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Connecting With the Arts: A Workshop for Middle Grades Teachers

Reflecting on Our Practice

This program explores methods for assessing instructional practice. Participants will see teachers reflecting alone and interacting with colleagues to evaluate and refine their planning and teaching. To conclude, the discussion group models a protocol that allows teachers to draw on the expertise of colleagues to refine their practice.

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This program explores methods for assessing instructional practice. You’ll see teachers reflecting alone and interacting with colleagues to evaluate and refine their planning and teaching. To conclude, the discussion group models a protocol that allows teachers to draw on the expertise of colleagues to refine their practice.

Learning Goals

The goals of this workshop are for you to:

  • Learn reflective methods for evaluating curriculum design and instruction
  • Reflect upon learning that has taken place during workshop and establish arts integration goals for the future

See Related Teaching Practices Library Programs:

Can Frogs Dance?
Analyzing a Culture – The Story Continues
Exploring Our Town

 

Getting Ready

Read and think about the following quotation: (5 minutes)

“There are three principal means of acquiring knowledge. . . observation of nature, reflection, and experimentation. Observation collects facts; reflection combines them; experimentation verifies the result of that combination.”
– Denis Diderot

Consider the following questions:

  • Does this quotation apply to a school setting? How? Why or why not?
  • How and when do you reflect on your teaching practice?
  • How do teachers at your school typically reflect on their practice?
  • Is there space for formal reflection at your school?
  • How do you feel this affects your practice?

Watching the Program

Consider the following questions as you watch the program. If you are part of a professional development group, consider stopping the video to discuss each question with your colleagues.

  • How could you work with a colleague to evaluate your instruction?
  • How can your colleagues help you improve your teaching?
  • How can group reflection assist in planning integrated instruction?
  • How can you improve your practice by engaging in structured discussions with colleagues?

Activities and Discussion

Activity: Planning for Arts Integration

Step 1. Reflect on the workshop series. (5 minutes)

Ask each person to complete the following statement about arts integration:

I used to think _______________________________.

Now I think _______________________________ .

Step 2. Make plans to begin or expand arts-integrated instruction.
(45 minutes)

Write or post the following categories on the board. Have each person write their responses on sticky notes (being sure to sign each note), and then place them under the appropriate heading.

CONCEPTS/CONTENT
I am interested in teaching these concepts through integrated instruction:

ARTS KNOWLEDGE
I have the following arts knowledge and expertise:
I need to know more about or need assistance with:

COLLABORATION
I am interested in the following collaborations:
I am available for planning at these times:

RESOURCES
I have or know about the following resources to aid arts integration:
What I need is:

Discuss the results, focusing on common interests and needs and how people can assist each other.

Individually, decide on and write down the next step each person will take toward arts integration.

Additional Resources

Additional Resources

Web Resources

Creating a Knowledge Base for Teaching: A Conversation with James Stigler
http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/mar02/vol59/num06/[email protected]s-Stigler.aspx
Advocates professional development that is site-based, long-term, and directly related to teacher practice

Critical Friends
http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/mar02/vol59/num06/Critical-Friends.aspx
Describes how examining student work can enhance teaching

National Board for Professional Teaching Standards
http://www.nbpts.org/
The National Board’s influential teaching standards, including early adolescent generalist standards

Reflective Practice and Professional Development
http://www.fgse.nova.edu/edl/secure/mats/rdgelach2.pdf
A digest that reviews the concept, levels, techniques for, and benefits of reflective practice

Print Resources

Hall McEntee, Grace, Appleby, Jon, & Dowd, Joanne. At the Heart of Teaching: A Guide to Reflective Practice (The Series on School Reform). New York : Teachers College Press, 2003. ISBN: 0807743488

This book delves into reflection as a concept and provides specific, replicable tools for professional practice.

McDonald, Joseph P, Mohr, Nancy, & McDonald, Elizabeth C. The Power of Protocols: An Educator’s Guide to Better Practice (The Series on School Reform). New York : Teachers College Press, 2003. ISBN: 0807743615

This book describes nearly 30 protocols or “scripts” for conducting meetings, conversations, and other learning experiences among educators.

Sommers, William, Montie, Jo, & York-Barr, Jennifer. Reflective Practice to Improved Schools: A Guide for Educators. Thousand Oaks , Calif. : Corwin Press. 2001. ISBN: 0761977635

The book provides a framework and strategies for supporting educators to continuously and meaningfully reflect on their practice—by themselves and with their colleague – to create schools in which both students and adults continually learn.

Credits

Produced by Lavine Production Group, Inc. in collaboration with EDC/s Center for Children and Technology and the Southeast Center for Education in the Arts. 2005.
  • Closed Captioning
  • ISBN: 1-57680-754-1

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