In this evaluation case study, I investigated the effectiveness of the 2007 VAST (Visual Arts as Sources for Teaching) Program at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA) in terms of meeting the program participants' needs. There were 45 participants in the program, and 38 participated in my study.
In order to better understand the content and pedagogy of art museums' summer teacher programs, I first conducted a survey of five major art museums' summer teacher programs in the United States and did a pilot study of the 2006 VAST Program at the PMA. These two studies focused on how art museums develop content and pedagogy for summer teacher programs in terms of meeting their participants' expectations and needs.
My study of the 2007 VAST Program addressed two main questions and two sub-questions: (1) How does the Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA) execute its summer teacher program, VAST (Visual Arts as Resources for Teaching), to meet its participants' expectations and needs? (a) How does the PMA develop and execute the VAST Program to meet its mission, the goals of the VAST Program, and its program participants' expectations and needs? (b) How does the PMA discern the VAST Program participants' expectations and needs? (2) How and to what extent was the 2007 VAST Program effective in meeting the expectations and needs of the program participants? (a) What were the participants' expectations and needs? (b) Was the 2007 VAST Program effective?
For my summative evaluation, I gathered qualitative and quantitative data through two written questionnaire surveys for the 2007 VAST Program participants (a Beginning Survey and Ending Survey), documents (such as brochures, a notebook, a teaching package, application letters, postcards, and audio records), observations of the 2007 VAST Program sessions, and oral interviews with program instructors, museum staff, and participants. At the outset of the study, I surveyed 38 participants to gain information about how they wanted to participate in the 2007 VAST Program, namely their needs and expectations. At the end of the program, I surveyed them again to gain their opinions of the program. I then analyzed these data and discussed the effectiveness of the 2007 VAST Program from both the institution's and the participants' perspectives in terms of whether the content and pedagogy that the PMA provided for the participants met their expectations and needs.
After the study, I found that the program effectiveness was related to fulfilling the program participants' expectations and diverse needs. I concluded that the 2007 VAST Program provided the program participants with opportunities to learn something new, meet art professionals, gain teaching resources, and earn continuing education credits, all of which met the program participants' expectations and needs. I conclude this dissertation with recommendations for the PMA and for art museum summer teacher program development in general.