There’s a new term that Tennessee educators — and TPAC staff — have begun to use on a regular basis: Project Based Learning (PBL).
As the teaching method gains momentum, TPAC Education is uniquely positioned to offer educators opportunities to explore PBL through the arts to more actively engage students in learning.
“Great works of art are unique records of human experience and naturally offer a wealth of curriculum connections and opportunities for project based learning,” said Leigh Jones, director of TPAC Education’s ArtSmart. “We’ve been doing this for more than 30 years as a form of arts integration. We begin with a specific work of art and use a teaching method built on inquiry, interaction, and hands-on experience geared to different learning styles.”
“Whether you call it PBL or arts integration, students are actively — not passively — learning. School is more engaging, meaningful, and memorable. We all know that education is so much more than learning to spell, calculate sums, or retain dates,” Jones said. “At the national, state and local level, we’re taking a hard look at our schools. What skills do children need to position them for success in school and life?’ TPAC Education supplies an answer to that question.”
At intense four-day Arts Integration Institutes in July, educators will be introduced to performances that TPAC will present during the upcoming school year. Working closely with professional teaching artists, teachers will be asked to design project-based learning units, customized for their curriculum objectives. Some will sign up to collaborate with teaching artists on classroom residencies, available at no cost during the school year.
In November, TPAC Education will offer another institute over the course of two to three days, and in addition to the ArtSmart institutes, TPAC Education will offer a series of after-school workshops for educators on a wide variety of topics.
For more information, visit TPAC.ORG/education and click on “Professional Development for Teachers.”