Archive for the ‘More Arts Education Features’ Category
It is Time to Restore CA Dance and Theater Credentials
by Malissa Feruzzi-Shriver and Amy Shimshon-Santo, Ph.D.
California’s Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) is considering a landmark reform in Arts Education policy on June 13. At stake is the reinstatement of credentials in dance and theater that have been dormant in California since 1970. This simple and affordable step, supported by education leaders throughout the state, would be catalytic for teaching core subject matter and improving learning outcomes for California students, especially for the underprivileged.
Research confirms the positive impact of the arts on teaching and learning. A recent study by Dr. Liane Brouilette found that arts education increases literacy and numeracy scores on standardized tests – especially for children struggling to master basic skills. Dr. James Catteral’s research shows that students in the lowest socio-economic strata who participate in arts education gain the greaest benefits in terms of academic achievement and civic engagement.
According to California Basic Education System Data (CBEDS), over half of California’s children in public school qualify for Free and Reduced Lunches (FRL), an indicator of low-income. However, over two thirds of Latino children (78%), and 68% of African American children, are eligible for FRL. A mere 16% of students enrolled in visual and performing arts courses at school are low-income (Blueprint for Creative Schools, CA Dept. of Education, 2013).
The lack of access to arts education for public school students is exacerbated by the lack of clear pathways in higher education for teacher preparation and certification in all the arts.
Dance and Theatre are the only two core academic subjects with approved No Child Left Behind Standards that don’t have corresponding California Single Subject Credentials. California is one of only three states in the nation without them.
Recent comparative research by Senator Gloria Romero’s office found that states with dance and theater credentials reported increases in the following areas: demand for the credentials, quality instruction for students, students pursuing the arts in college and career, demand for dance and theater classes in schools, professional status for dance and theater teachers, and teachers who remain in the profession.
Why doesn’t California provide credentials in all core subject areas of instruction? Clues are found in legislative history. In the 1960’s, many teachers in California were certified to teach Dance and Theatre under the Fisher Act of 1961. In 1970, the state’s credentialing regulations were reformed through the Ryan Act. From that time forward, the CTC only offered credentials in Music and Art but revoked Single Subject Credentials in Dance or Theatre.
According to the California Dance Education Association, without such credentials and adequate teacher prep programs in Dance and Theatre, California school districts “are hard-pressed to recruit, contract and retain” highly-qualified dance and theater teacher, and thus, “sustain robust Dance and Theatre programs and fully implement the Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) Framework and Standards for all students in all arts disciplines.”
California universities are waiting for the CTC to support the credentials so that they can be approved to offer programs for which there is already a demand. If the CTC approves reinstatement of the Dance and Theater credentials, California can move forward to introduce a bill that adapts legislation to include the missing disciplines. Then teachers will be able get the dance and theater jobs that currently go to teachers who earned their credentials outside the state.
As legacy members of CREATE CA (Core Reforms Engaging Arts to Educate), a statewide consortium that aims to eliminate opportunity gaps for access to a quality education for all students, we applaud the CTC for considering reinstatement of the missing credentials. This important step would restore opportunities for teachers and children in accordance with the recommendations outlined in the Blueprint for Creative Schools.
The CTC should support reinstatement of credentials in Dance and Theater. Restoring the missing credentials in these core academic subject areas will increase access to a quality, creative education for all children, and enhanced leadership, excellence, and longevity among California’s teachers.
Describing her school’s experience with the K-2 Teaching Artist Project (TAP) in San Diego, Baker Elementary Principal Linette Da Rosa noted that, in contrast with the common situation in which some children in a classroom succeed while others do not, the arts lift everyone. She has reason to know. The first year Baker participated in TAP, the school made its targeted Annual Yearly Progress (AYP). If the school is similarly successful this year, it will not longer be classified as a Program Improvement school under No Child Left Behind. Already Baker Elementary has raised its Academic Performance Index (API) score.
