Coordinated Delivery = Integrated Approach?

By |2018-10-04T22:39:45-07:00September 13th, 2012|

Coordinated Delivery = Integrated Approach?

Since we’re being highlighted over at the Americans for the Arts blog salon this week, I thought I would try to highlight some of their previous posts on integration by various perspectives in the field as a way to continue the dialogue here on EducationCloset.  One of the posts I discovered provided such great thought-provoking information. I knew that I needed to share it here to gain your understandings as well.  In the recent post It Takes a Village (Part 1) Kristen Engebretsen highlights a trending option of “Coordinated Delivery” and briefly alludes to its use as an integrated arts approach.

Essentially, the Coordinated Delivery model as described in the post works through both the instructional methodology, skills and delivery of the Arts through various school stakeholders and partners them with community organizations and leadership to build a strong level of Arts teaching and learning for all.  I certainly agree with these tenets and feel that it is essential to build those community partnerships and leverage the resources you have at all levels (national, state and local) to ensure high-quality Arts education.  However, when it comes to an Integrated Arts approach, I have a few concerns with the first leg of the stool: the delivery.

Take a look at the model below:

Coordinated Delivery, Integrated Approach, Education Closet

image credit:

In this model, it identifies partnerships between arts teachers, artists and general classroom teachers in a variety of ways to deliver instruction in the arts.  Overall, I think this can be very powerful.  Yet, partnerships can be very surface-level affairs.  Many classroom teachers perceive arts instruction in their classroom to mean putting together a shadow box or creating a collage.  There’s nothing wrong with this, of course, though it’s not necessarily arts instruction.  It’s using the arts as a medium to share a product. However, the delivery and development of the arts processes are often missing.

This is where authentic Arts Integration collaboration becomes critical.

Collaborations are so much more than partnerships.  Think about any Artist in Residence you’ve had over the years.  Some come in, perform or share their art and provide an additional planning time for teachers.  Possibly consider this a partnership.  Yet, the most meaningful residencies occur when the teachers are active participants and leaders WITH the artist.  That takes a great deal of development and time in order to foster that understanding.

In terms of partnerships with other organizations, I agree that these are critical to the success of any program, but especially to Arts education.  We don’t do this intentionally enough in education and tend to live in our own little bubbles.  This outline is a reminder to us to be proactive in this approach and that there is much value for both parties in a public-private partnership.  We need to be careful, however, in how and what we approach so that we are always maintaining the integrity of instruction with our students and working with organizations that help us to facilitate that elegant fit.


ArtsBlog provides a comparison of two programs that are currently using the Coordinated Delivery platform with self-proclaimed success.  I certainly applaud these efforts and recognize the tremendous work that went into developing and executing these programs.  However, I’m still coming back to…is this really integrated arts delivery?  I’m just not convinced.  I definitely see it as Arts Advocacy and even a new model for Arts instruction, but the integration part seems fairly weak to me.

What are your thoughts?  Am I missing the mark here – is there a key Arts Integration element that I’m just not seeing?  Let’s keep this critical dialogue moving forward as we look at 21st century models of integrated delivery methods!


  1. Deborah Gustlin September 13, 2012 at 7:24 am - Reply

    I do agree that this is not really art integration, but it is a step forward to implementing art into students lives. Too many schools have eliminated art in lieu of math and English test scores. When scores are low, schools jump and quickly assemble math workshops after school to help the lower proficient students. If we could only prove that art and creativity can lead to higher scores, they would have art as a core class and not a sidelined elective. Since we can not prove art integration leads to higher scores, this is where we, as educators, need to focus our research. Once proven, art will rise back to a core class.

  2. Deborah Gustlin September 13, 2012 at 8:13 am - Reply

    I also wanted to add that as educators in art integration we are similar to Darwin. He knew that evolution existed, but he had a difficult time proving and convincing other scientist that it was indeed a scientific fact. Over time, it has been proven and is the accept norm. It will take time to prove art integration, but we will.

  3. Kristen Engebretsen September 20, 2012 at 6:42 am - Reply

    Thanks for continuting the conversation about coordinated delivery on your blog. I just want to clarify that this schematic is not intended to portray a model of arts integration, as we traditionally use the word. However, in reading your post, it brings to my attention that arts integration is a tenant that needs to be more explicity stated in the equation to make “coordinated delivery” more powerful. Thanks for the additional food for thought.

  4. Mary-Helen Rossi November 24, 2012 at 8:52 am - Reply

    I’d like to add the comment I left on the ArtsBlog: I believe that emotional relevance is the only valid way to ensure the survival of arts education.

    Why are arts educators in this survival position? I think it’s a reflection of where we are as a society, how we’ve devolved over the past two decades. There are no doubt a number of mitigating factors but I believe the top three are: (1) our acceptance of the cookie-cutter educational standards imposed by bureaucrats (to paraphrase a recent post, why are we accepting educational standards set *and mandated* by non-educators?) which have resulted in a psychological bleaching of our young people (and staggering dropout rates), (2) our culture’s lack of attention to our emotional well-being as we’ve increasingly strived for materialism, and (3) the growing malaise of the human spirit which has been a result of the foregoing.

    So, are coordinated delivery systems the answer? They won’t get to the root of the problem. What’s needed now is for artists of all stripes to realize that we (as a collective and individually) have an essentially important ingredient that is in short supply today – the ability to emotionally connect with others.

    That’s what we need to actively teach out in our communities, transcending the imposed boundaries of public education. In a way, it’s only standing up for what we know is true. And doing this will enliven others to feel and care about and reach out to others, and a revival of sorts can begin to happen. If we pay attention to that, art education’s survival will naturally follow.

Leave A Comment

Share This