Here at Walton Arts Center, we strive to positively impact our community through learning and engagement. One of our main goals is to strengthen school learning communities through arts integration teacher training by to sharing model arts integration programs with the State education community.
One way we reach this goal is by training teachers throughout the area on how to creatively integrate education about the arts into their classroom lesson plans. There are three main programs designed for these teachers: AWE Institute, SmART Residency and ARTeacher Fellowship.
This year’s ARTeacher Fellowship was held June 19-21. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the Northwest Arkansas Education Service Cooperative and the Center for Children and Youth joined the Walton Arts Center in an effort to provide this exemplary professional development. The Center for Children and Youth selected 27 Jr. high and high school literacy and social studies teachers to participate in the program, and they will implement the arts integration strategies across their curriculums for a year.
ARTeacher Fellows studied with The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts presenter, Randy Barron; Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art School Programs Manager, Anne Krybill; and University of Arkansas’ Center for Children and Youth, Hung Pham and Dr. Chris Goering.
Last year, the ARTeacher Fellowship reached nearly 500 students with 10 teachers participating in the program, so there are great expectations for the impact this year’s 27 trained educators will have on Northwest Arkansas students.
All three programs have yielded positive results in the classroom, for teachers and students alike, all the while keeping the arts alive in schools. Teachers have noticed that students respond well to art integration strategies with better attitudes, eagerness to participate and an overall preference to the strategies over traditional ones. Teachers that have participated in the programs say they have gained confidence teaching literacy and social studies with the art integration strategies and 90% believe their teaching skills have improved through the training.
We are excited to see the talented teachers integrate the arts into their curriculum this upcoming school year! To learn more about the arts integration teaching training programs, visit our website.