I am pleased to say that the Arts Assessment in the Music Classroom course has taken off at York High School. Reports are that participants dove right in with some profound discussions about how we, as educators, tackle the not so easily defined task of assessing students performance in music. How does one assess individuals in an ensemble? How does one assess whether a piece has “spirit”? How do we involve students in self-assessment? How do we create a safe culture in our classroom so that formative assessment is a part of the every day work of teaching and learning? There is a real hunger out there in the teaching world for an opportunity to get together with colleagues to discuss these and other essential questions, and to share resources with each other. This is exactly what happened at York High School last Friday and Saturday and opportunities are being offered elsewhere in Maine through the New England Institute for Teacher Education.
Rob Westerberg, music educator at York High School, and planning team member of the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative, had participants thinking deeply and reflecting on the best strategies for engaging students and improving their teaching and learning. Shared assessment practices and resources were part of the fare. Each teacher will develop their own action plan, fitting in with their own and their individual school’s needs. They will go back to their classrooms, try new ideas, journal, read, share, and come back for a second session and report out what they’ve learned. How exciting!
If you are a music teacher, and you missed this opportunity, there is another class being held in Augusta on February 10 , 11 and May 11, 12. The course meets in two sessions of Friday nights (4-8pm) and Saturdays (8-4pm). Intersession work is done online via email with the instructor, and a final presentation and summative paper is expected. It is not too late to sign up for this course. Jake Sturtevant, music educator at Bonny Eagle High School, and Teacher Leader in the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative, will be teaching this course.
And for Visual Art Educators interested in Assessment courses, there are several opportunities right around the corner:
Bangor – Jan. 27, 28 and April 27, 28
Falmouth – March 9, 10 and May 4, 5
Courses are offered at a specially reduced cost of $750 for three graduate credits through our partnership with Endicott College. So don’t pass up this opportunity – Register now, and be a part of what’s happening in the arts and education in Maine!