How can schools make a systemic cultural shift by empowering teachers to understand, value and create arts-integration experiences to promote learning?
Project or Program Summary
Please provide a summary of the project/program as demonstrated in the case study:
The Young Audiences New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania (YANJ/EP) Creativity Consultant Project (CCP) is a professional development program that builds creative school communities while training and empowering classroom and arts specialist teachers to integrate the arts across the curriculum. This program explores a new role for YA artists by expanding how they interact with schools and teachers. In the new role as a Creativity Consultant (CC), the YA artist works side-by-side with teachers to solve curricular challenges, enhance a teacher’s skills and develop teacher led lessons. With funding from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation the CCP provides sixty-seven teachers from eight schools with cooperative lesson planning, modeling of innovative techniques, opportunities to try those techniques and mentoring sessions. With an emphasis on shifting school culture and giving teachers the tools to regularly embed the arts into their teaching practice, the project fosters a creative community that will help sustain the program after the CCP ends. Currently in its third year of development, the CCP has taught teachers to draw upon literary arts, dance, theatre, media arts, poetry, music, film, and/or visual arts to teach across the curriculum.
Portfolio Purpose and Rational
Portfolio Purpose and Rationale: Why has this case study been submitted?:
School budgets for personalized and innovative professional development have been on a steady decline, and most often, classroom teachers have limited training in arts-integration. The CCP is an effective professional development model that helps teachers gain a better understanding of arts-integration and illustrates the importance of collaborative partnerships. With value placed on increasing the sustainability of professional development initiatives, the CCP works with teachers for up to three consecutive years and disseminates co-created resources within and among the participating school communities. The project works to foster teachers who emerge as creativity leaders, as well as equips them with innovative examples of effective interdisciplinary, arts-integrated lessons and/or units of study. The ultimate goal is for each school to develop a Creativity Team that continues to make progress well into the future.
What are your overall conclusions regarding the documentation gathered for this case study?:
With the goal to empower the teaching artist and teachers to engage in informative ongoing communication, the data collection is meant to promote reflection and discussion that improves performance during and after the CCP. The documentation tasks include: 1) online Pre-Planning, Middle and End surveys completed by teachers, 2) online Post-Planning, Middle and End surveys completed by the CC, 2) inquiry questions and performance indicators 3) lesson plans, and 4) work sample photos and videos. These tasks offer snap shots of the CCP over time, reflect learning back to participants and contribute to the collective learning and knowledge of the group. Participants are encouraged to share documentation online to a secure Wiggio account. A YA staff member and/or the Creative Consultant encourages and assists the school to promptly post documentation. Email communication, in-person survey completion and the initiation of photos and videos by a YA staff member or the CC increases the quantity of data collected.
What conclusions have you drawn from the responses to the assessment tools you have developed?:
The documentation collected shows that the CCP offers teachers a variety of opportunities to experience relevant and embedded professional development during a normally scheduled school day. Participating teachers emerge with practical experience about how to create and implement arts-integrated experiences that enrich current curriculum materials and learning in the Common Core State Standards. In some cases, teachers initially reported concern for the engagement of specific students. By demonstrating an arts-integrated way of teaching, learning and assessment, teacher thinking began to acknowledge and understand the diversity of student learning styles and the added value of arts-integration. Participating teachers report satisfaction in learning "new lesson practices" and "creative ways to engage the students." Overall, teachers are eager to engage in conversations with other teachers and the CC about the theory and practice of teaching in and through the arts. This collegiate desire is further nurtured during the CCP three-day summer intensive Creative Curriculum Seminar.
Answering the Inquiry Question
Back to the initial inquiry question, can it be answered?:
Successful professional development requires the time and space for teachers and the CC to establish trusting relationships and engage in supportive and relevant conversations. Support from a school’s principal, curriculum supervisor and/or superintendent contributes to successful scheduling and brings added value to a teacher’s commitment to the collaboration. When given substitute teacher coverage, participating teachers and the CC are afforded the opportunity to better develop arts-integrated experiences that speak directly to current student learning objectives. By implementing 1) small group planning sessions, 2) CC and teacher mentoring sessions, 3) observations by teachers of the CC delivering arts-integrated lessons with students, and 4) teacher and CC co-taught lessons, teachers gain the confidence to independently implement arts-integrated and interdisciplinary approaches. Electronic tools, such as email, Google Drive and/or Wiggio correspondence, offer participants the opportunity to increase communication as well as share ideas and/or best practices within their school and among participating CCP schools.
Conclusions: What Was Learned
What was learned?:
A professional development model that provides the time and space to develop collaborative relationships and meaningful work empowers teachers to embed arts- integrated and interdisciplinary learning experiences into their existing curriculum. Arts experiences are naturally aligned to enrich various aspects of the English Language Arts and Mathematical Common Core State Standards. When working alongside teachers, it is important to begin a discussion that dives into/focuses on how the art form at hand and the curriculum content area creates an opportunity to connect to the practices identified in the Common Core State Standards. Encouraging teachers to become creative leaders within a school community takes time and success will look different at each school. Although in year 1 teachers report an increase in their confidence facilitating arts-integrated experiences, upon completion of year 2, several teachers show an expanded commitment to develop, facilitate, and share arts-integrated experiences. To strengthen a successful arts-integration practice that increases systematic change, several Creativity Consultants and teachers have asked to continue the partnership for three to five years.
Conclusions: What Can Be Done Differently In The Future
What can be done differently in the future?:
In response to the assessment data collected by participating teachers and Creativity Consultants, the following modifications will be made to the 2015 CCP: 1) Develop and provide a lesson plan template for the CC modeled lessons and the CC and teacher co-created lessons. 2) Articulate and provide performance indicators and open inquiry questions for teacher observation of CC modeled lessons, mentoring sessions and teacher facilitated lessons. 3) Consideration of a CCP schedule that spans over the course of several months. 4) Expand the number of CC and teacher collaboration days to include eight teachers per location to participate. 5) Expand to a 15-day artist-in-residence program for schools who have participated in CCP for three years or more.
Conclusions: How Will This Inform The Work Moving Forward
How will this inform the work moving forward?:
The changes developed from participant documentation will inform future work by developing and implementing a shared lesson plan template and incorporating more specific measurable goals and objectives across the CCP locations. These factors will help better assess the overall impact of the CCP. The program will work to further nurture a creative school culture and provide additional opportunities for classroom teachers to experience the positive effects of arts-integrated lessons on student learning. Additionally, it will allow YA to be a more integrated resource in the school community.
Core Content Standards
Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them
Reason abstractly and quantitatively
Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others
Key Ideas and Details
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
Text Types and Purposes
Research to Build and Present Knowledge
Speaking and Listening:
Comprehension and Collaboration
Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas
Conventions of Standard English
Vocabulary Acquisition and Use
Science / Dimension 1: Scientific and Engineering Practices:
Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering)
Planning and carrying out investigations
Science / Dimension 2: Crosscutting Concepts That Have Common Applications Across Fields:
Systems and system models
Energy and matter: Flows, cycles, and conservation
Science / Dimension 3: Core Ideas In Four Disciplinary Areas / Physical Sciences:
Matter and its interactions
Motion and stability: Forces and interactions
21st Century Learning Skills
Learning and Innovation / Creativity and Innovation:
Work Creatively with Others
Learning and Innovation / Critical Thinking and Problem Solving:
Learning and Innovation / Communication and Collaboration:
Collaborate with Others
Life and Career / Flexibility and Adaptability:
Life and Career / Leadership and Responsiblity:
National Core Arts Standards
National Core Arts Standards: