Research Student: Laura Holden
What constitutes a rich educational experience in part-time performing arts schools?
Submission Date: September 2015
Part-time private performing arts schools enjoy varying levels of success around the world, despite operating within the same underlying principles student fees, staff pay, class size limits, class timing, marketing budget). School success (in terms of student recruitment and retention rates) can vary quite significantly: one performing arts school can be full, enjoying good retention rates and recruitment rates, whilst its neighbour can experience low numbers and poor retention rates. There are both internal and external factors that lead to successful schools. Internally, there are two key factors: 1) school effectiveness (providing a rich educational experience through effective teaching and learning); and 2) school efficiency (controlling costs in order to make a profit). There are also external factors that affect the success of private part-time performing arts schools, such as socio-economic factors, which include the state of the economy and local competition. This project does not aim to explore the external factors which impact upon school success, as external factors cannot be controlled or affected by the staff. Rather, this study intends to explore school effectiveness (providing a rich educational experience through effective teaching and learning) in the private part-time performing arts schools, and investigate the strategies that the staff (principals and teachers) employ to develop or improve upon effective teaching and learning in their schools.
Along side my studies, I am currently the principal of a part-time theatre school in West Yorkshire. I also teach piano and singing lessons part-time at Guiseley school.
I have completed a BA (Hons) in Popular and World Musics, a PGCE (FE), and a Masters in Education at the University of Leeds.
What motivated me to undertake PhD study?
I am motivated to undertake PHD study for two main reasons:
- To continue with my studies at the University of Leeds.
- To explore effective teaching and learning in part-time performing arts schools in order to understand and improve the teaching in my own school.
What makes me passionate about my subject?
I work within arts education and run a private part-time theatre school.
What are my plans once I have completed my PhD?
To open more part-time theatre schools.