Whether you're an experienced arts educator, or a teacher looking for ways to bring life to your curriculum through visual arts, music, drama and dance, this group will provide a place to meet, share, and imagine!

Welcome to the Arts Community Group

Jason Hobson

Greetings everyone and welcome to the Visual Art, Music and Drama group. I realize that the title of this group suggests a very broad palette, perhaps too broad for some, but lets try it and see what happens. If folks want to suggest smaller, discipline-specific subgroups, that can be arranged as well. But let's start with this and see where it goes.

As someone interested in arts education, you may have been following discussions on Edutopia and elsewhere around a growing sense of energy relating to the arts in our schools.

This is promising given that, in many jurisdictions, cuts to arts funding over the past couple of decades has left a huge gap in the type of school experience that many of our students have.

It would be great if this discussion forum could allow us to raise our voices around arts education. What are some of the issues, topics and ideas that you would like to discuss around arts integration. In a future post, I will tell you a little bit about my own perspective but, for now, I would love to have you join the conversation by introducing yourself, telling us why the arts interest you as a teacher/citizen and, if you're willing to wade into the waters, something about your arts experience in schools.

In short, lets begin by telling some stories!

Welcome!

Stephen Hurley

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My experience includes teaching visual arts and drama for 10 years to grade 7 and 8 students on a rotary basis which was supported by the admin in our school. My observations were that students had wonderful learning experiences, discovered talents and strengths that might otherwise have not been discovered and developed plenty of confidence to continue these disciplines in Secondary School. What inevitably started out as "I can't draw", eventually developed into an understanding that everyone can make art, and absolutely everyone can appreciate art. Also, statistically speaking many more graduates during the 10 years applied to "Arts Secondary Schools". We must in Canada make this available to our students.

Education director at Maui Arts & Cultural Center

Susana Browne, education director at an arts organization

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As education director of Maui Arts & Cultural Center (MACC) for the past 12 years, I have sponsored professional development for over 800 teachers to help them learn how to teach in, through, and about the arts. Since 1995, MACC has partnered with our Dept. of Education, Maui District, in the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts program Partners in Education. It is a win-win situation. In 2007, a new public elementary school opened here that is fully arts integrated. It is a wonderful success! Teachers and students are thriving in a supportive, challenging environment. We need more support for the teaching artists that work with the school and we'd love to have other schools join in the movement.

Special Education Music Teacher

Hello All, I am a music

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Hello All,

I am a music teacher with a degree in Special Education. I am very interested in the way that states are implementing the NCLB demands and still honoring student's IEPs.

In Florida the music curriculum doesn't have Access Points yet. I have tried to advocate for my students and hope that pre symbolic students are not expected to accomplish high level thinking skill and physical skill goals in music. It irks me that my school doesn't make AYP when the assessment is actually failing the students not the other way around.

Grade Eight Teacher, Group Moderator, Facilitator/teacher arts@newman

Welcome to all!

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Welcome to all new members of this forum...hey, I guess we're all new!

I sense in looking at some of your profiles that there is a ton of experience here, and I look forward to helping with the facilitation of some of the discussion.

I'm hoping that when some of those who haven't introduced yourselves get some time (!), you might scribble down a few notes about where you're from, where you've been, where you're goin'. We're especially interested in hearing about your perspective on arts education and some of the ideas that you have around this dimension of our schools!

stephen

high school art teacher from Mount Vernon, Iowa

The time for arts is now

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One of the best aspects about teaching in an arts field is that we have to define the value of what we teach for our students. When I entered teaching 20 years ago, I initially resented having to justify art classes to the administration, the public and sometimes, the students. I judge what I teach every day and every year within the questions: what learning am I providing my students and why do they need these experiences? I think this has strengthened my teaching and my program because I can verbalize the need for all students to learn creative thinking, problem solving, flexibility, perserverance and collaboration for living and working in the 21st century. Also, I see that the arts often anticipate the latest breakthrough or newest research based direction in education. We usually have provided such experiences for our students; we may not have called them the current phrase. I look forward to discussing the greater need for the arts for our students in the large global community. In the face of the economic struggles in our country and the impact of these on our schools, we need to be stronger voices for the arts.

Storyteller, Educator based in Los Angeles

Value of the Arts

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Every day I justify the arts in my community. While not working full-time in a classroom, I understand the importance of time for teachers and administrators. Laurie said she considers having "to define the value of what we teach for our students" "One of the best aspects about teaching in an arts field"--I find it is encouraging to see that in a positive light! I am fascinated with how we should connect social media with the arts and arts education, how to connect the arts with communities, and how arts organizations can better serve teachers and students.

Grade Eight Teacher, Group Moderator, Facilitator/teacher arts@newman

Hi Susana, Thanks for jumping

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Hi Susana,

Thanks for jumping in and sharing your experience and vision. How can folks find out more about your organization and how they might become part of this.

I would also love to know about the techniques and strategies that you use to engage your professional development participants in thinking differently through the arts. It is a different way of thinking about teaching/learning, isn't it?

stephen

Grade Eight Teacher, Group Moderator, Facilitator/teacher arts@newman

Re: The Time For Arts is Now!

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Quote:

I judge what I teach every day and every year within the questions: what learning am I providing my students and why do they need these experiences?

Hi Laurie,

Thanks for your post. I was wondering if, from your experience, your students have a different sense about the importance of the arts than you do, as teacher? Do they express why this is important to them?

stephen

My degrees are in Children's

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My degrees are in Children's Drama and the Creative Arts. As a classroom teacher I used theater to create an environment of "doing" within my project based teaching. I now teach theater K - 6 in a public elementary school in Redmond, Washington where I infuse theater and dance elements into the classroom curriculum. I also provide support to the classroom teachers in my school who are working on infusing the arts.

5-8 Choir Director/K-8 Arts Dept. Head at Benton County School of the Arts

Greetings from Northwest Arkansas!

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Hello! I am a 5th-8th grade choir director at Benton County School of the Arts in Rogers, Arkansas. I also serve as Arts Department Head of our K-8 campus. We offer Art, Dance, Music & Theatre classes. BCSA is a K-12 public, charter school system in Northwest Arkansas.

I have a passion for sharing my love of the arts with my students as well as with my fellow teachers and administrators. Whenever possible I also like to bring in as many community "artists" into our school for a more personal, educational and artistic experience.

I look forward to the discussions and sharing of ideas that will take place through the Edutopia community!

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