The TEAL audience includes pre-service and in-service K-6 teachers and administrators throughout Los Angeles County who seek to bring the Visual and Performing Arts into their classrooms through arts integration. These educators are eager to develop the basic skills and abilities required to implement arts-integrated lessons in their classrooms. They recognize that including the visual arts, music, dance, theatre, and the media arts increases engagement for all students. Adding the “A” to STEM creates STEAM, an approach that draws upon the scientific method, engineering design, and the artist’s studio habits of mind. These educators realize that both teachers and students can benefit from the classroom application of the arts, moving teaching and learning beyond academics and into the area of social and emotional learning. Arts integrated learning addresses the learning needs of wide range student abilities, which is essential to support the extraordinary diversity in Los Angeles County. Arts integration offers access to the academic curriculum as well as to lasting life skills through multiple pathways.
Through TEAL’s blended learning model, in-service teachers, administrators and future K-6 educators are able to enjoy face-to-face interaction along with access to online learning. Research shows that a key element to successful PD and utilization of new practices is follow-up. TEAL offers a suite of online tools to extend learning and reinforce concepts for use at school sites and within districts. Many resources are available 24/7 for individual or group trainings for TEAL coaches, teachers, and administrators. Capacity is made possible and sustainability is offered beyond the life of the program through the TEAL website, no-cost, online modules, PLC, and archived and live webinars.
Sparking our teachers’ interest and enthusiasm for the arts as an intrinsic element in their classrooms is central to the TEAL project. Through participation in TEAL, educators learn to develop standards’ aligned, art-integrated lessons that bring the multiple benefits of the arts to their students. Teachers also learn that advanced expertise in the arts is not required to engage their students in K-6 art activities that are built upon standards and authentically assessed, any more than expertise in science or history is required to teach and assess these core subjects.
Through TEAL, educators discover how the Visual and Performing Arts Standards for California Public Schools and the California Common Core State Standards reinforce each other and can meet objectives in both areas, as well as other content areas – science, history, physical education, and more. Arts integration motivates students, builds self-confidence and develops student proficiency with the Four Cs - critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity. Talking about art, analyzing art, practicing and performing art even at a very basic level initiates higher levels of thinking and results in deeper learning.
Perhaps most importantly, teachers who develop their arts integration skills learn to be "chefs”, where creativity is an exciting part of the classroom experience for both teacher and learners, each becoming creative "chefs” rather than "cooks” who follow a recipe for learning.
"The arts can feed the inner lives of teachers, and the whole education enterprise depends on the quality of those inner lives…Creativity involves drawing on sources from within, finding images, words, sounds, or movement inside oneself to express one’s perceptions...When teachers begin creating in the arts, they do the same… [they] become powerful catalysts to evoke children’s creativity"Mary Clare Powell
"The Arts and the Inner Lives of Teachers"