Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Program Summaries

Program 1. What Is Art?
Learner Teams and students investigate the nature of art by identifying elements of four art forms: theatre, music, dance, and visual art. The teams explore their perceptions about each art form separately, then examine how the art forms work together in the multi-arts example Quidam.

Program 2. Responding to the Arts
Using two multi-arts performance pieces from different eras, Quidam (1996) and Parade (1917), Learner Teams and students examine how artists and audiences form their perceptions of art. Participants examine theatrical and musical elements in Quidam and Parade to investigate the role of social and historical context, recognize the artists’ creative intentions and expressive techniques, study the influence of vaudeville while creating their own skits with original music and action, and master and apply a process of criticism by going to “critic school.”

Program 3. Historical References in the Arts
This program explores the concept of historical context. How do artistic and historical references inform and influence our understanding of works of art? Using visual and dance elements, Learner Teams and students recognize the use of historical references in Quidam, use costumes to investigate the ways that historical references can affect a work of art, study a painting by René Magritte and choreography by Alwin Nikolais to see their influence on the creators of Quidam, and take on the role of art historian to discover how art history is being made today.

Program 4. Creating a Multi-Arts Performance Piece
Applying knowledge gained through the lessons modeled in Programs 1-3, Learner Teams and students create, rehearse, and revise a multi-arts performance piece that is based on the central narrative theme in Quidam. In a sequential series of large- and small-group interactions, they create original plots based on Quidam’s “journey” story structure, communicate their stories in a multi-arts medium, and critique and refine their performance pieces.

Program 5. Designing a Multi-Arts Curriculum Unit
This program introduces a curriculum design process sometimes called “backward design.” This process builds on the enduring ideas/understandings that drive a curriculum unit — the “why” rather than the “what.” Using the multi-arts unit of study seen in Programs 1-4 as a model, Learner Teams investigate the components of this process — how the enduring ideas form the basis for essential questions and unit objectives. Learner Teams then construct enduring ideas, essential questions, and unit objectives for integrated units of study that they can use in their own schools.

Program 6. The Role of Assessment in Curriculum Design
Learner Teams discover how to build formative and summative assessments into the units they are developing. They consider assessment strategies used in the lessons of Programs 1-4, continue working on their own units by developing performance tasks that address assessment criteria, and create scoring guidelines to measure student success.

Program 7. Three Schools, Three Approaches
During the school year that followed the filming of the first six programs, a television production crew visited the three Learner Teams at their own schools. Documentary segments show the Learner Teams planning and teaching arts-based lessons that grew out of what they learned. Discussions at the end of the school year, facilitated by one of the workshop leaders, give the Learner Team members the chance to reflect on developments in their teaching practice.

Program 8. Building on New Ideas
More documentary segments show further work by the team members — with their students, among themselves and with colleagues. The end-of-year discussions continue, with team members reflecting on how their new initiatives in the arts have affected them and their schools, and offering advice for other teachers who want to bring the arts into their own classrooms.

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