Arts Education

TCG's Research, Policy & Collective Action Department offers a variety of education-related programming and resources that give visibility to the work of the theatre education sector of the field and provides professional development to the education staff of TCG Member Theatres. Please contact Laurie Baskin, director of research, policy & collective action, or Gregory Cooper, education and collective action associate, with any questions about TCG's education-related activities.

TCG Education Survey and Related Resources

TCG Education Survey 2015 is now open! All TCG Member Theatres are encouraged to participate. The survey submission deadline has been extended to May 13, 2016.

Since 1999, Theatre Communications Group has surveyed our Member Theatres about their education programs. The results of the surveys are featured each year in an annual Special Report on Education. TCG also provides an online search tool, where the completed surveys of participating theatres can be viewed, and an online reporting tool that allows theatres to select specific search criteria and generate customized reports regarding field-wide demographics, staffing, programming, and other information. The online search tool and reporting tool currently feature data from TCG Education Survey 2014. An extensive, searchable database of student study guides published by TCG Member Theatres is also available online.

TCG Special Report on Education

Each year, TCG publishes a special report on education that provides a wealth of information about education programming at TCG Member Theatres. The report is comprised of three sections: a narrative portion that offers voices from the field a platform from which to speak about a specific education-related topic; a presentation of the data from the annual TCG Education Survey, which focuses on programming, demographics served, and staffing; and education-related data from the annual TCG Fiscal Survey, including earned income, contributed income, and expenses.

The TCG Special Report on Education 2014 (PDF) begins with a note about the December, 2015 signing of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which includes key provisions that support access to arts education, and then presents reflections from six Member Theatres on the relationships among education programming, overall mission, and revenue generation at each of these unique organizations. These narratives are followed by an analysis of data from TCG Education Survey 2014, in which 99 Member Theatres participated, and a presentation of education-specific data from the 177 Member Theatres that participated in TCG Fiscal Survey 2014.

An archive of previous TCG Education Reports is available here.

Professional Development

Education Directors Teleconferences: Part of TCG's Theatre Professionals Teleconference Series and offered in the spring and fall, education teleconferences provide education staff at Member Theatres an opportunity to share information, ideas, problems, and solutions with peers throughout the country. Topics have included partnerships and working alliances, building stronger student matinee and touring programs, integrated approaches to education through the arts in public schools, internal and external advocacy, assessment, and artist training. Teleconference rounds typically run from February through June and September through December. If you have any questions, please email Laurie Baskin, director of research, policy & collective action.

TEAM Resources: The project, Building a National TEAM: Theatre Education Assessment Models, was developed by a Working Group of education directors, guided by a national assessment consultant, and directed by TCG’s education program staff. After deepening their own learning about assessment, the Working Group collectively designed and executed two phases of professional development training in consultation with the project consultant and TCG staff, that took the form of a Pre-Conference convening to TCG’s National Conference in 2007 and again in 2010. During Phase One the group delivered more than 15 assessment models for use in the field of professional theatre education. The models are assessment models or templates that can be adapted to various theatre education programs. The TEAM Working Group focused specifically on four types of models: Observations, Performance Tasks, Portfolios and Surveys. Phase Two was an opportunity for participants to learn how to build valid and reliable conclusions based on their assessment findings, strengthening their ability to interpret the data collected from assessment to create reports for different stakeholders. The aim of this work is not only to improve the quality and skills of education directors, but also to continue to help establish a focus on the assessment process and the creation of an assessment community at the national level. To find out more please see the TEAM portion of TCG's website.