THROUGHLINES programs help teachers and learners build and demonstrate
their understanding about process and content through active
exploration, inquiry and problem solving. Teachers are asked to
consider what they want their students to understand about particular
ideas, process, topics or themes. These curricular understanding goals,
the big ideas of the curriculum, inform the practical application of
dance and theatre based tools and processes in the classroom. Asking
good questions is fundamental to the process of creating and reflecting
and good questions help students to be energetic thinkers. When the
purpose of instruction is to build student understanding the process of
assessment is more than just one of evaluation; it is a substantive
contribution to learning. Throughlines programs enable learners to use
approaches and techniques from the disciplines of theatre and dance to
build and ‘perform’ their understandings and make learning meaningful.
Those understanding performances ( ongoing assessment) inform
teachers, teaching artists, and learners about what the students
currently understand and about how to proceed with subsequent teaching
and learning. The following are selected arts integration professional development projects THROUGHLINES partners have designed and implemented:
Peoria Unified School District: Professional development- classroom mentoring project
The THROUGHLINES workshops and classroom mentoring sessions provide educators with first-hand experience in elements of the disciplines of theatre and dance and help them teach based on their direct experience as arts makers. Learning needs to be rooted in a discipline in order for learners to authentically explore similarities and differences between ideas across disciplines. The workshop participants as “learning-artists" are given problems to solve that share features with those that intrigue professional artists. Inquiry based challenges and questions help guide reflective thinking about the work they make and the work they observe, while keeping a steady focus on classroom application of the work. Teachers participating in the professional development programs practice using theatre and dance learning strategies to build student understanding about specific content in the arts and other academic areas. Group workshops, as well as specific in-classroom mentoring sessions, provide participants with the tools to teach artistic processes within the context of the full curriculum and to assess student learning
Dana Foundation- Arizona Community Foundation Rural Arts Consortium Project
The intent of this project was to address specific needs, interests, and challenges in the design, delivery, and assessment of integrated arts programs in five selected rural sites across Arizona (Patagonia, Safford, Bisbee, Ajo, Flagstaff). The project provided intensive professional development for educators and teaching artists addressing arts based teaching and learning, the state arts standards, and ongoing assessment. The interactive professional development took place onsite in the community as well as on-line in order to build a statewide professional learning community for rural arts educators. Project participants practiced using theatre, dance and music learning strategies to build student understanding about specific content in the arts and other academic areas. Artist mentoring and residencies took place in each of five selected communities.
Harmony Arts and Denver School for International Studies
Within two four-week residencies, Denver, Colorado middle school students were provided with theatre-based learning experiences specific to curricular areas of geography and literature. The Theatre In Education modality of Dorothy Heathcote was used to position students within ‘the mantle of the expert’ as they explored the poem The Pied Piper of Hamelin. Theatre activities were developed to simulate trekking (ascent and descent) of Mount Everest. Classroom teachers were provided opportunities to co-teach with teaching artists and to collaborate with the teaching artists to create repeatable lesson plans for future application.
Arts in Education Model Development and Dissemination Grant awarded by the US Dept. of Education, Office of Curriculum Innovation
Working in partnership with Childsplay (Tempe, AZ) the primary objective of this project was to develop within Washington Elementary School District (Phoenix, AZ) a core group of educators who possess the knowledge, skills and motivation to implement Standards-based theatre lessons across the curriculum, thereby strengthening integrated arts instruction and improving the academic achievement of their students. The project model was comprised of in-services, co-teaching with theatre specialists, performance attendance and artist residencies and grew to include 4th, 5th and 6th grade levels during the course of the project.
The Arts Academy at Bella Vista
This New Mexico residency brought together the faculty and staff of a Spanish-English language arts-focused elementary school to provide professional development to implement Standards-based theatre lessons across the curriculum, thereby strengthening integrated arts instruction and improving the academic achievement of their students. In-services, co-teaching with theatre specialists, and the development of an original performance developed by the school’s drama and music clubs were focal points of the residency. Grades K though 6.
AZ Dept of Education Comprehensive School Reform through the Arts (CSR) Technical Assistance provider
These Institutes intended to help participants (teachers, administrators, parents) from Arizona schools to engage in active inquiry. Participants were helped to connect the tools and experiences presented in the Institute to their teaching practice, linking classroom curriculum and the state arts standards. The multi day Institutes provided on-site professional development workshops for educators with a primary emphasis on dance and theatre and a secondary emphasis on visual arts and music. The Institute’s arts experiences were linked to the Arizona Arts Standards and with the participants’ own teaching practice and curriculum, all content areas and disciplines grades K-12.
Artist Teacher Institutes (ATI)
The Artist Teacher Institutes provided strategies and tools for teaching with and about the arts. The Institutes funded by the Arizona Commission on the Arts, linked learning experiences that are authentic to the disciplines of theater and dance with classroom curriculum, teaching practice and the Arizona Arts Standards. The Institutes were experiential and provided an introduction to the arts disciplines with a primary focus on theater and dance and a lesser, secondary focus on music and visual arts. They provided educators with specific arts learning tools to use in their classroom programs, addressing arts literacy and arts integration in the full curriculum.
National Guild of
Community Arts Education (New York): national conference presenters
Boston, Ma. 2011
Patagonia Creative Arts
Association (Patagonia, AZ): workshop
presentations for community members including business owners, city
council members, teaching artists