Presentation on theme: "Acting As A Change Agent Developing a Professional Development Model."— Presentation transcript:
Acting As A Change Agent Developing a Professional Development Model
The Beginning Who doesnt belong here? Why is the Music Coordinator taking over the Visual Arts?
Looking for a way to fit in and not always getting the best reaction. You suck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
An Idea Is Born From: Fall 2002 Lack of a strong, cohesive curriculum Teachers doing their own thing with no real direction Lack of funding for professional development opportunities
The Key Players School District represented by the Visual and Performing Arts Coordinator Museum – Frist Center for the Visual Arts represented by Director of Education University – Vanderbilt University represented by the Chancellors wife/professor
The beginning Grant acquired to fund the first years activities, but lasted two years Executive Committee formed (one representative from Metro Schools, Frist Center and Vanderbilt University Executive Committee formulated a plan of action to get teachers involved
Starting Small and Slow - Winter 2002 Ten top teachers selected from elementary, middle and high school Several meetings were held to get opinions of what the needs were and to think outside the box. All meetings were at the Vanderbilts Chancellors home or at the Frist Center. Teachers were treated extremely well from dinners to resources.
Johnny One Note Conversations started about the weak curriculum and it was hard to move the teachers past this. Starve teachers long enough and they lose the ability to dream. Even with the most creative of teachers, lack of the basics can cause stagnation.
One Step at a Time At the end of the first meeting, we asked this talented group of teachers to think about creating a strong community of visual arts teachers that could share common goals. How could this be done so that it would have lasting educational implications for the District?
Starting the Ball to Roll Spring 2002 Vanderbilt University brought in Anne Wolcott, Visual Arts Supervisor from Virginia Beach, who was fostering change in her District through a summer workshop and ongoing development of working with Big Ideas with her teachers. The group gained identity by choosing the name of Nashville Institute for Visual Arts Education (NIVAE) and so the journey began.
Making the First Strategic Decision Summer The group decided to split our initiative over the summer. Half of the group would attend the Virginia Beach Summer Institute, which was led by Dr. Sydney Walker, Ohio State University and author of Teaching Meaning in Artmaking. The other half attended Dr. Walkers course on Teaching Art through Big Ideas at Ohio State University.
The Adventure Begins Meetings began immediately after the summer activities were concluded to discuss if this was the direction the group wanted to go. It took very little time to conclude that we would follow the writings and teaching of Dr. Walker and set forth to change the look of the visual arts in the Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools. Dr. Walker was brought in for a fall workshop to get the teachers started on developing unit plans based on Big Ideas.
The First Year Ten teachers met monthly to develop unit plans on a Big Idea. This group became a think tank - questioning, studying, inquiring. A lead teacher was added to the Executive Committee. Executive Committee participated in the questioning and teaching. Some teachers got it; some struggled, but the desire was there and the group continued to move forward.
The First Year continued At the end of the first year, each teacher was required to present a power-point on one of the unit plans that each developed throughout the year. The teachers were asked some tough questions about the development and delivery of the unit plans and were given a written evaluation from the Executive Committee.
Who Will Stay? Who Will Go? After the evaluation process, one teacher decided not to continue and one was still very confused on how to properly develop the unit plans based on Big Ideas, but decided to hang in for another year. All teachers agreed that they wanted to continue on this path, because they could see how the students better related to art and artmaking by making it personal.
Setting up for Year Two Brochures were developed and sent to all teachers with a brief explanation of the Nashville Institute for Visual Arts Education. The brochures included an application form. After the application forms were received, an interview was scheduled. At the end of this process, the next ten teachers were selected to join the original group. All new teachers entering NIVAE had to commit to two years of training and monthly meetings.
Second Year Summer three day workshop with Dr. Sydney Walker The unit development was on the big idea of Humans and Nature with the Hudson River School exhibit at the Frist for the jumping off point. Most teachers found this to be a very difficult Big Idea.
Pulling a Topic from a Big Idea The biggest problem the teachers found with Humans and Nature was moving from a Big Idea to a topic (narrowing it down to something that was meaningful and workable). The fall workshop was led by Dr. Marilyn Stewart who helped tremendously with group focus and breaking down the steps to be more manageable.
The Fruits of Our Labors At the end of year two the following occurred: o Our first set of mentors was ready to work with small groups and individuals. These teachers were from the original ten. o The first and second year group plus a few other District teachers wrote the MNPS Standards for the Visual Arts. The NIVAE group lead the way to include those things that were driving the Institute and that would lead to the best practices in the District.
Year Three (Expanding Our Horizons) The application and interview process took place again and this time we accepted fourteen new members. Most of the original group continued to meet with the second year group and the new group to help lead the way to better understanding. In our third year, we started feeling this was going to work and strengthen all that we were doing.
The Light Bulbs Turn On In the two day fall workshop of 2004, we brought in Sharon Clohessey from Virginia Beach who mentored their teachers on developing unit plans on Big Ideas. She broke down the steps of the unit writing in clear, sequential terms that made the light bulbs go on for most of the group. Unit writing at that point became less of a chore and more exciting for the group. At each monthly meeting, the progress of the group became evident through more meaningful discussions and in-depth questions.
