Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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The Art of  
A Workshop for High School Teachers
the Arts


Student saxophone and percussion players

Visual Art

Student presenting a painting for critique


Theatre student performing in front of her class


A dance teacher and two students hold a dancer aloft

For Facilitators

This workshop is designed for arts teachers from different disciplines to view together. While individuals can benefit from watching the programs alone, we recommend that you try to assemble as mixed a group as possible, including (but not limited to) teachers of music, dance, theatre, and visual art. In each program participants will watch teachers in all four disciplines as they demonstrate different aspects of the same fundamental principle of good teaching. By discussing the teaching examples with their colleagues, participants can make connections and spark new ideas across their areas of specialization. In this way the workshop can help teachers gain clarity about the elements of truly good arts teaching, regardless of discipline.

You can use the workshop to provide professional development activities for teachers in a variety of settings:

  • With a mixed group of dance, music, theatre, and visual art teachers interested in improving their practice in these disciplines
  • With new teachers who are trying to broaden their range of teaching methods
  • In schools where arts teachers want to strengthen ties within and between disciplines
  • In a district or school workshop
  • For individual teacher study of a specific topic, method, or grade level
  • In professional development mentoring programs

The following facilitator tips can enhance the professional development experience:

Designate Responsibilities

Each week, someone should be responsible for facilitating the course sessions. This may be a professional facilitator or a volunteer from among the participants, or you may choose to divide and rotate duties among several participants.

Prepare for the Session and Bring the Necessary Materials

The facilitator should review the entire session in the workshop guide prior to arriving for the session, and should also review the Materials Needed for that session. The facilitator will be responsible for bringing enough materials for all the participants. If you are viewing the video programs on videocassette or DVD, or on demand from the Annenberg Media Web site, the facilitator may want to preview the programs.

Before the First Session

You may want to photocopy the workshop guide – including the background information sheets – for all participants so they may follow along, refer back to ideas covered in the session, and have discussion materials handy. Or, you may direct them to this site to print the guide themselves (direct them to “Support Materials”). Either way, you will want participants to have the guide prior to the first session, so they will come prepared.

We especially recommend printing and distributing two kinds of documents. First, there are printable activity sheets accompanying all of the workshop activities except those for Workshop 4. Facilitators should bring enough copies for all participants. Second, Background Information Sheets are provided on the Watching the Program pages. These provide important contextual information about the schools, arts programs, and individual classrooms featured in the video programs. Viewers able to refer to them while watching will find many of the questions they have foremost in their minds succinctly answered on these sheets.

Keep an Eye on the Time

We have suggested the amount of time you should spend on each question or activity. These estimates assume a two-hour workshop session – one hour spent watching the video program, and one spent in activities and discussions before, during and after the viewing. If you are watching the programs on videotape, DVD, or on-demand, you will have more flexibility if your discussions run longer.

Record Your Discussions

We recommend that someone take notes during each discussion, or even better, that you tape-record the discussions. The notes or audiotapes can serve as make-up materials in case anyone misses a session.

Keep a Homework Journal

Tell participants to keep a journal throughout the workshop, bringing it to each session and writing in it between sessions as part of the homework. Their experience will be enhanced to the extent that they reflect on what they are learning, including thoughts, questions, and experiences from the workshop, as well as learning that takes place in their classrooms.

Share Your Discussions on the Web

The course sessions serve as a starting point to share and think about ideas. Encourage participants to continue their discussions with participants from other sites on Teacher-Talk.

Materials Needed

To use this workshop for professional development, you will need the following materials:

  • The appropriate videotapes or DVDs
  • A television monitor and videocassette or DVD player
  • The workshop print guide
  • Background information about featured classrooms, available on this Web site and also in the print guide
  • Copies of any handouts for the workshop sessions (available at the end of each set of program materials in the print guide)
  • Copies of the discussion questions listed for each workshop session
  • Flip chart and markers
  • Pads and pens for individual notes and reflections

NEXT: Workshop Summaries



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