Sierra North Arts Project – CRESS Grant
Chris Monroe, Former Director of Sierra North Arts Project, UC Davis School of Education
Mary Superak, SNAP Teacher Leader
What do investigators hope to learn from this research? What research question(s) will they pursue in this study?
- Will added curriculum and instruction support after the SNAP Summer Institutes increase teachers’ confidence and comfort level with teaching the arts?
- Will the development of more classroom strategies for arts implementation decrease teacher isolation and increase collaboration between teacher/teacher and teacher/student within the school?
- How will creating/nurturing a community of teachers to support each other in teaching the arts transfer into the classroom?
- ) How has the inclusion of the arts in your curriculum affected your teaching practice and your student’s education?
Goals and Research Questions
- Investigate the effects of a year-long program of additional curriculum and instruction support after SNAP Institute;
- Study the effect of the project’s activities on teachers’ confidence and comfort level with teaching the arts;
- Explore how long-term PD affects teacher isolation and collaboration;
- Examine how creating/nurturing a community of teachers to support each other in teaching the arts transfers into the classroom.
1) Comfort Level in VISUAL ARTS Experiences
RESULTS from Likert Scale: 4 out of 6 (66%) teachers showed an increase in comfort level, one stayed the same, one went down
Data Analysis from Reflections regarding Comfort Level in Visual Arts Experiences
- Willingness to be open to new ideas
- Excitement! Fun!
- More at ease
- Comfortable with self as artist
- Pre-journals: nervous, afraid, exhausted
- Post journals (same day) rejuvenated, invigorated, motivated
RESULTS: The number of comments about Comfort Level widely ranged from low to high throughout the year, depending on personal and district issues.
1) Comfort and Confidence in Creating VISUAL ARTS Lessons
RESULTS from Likert Scale: In the Post Survey, 5 out of 6 (83%) teachers rated their comfort level at a high level (4-5)
Data Analysis from Reflections regarding Confidence in teaching
- Learned new techniquesForged a path as an arts educator
- Standards provided structure to intentionally teach art in an incremental way
- Renewed commitment to teach the arts
- Gained creative confidence as well as skills
- “I do have artistic talent!”
Data Analysis from Reflections regarding Confidence in teaching:
From the beginning to end of the year, the number of comments about Confidence tripled.
RESEARCH QUESTION 2) Will the development of more classroom strategies for arts implementation decrease teacher isolation and increase collaboration between teacher/teacher and teacher/student within the school?
2a) Do you seek support from colleagues when you are developing standards-based arts lesson plans?
RESULTS from Likert Scale: 33% showed an increase, 33% stayed the same, 33% went down
Data Analysis from Reflections regarding decreasing isolation and increasing collaboration
- Shared ideas, successes and struggles
- Good for team building
- Appreciate time with adults doing art
- Discovery of talents together
- Inspired by fellow teachers
- Finding TIME for art
From the beginning to end of the year, the number of comments about Decreased Isolation/Increased Collaboration tripled.
RESEARCH QUESTION 3) How will creating/nurturing a community of teachers to support each other in teaching the arts transfer into the classroom?
3a) How has the inclusion of the arts in your curriculum affected your teaching practice and your student’s education?
- Renewed commitment to teach the arts
- Visiting each other’s classrooms inspiring
- Sharing classroom strategies/techniques
- Discovering thematic tie-ins to other curriculum areas
- Grade level discussions
- Using academic language of the arts
- Discovering self as artist, sharing with students
Data Analysis from Reflections regarding transfer to classroom:
From the beginning to end of the year, teachers reported 5 times as many applications in their classrooms
- Teachers comfort level and confidence both as artist themselves and arts educators transfers to their students
- TIME to teach the arts is one of the most limiting factor for teachers in providing arts instruction to their students
- Participating in an extended learning community promotes teacher efficacy through the sharing of strategies and ideas
- Long-term professional development in a community of learning decreases isolation and provides collegial, emotional, motivational, and creative support to teachers
- During the CRESS SNAP teacher development program the written reflections and discussions indicated that participating educators began to experience the benefits of collaboration resulting in decreased isolation. They bonded and built both a foundational support and motivational team. In the program, teachers discussed and shared not only art education techniques, they also gained ideas and insights for implementation of art in various curriculum, time management for adding art in an already busy school day, overcoming the stresses of district problems, classroom behavior management and ways to build conversations with other staff members at schools to encourage art implementation. In addition, teachers felt supported by each other and were able to share support to teacher in their school not involved with this program.