January was a busy month; we interviewed more organizations in the literacy community and gathered data and research on adult learning in reading, writing, and speaking English. The literacy community is excited about our work and the possibility of a literacy center. One of the professors we interviewed said, “It puts learning in context for adult learners. Book-It gives them a vehicle to explore, create, discuss and, if you use literature and stories of the people you’re working with, it gives them power over their learning.” The connections the literacy institutions and experts are making to Book-It are immediate – they get how our work can support their learners and the community.
We are also deep in the process of developing tools and systems to assess student learning in Book-It All Over, our arts education program. We are starting with one of our residencies that we’ve been doing for nine years. We’ve been planning with a team of teaching artists, developing and testing systems, and revising as we go. We will be able to test the systems with the same project in the spring. Then do a final revision for future projects and programs for Book-It All Over. The process will help us get specific about how the Book-It Style impacts student learning in terms of literary analysis, communication, and comprehension.
Next will be focus groups with audiences, artists, and educators.
If anyone reading has used evaluation and student learning tools/systems for their education programs that seem to work well, please share them with us. We will be sharing our work when it’s complete. This is a time for us to test methods and models and it would be so good to know what’s out there currently – why completely re-invent the wheel if we don’t have to?
-- Myra Platt, Book-It Repertory Theatre