Of course, many factors contribute to school improvement, none more important than the expertise and dedication of the staff. However, Principal Da Rosa admitted to having been taken by surprise by the impact of a well-designed arts integration program. She described her thoughts when she was transferred to Baker Elementary:
“This being a low-performing school that is in Program Improvement, I was worried at first that the arts might detract from core subjects. Now I see the elevated language that the children are exposed to and use. All of this helps their comprehension. Low readers are motivated to read scripts and focus on literacy skills. We see improved CELDT scores, moving from kindergarten to first grade.”
The improved performance of Baker first graders on the California English Language Development Test (CELDT) mirrors that of other schools participating in the K-2 Teaching Artist Project, which is funded by an Improving Teacher Quality grant administered by the California Postsecondary Commission. Lesson plans and classroom videos of the TAP lessons can be seen on-line at: http://www.clat.uci.edu/theatre-k
On Friday, June 25, Baker Elementary celebrated completion of another successful year with a dramatization of the story “Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters” attended by San Diego School Board President Richard Barrera. Children from the classes of second grade teachers Sandi Davison, Bernice Pinson, Amber Burkett and Angelica Irving presented scenes from the story and gave the school board president a story quilt that will be put on display at the Education Center.
The class of first grade teacher Jamey Jaramillo performed original dances based on their study of the movements of marine creatures. Kindergartners in the class of Carolina Fernandez showed their visual art skills by creating colorful butterflies. Art work done earlier in the year enlivened walls all around the school.
Click on the images below to enlarge image and open photo gallery.
Photos by Dr. Liane Brouillette, UC Irvine.
The San Diego Improving Teacher Quality Project in the Visual and Performing Arts will be wrapping up this year by having both teachers AND administrators from YEAR TWO and YEAR ONE sites come together in one grand workshop to evaluate, discuss and share our journey over the past two years. Those schools that are in year two will be encouraged to share their experiences with the year one folks from Knox, Paradise Hills and Jones Elementary Schools as they finish their year of co-teaching with teaching artists and embark upon the task of teaching the VAPA lessons on their own in 2010-11.
We will also begin preparations for the year two folks to expand on the ITQ arts instruction and strategies next year as they find ways to use it in their own curriculum.
Year TWO folks, please be thinking of the following:
1. What will the arts look like in your classroom, at your grade level, and at your site next year?
2. In what capacity will the arts be taught or used?
3. What kind of support will you need for year three of your work?
As we get closer to the date, Denise Lynne will be sending out more information to prepare participants for this day.
Date and Time: Tuesday, June 8, 4:30-6:30 (workshop rate compensation)
Place: TBA (We’re looking for a venue with plenty of room.)
The UCI Center for Learning through the Arts and Technology
Invites You to Attend the 2010 ArtsBridge America Conference
Free Interdisciplinary Professional Development Workshops in Visual and Performing Arts
Saturday, May 1, 2010, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Grades: 4 – 8
Workshop Curriculum: Mapping the Beat
Arts Disciplines: Dance, Music, Theatre, and Visual Art
Core Curriculum Links: Social Studies and Geography
Sunday, May 2, 2010, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Grades: K and 1
Workshop Curriculum: Reading In Motion
Arts Disciplines: Music and Theatre
Core Curriculum Links: Language Arts
Please join Orange County K-12 teachers, UCI student teachers, and ArtsBridge America faculty and university students from several universities across the country for FREE interdisciplinary professional development workshops in Visual and Performing Arts at the 2010 ArtsBridge America Conference. The UCI Center for Learning through the Arts and Technology is hosting a two day conference and professional development workshops on Saturday and Sunday, May 1 and 2, at UC Irvine in the Calit2 Building.
Participate in hands-on workshops with teaching artists and educators, hear lectures by guest educators, and generate ideas to integrate the arts into classroom practice. The workshops will introduce standards-based VAPA lessons that can enhance your language arts, U.S. history, world history, and geography curriculum.
Registration: Register by April 15. Space is limited, so register early. You are invited to attend the workshops on one-day or two-days, but registration is required.
ArtsBridge America Conference & Professional Development Workshop Schedule
8:30-Noon Morning Workshops and Meetings
Noon-1:00 Lunch on your own.
1:00-4:30 Afternoon Workshops and Meetings
Location: UC Irvine, 4100 Calit2 Building, Irvine, CA 92697 (next to the University Club)
For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (949) 824-5119.