We will work with teachers in your school. We provide professional development training, demonstration and co-teaching, modeling and instructional coaching – in the classroom.
Upon learning to use arts integration strategies, teachers immediately recognize a new level of student engagement in their classrooms. They are thrilled and surprised at the effectiveness of this model, as it invites students to overcome barriers that have seemed intractable. The power of arts integration to help students overcome barriers to learning is a breakthrough for teachers the more they embrace it as a daily classroom practice.
The outcome is that teachers experience the power of arts integration to engage students in learning of all academic subjects as well as the full range of arts and that they understand that arts integration skills and methods are accessible to them. It's simply a matter of their finding the place in their lessons where arts integration strategies are most impactful. With arts integration teachers are changing their classroom practice forever. A common statement from teachers even after just one day of professional development: "I will never teach the old way again."
Many students experience a daily one-size-fits all curriculum that is neither engaging or culturally relevant. With the rich cultural and arts resources resident in these communities, there is great opportunity for arts integration to be a natural expression, in education, of the richness ready to be put to good use in classrooms through the discipline, skills and processes of arts integration.
Every teacher can learn the skills and practice of using arts integration in daily academic lessons to increase the engagement of students in their classrooms. Our job is to bring in artists and artistic practices in all the art forms that teachers can access for their arts strategies. Our goal is for teachers to use high integrity examples of dance and movement, theater and performance art, music, visual arts, media arts, poetry and literature, and architecture, culinary arts, sculpture, fiber arts and local culture. But most important is to help teachers develop a sense for how teachers can use arts integration on their own, and maintain the integrity and effectiveness of their practice.
We have developed content and a process for professional development (shared with Embody Learning; see below): First, we use a three-step arts integration process for teachers to use in the classroom:
To help teachers engage students in this process, we train them in skills or knowledge in six areas: planning, innovation, collaboration, assessment, presentation, improvisation.
IMPORTANT NOTE: All the arts integration programming of Arts Integration Solutions includes a hybrid classroom practice of arts integration that is called Embody Learning. Built around arts integration, Embody Learning is a model in which teachers create lessons in which students embody academic content through core strategies that are built into lessons where appropriate. Teachers use the strategies as tools for modeling, practice, checking for understanding, and/or assessment, as they become adept at finding key areas where strategies align with curriculum and standards.
Embody Learning dramatically increases student engagement in math, science, language and other academic subjects. The model has been developed and tested with teachers in preschool through high school.
ASSESSMENT AND PROGRAM EVALUATION
We measure success by looking at teacher efficacy, student engagement and student achievement. Under these three umbrellas we have classroom observation criteria, an action research planning model for collecting student success data, teacher surveys and qualitative data to measure the success of our program at each site. Our evaluation tools are available to use and modify according to each site’s individual needs.
Our assessment focuses on:
We seek data on:
As much as we want to measure our work in holistic, qualitative metrics, where we know the true integrity of the arts will demonstrate value over the lifetime of an individual. We can also measure the effectiveness of arts integration by looking at student achievement data. We have tracked an increase in grades in elementary, middle and high school. We use action research in which teachers report out of and reflect on student progress as they learn to use arts integration strategies. Over the course of time teachers monitor student engagement, students’ daily progress in meeting academic standards, their increased investment in learning through the use of arts integration strategies and improved student behavior through increased self-regulation.
We use an action research instrument. Questions are adjusted in response to the goals of the classrooms in which we are working. In the assessment, when teachers know they will be evaluating specific learning outcomes, they are conscious from the planning stage of their classes and focus on achieving a recordable presence of each area. They examine student engagement, their own efficacy while implementing arts integration strategies, and student success with the learning outcome. On a 1-5 Likert-type scale, they generally are rated at 3 or higher. Teacher efficacy and confidence grows in each cycle. Student engagement is high and frequent, grades almost always go up immediately and teachers are always surprised when they first see the results. Teachers become willing and even excited to use arts integration, but they never expect to see quiz results so quickly reflect a deeper level of authentic learning from students.
Professional Development Model
We believe every classroom can be filled with the joy of learning at every level, in every subject, for every student, through the arts and arts integration. Every teacher can learn to use arts integration where it fits best in the classroom. Our goal is to make arts integration accessible to as many teachers who want it.
As soon as a teacher understands the power of arts integration to engage students in authentic learning, every teacher will value its use in daily practice. Thus, we have developed content and a process for professional development: We have developed a curriculum for the six skills in various formats — one-day trainings, multi-day workshops, in-school multi-day visits, etc.
We have also designed a model for working with schools that involves five visits per school year, 13 days total including planning, modeling and demonstration, and reflection in the classroom with teachers and students and five professional development sessions. This “light touch" has transformative results for classroom practice. It takes an arts-based Embody Learning approach to “installing” the practice of embodiment as a student engagement intervention.
Our goal has been to have sustainable impact on classroom practice with a "light" touch... that means, without a large and ongoing investment on the part of a school or a teacher. For example, if a teacher attended a training session, could that teacher go back to the classroom and make a difference in student engagement? or if a school had a professional development session, would it have an impact school wide on student engagement? We determined, through work in three schools, that we could have an impact school wide with four visits to the school over one school year. That would be enough time for early adapters to master arts integration practice and become leaders, for willing teachers to experiment with arts integration and have mentors in the school and for school leadership to recognize the value of arts integration by seeing the results in student achievement.
This was a risk because our work cannot survive if we are unable to make it sustainable. The old days of hiring professional artists to be in the classroom with the teacher were great for everyone involved, but that model is financially unsustainable. Rather than see arts integration die, we have redefined it by helping all teachers learn to use the arts as a strategy for planning lessons without the presence of artists. For the cost of professional development, which is part of every schools' existing budget, arts integration can become an essential part of every schools' student achievement and teacher training imperative... IF we can demonstrate its power and get the word out. Our biggest task is always to redefine arts integration and then to explain its academic value.
The desired outcome is that everyone understands the power of arts integration to engage students in learning of all academic subjects as well as the full range of arts... and that all teachers understand that arts integration skills and methods are accessible to them. It's simply a matter of their choosing to make the effort. The actual outcomes are that more and more teachers are changing their classroom practice forever... a common statement from teachers even after just one day of professional development: "I will never teach the old way again..."
This model of a light touch, and variations of it, is how we will reach teachers, schools, artists, districts and everyone with arts integration professional development. This is our modus. We believe it is the only means that arts integration will reach a large segment of teachers because it addresses the issues of their lack of time and funds, yet it is effective in helping them be better teachers.
We have developed a curriculum for the six skills in various formats —
AiS does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. These activities include, but are not limited to, hiring and firing of staff, selection of volunteers and vendors, and provision of services. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, clients, volunteers, subcontractors, vendors, and clients.