and arts and cultural organizations in the second year of Dallas' Thriving Minds initiative.
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Improving Quality 

This report outlines excellence in the areas of human capital, teaching and learning, and the development of pathways for arts learning found during the second year of Dallas' Thriving Minds initiative.

“I come here to talk to my fellow artists, remember why we do this work, how we do it, and continue to push ourselves to do it better. When I go to our board of directors to emphasize the importance of the work we do and the necessity for funding, this process gives me the energy and credibility to say that and give these kids a voice. As a result of these discussions I've made long-lasting relationships in this panel, and they are feeding me in my work.”

Rachel Hull
Rachel Hull
Director, Education & Community Enrichment
Dallas Theater Center