Think back to your favorite teachers. Were they teachers who sat at their desk and had you read while they nodded their head and hoped you were understanding? Were they teachers who stood in front of a chalkboard and just read from a book while you looked dazed and confused? Or were they one’s who gave you information and then began to story-tell in different ways such as having you create a play based on a topic, or took you to a museum to explain great art? Most likely it is the latter. I am positive not all teachers want to be just a talking head, they want to be memorable so you learn! However, teachers often need to learn themselves in order to not just be a talking head, and that is why programs like the Kennedy Center Partners in Education Arts Integration Institute are so important.
The Renaissance Performing Arts Association, the Mansfield Art Center and Mansfield City Schools are collaborators in the John F. Kennedy Partners in Education program. This program’s goal is to bring professional development opportunities to our area’s educators on topics surrounding arts integration in the classroom. The definition of arts integration the Kennedy Center provides is “an approach to teaching in which students construct and demonstrate understanding through an art form. Students engage in a creative process which connects an art form and another subject and meets evolving objectives.”
According to a Kid smART 2016-17 survey on arts integration programs, 74% of students said they noticed an improvement in their abilities when using art to express their emotions and ideas, and 78% said they noticed improvement in collaboration skills when working in a group. Teachers in this same survey also had success with 96% stating they noticed improvement in their student’s depth of learning, and 94% noticed improvement in student engagement through joyful learning. (For more information on this study go to https://www.kidsmart.org/impact/milestones/)
Our community is very blessed to have this amazing program and to have the valuable support from the Ohio Arts Council, the Key Bank Foundation, and Charles P. Hahn, Cleveland Financial. With gifts from these organization, the entire program is free to all educators and education administrators. In addition, contact hours for CEUs are available.
Educators interested in participating in the Kennedy Center Partners in Education trainings can find out about upcoming events here, by contacting Chelsie Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by watching our Facebook page for event posting.