What Happens When Teachers Collaborate!

What do World Languages and Arts Teachers have in common?  A lot this summer!  The New England Institute for Teacher Education is proud to announce it is partnering again with the Maine Department of Education’s World Languages Institute.  For a second consecutive year, we will be offering world language teachers a graduate level course: EDPF 530: Leadership in Standards-Based World Language Instruction and Assessment.  A four-day Institute will take place at the University of Maine at Farmington on June 25, 26, 27 and 28.  More information can be obtained by clicking here.  In addition, the New England Institute is partnering with the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative. Both cohorts of educators are built around a similar model of professional development where teachers truly become teacher leaders. We’re happy to be a partner with both statewide initiatives.

Drew Clapping

Teacher Leaders in the Arts Gather for Professional Development

We are so proud to work with the teacher leaders in the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative in 2013.  This is a fabulous group of K-12 teachers of Dance, Drama, Music and Visual Art, who have come together and have done some amazing things to help themselves and their students be better teachers and learners in the arts.

It will come as no surprise to most that I am a big believer in the Arts being at the very core of education.  That language is present at the national and state levels (No Child Left Behind, Maine Learning Results) and proficiency in the arts must be met for High School Graduation (LD1422). The arts are being touted by researchers and business people as absolutely essential to education.  In fact, some say  the future  will be ruled by those who are right-brained, creative, critical thinkers (Daniel Pink, Sir Ken Robinson, Tony Wagner). But no one will argue that we have become so focused on standardized test scores for literacy and mathematics, that we may be neglecting the very things we need to do to mold and shape our future citizens. Arts teachers get this, and they know that what they have been doing in their classrooms for decades is teach to these very things:  creativity and innovation, collaboration, critical thinking, communication — critical 21st century skills. It’s just part of who they are.  So why not utilize their expertise in teaching these “difficult to measure” skills and share their knowledge with others in the education world?  School leaders would do well to tap into this rich, but under-utilized resource. For more information on this exciting Initiative and other Maine Arts News, visit Argy’s Blog. — Catherine