A few weeks ago we devoted a professional development day to the performing arts. It was a great day with a mix of a keynote (Ellen Winner, professor at Boston College), mini workshops, and a panel of alumni and professionals. The day was designed to raise awareness about making more room for art in the academic day. I came into the day with thoughts that we should be integrating more art into the traditional curriculum but I left with thoughts on how the traditional curriculum (english, math, science, history, language) should take some lessons from the way we teach art. In general, art classes focus more or depth rather than breadth; reflection and collaboration are routine; and effort and risk-taking are central to assessment. I would like to see more of these attributes in other classes.
Speaking of art, there is a great conference in April put on by the Maine Dept of Ed. It’s called “Arts, Innovation, and Creativity.” There are loads of workshop offerings; here’s a quote from the conference write-up:
Workshop sessions will include:
- over 30 hands-on creative and imaginative professional develop opportunities;
- interdisciplinary connections between the arts and creative thinking in other Maine Learning Results content areas utilizing technology;
- innovative instruction, curriculum and assessment;
- a link between at least one arts discipline (music, dance, theater or visual art) and at least one other content area from the MLR’s (Career and Education Development, English Language Arts, Health Education and Physical Education, Mathematics, Science and Technology, Social Studies, World Languages);
- unique learning opportunities for educators utilizing technology to impact teaching and learning for all students.
Check the website for details on the workshops. And best of all, you get to spend 2 days in beautiful Rockport, Maine and the cost of the conference is only $45!