What Will We Do For Money? At the end of the second year, the grant monies had been used and now we had to seek funds. After a meeting with the Director of Schools, he agreed to back the Institute at $30,000 per year through the Professional Development Department.
How Were The Monies Used? The funding paid for the following: o Stipends for the teachers for the three-day summer Institute and meals. o Presenters fees and travel expenses. o Materials including books, prints, artmaking materials, etc. o Meals for the three days of professional development during the school year.
In-kind Services The Frist Center for the Visual Arts donated space for the six days of professional development, plus meeting space each month. Free parking for all professional development and meeting days. Discount on materials Museum educators donated time to give overviews of exhibits. Free admission to exhibits Food for monthly meetings Vanderbilt University hosted our presenters at the Chancellors home. Sponsored welcoming dinners for our members at the beginning of each year. Sponsored dinners for our mentors at meeting to discuss future plans.
More of the Third Year In the spring of 2005, NIVAE members were asked to develop the Visual Arts Academic Vocabulary for grades K – 12. This initiative was based on Robert Marzanos book, Building Academic Vocabulary. The teachers worked extremely hard to match the Academic Vocabulary with the MNPS Visual Arts Standards. Some of those serving on the committee were trained to be Academic Vocabulary Trainers, who went into the schools at the beginning of the school year to train all teachers on how to use the Academic Vocabulary.
Fourth Year Open enrollment for Summer Institute with Dr. Walker Added seventeen more teachers to NIVAE Added two more lead teachers to Executive Committee Fall and spring workshops developed and presented by lead teachers.
Fourth Year: Larger Numbers – More Excitement and More Success Stories Most members committed to the two years, but a few found it to be too much after the three day summer workshop. We settled down with a group of sixteen new members and ten returning from the previous year and the mentors. The summer workshop was once again led by Dr. Sydney Walker and two of the Frist Center educators who were finishing their Masters in Art Education with Dr. Walker at Ohio State University. The fall was devoted to finishing the work started on the unit from the summer. We now had our own mentors plus trained educators from the Frist to assist in the development of units on Big Ideas. The First educators took this a step further in developing workshops on the exhibitions at the Frist that included Big Idea possibilities.
District Assessment As part of the ongoing development of documents to lead to curriculum writing, a comprehensive 4 th grade District Art Assessment was developed that included content knowledge, art criticism and art production. It was piloted in the spring of NIVAE mentors contributed their expertise to develop the assessment.
Pathway to Our Dreams – Year Fifth Summer Institute with open enrollment. Dr. Walker lead the three day session. We took in seventeen new members to NIVAE. In the summer of 2007, the NIVAE elementary mentors developed the K – 4 Visual Arts Curriculum for the Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools. It is a strong, user-friendly curriculum that has received high praise from the K-4 teachers. When we started the planning process for , we continued to look at our strengths and weaknesses to plan our year. All agreed that we desperately needed to work on our knowledge of contemporary artists. To this end, the Frist staff developed a two day fall workshop for all of the NIVAE members and any other MNPS art teachers who wanted to attend on contemporary artists. The second thing we needed to start addressing this year was technology for classroom presentations. The December meeting was our starting point on learning the beginning steps of Movie Making and our upcoming spring full day workshop will continue with one of our former NIVAE members who now works with MNPS IT department as a trainer. We look forward to our new group of NIVAE members this summer, which we think will be strong in numbers. We have teachers anxious to be able to get the most from the new curriculum for their students. The second year of the MNPS 4 th Grade Visual Arts Assessment just took place.
Looking Ahead Summer of 2008 o Development of 7 th grade MNPS Visual Arts District Assessment o Development of High School Visual Arts I MNPS District Assessment Summer of 2009 o Curriculum Development for 5 th – 8 th grade o Curriculum Development for high school courses o Establishing a portion of NIVAE just for high school teachers.
Additional Benefits After meeting with college art education staff members from local universities about our Institute and sharing our successes, some are beginning to help their students develop unit plans based on Big Ideas.
Some Key Elements for Success Create partnerships with a museum, arts center, university or a combination thereof. Have a source of money to back the venture. Form an Executive Committee of representatives from each partner. Start small with the initial group of teachers and make sure all tier levels are represented. Take your time with the teachers to decide on purpose and initiatives. Make sure these teachers are treated extremely well and make them feel special.
Key Elements continued Create buy-in through sending teachers to established workshops. Use patience; the successes may be small in the beginning, but progress should always be able to be detected. Insure a long term commitment from those involved; change does not happen overnight. Keep focused on what is best for the students; this may mean that while teachers are learning new skills that it is harder on them.
Key Elements continued Celebrate the small victories; the big ones will be forthcoming. Keep the goals clear, so the path can be followed by each new group of teachers. Develop mentors. Keep your superiors and the Board of Education updated on the progress of your teachers.