Each of these levels is a viable approach to an arts residency in and of itself. It is important, however, for the optimum benefit to be gained from each level for both teacher and artist to agree on which approach is desired and then work in concert to achieve mutually agreed upon objectives.
I: Artist as Demonstrator
Teacher as Observer
A Teaching Artist comes into a classroom and teaches a lesson or a series of lessons in a specific arts discipline (e.g., a particular dance form, how to play the recorder, the art of mime, the construction of dioramas, or how to make a quilt). The Classroom Teacher makes time in her schedule for the arts program and may or may not participate in the lesson. Assessment of the experience is based largely on the enjoyment of the students and the degree of their creative participation.
II: Artist as Lesson
Designer Teacher as Participant
Prior to the Teaching Artist's arrival, the Classroom Teacher has let it be known that she would prefer that the lesson be curriculum related (e.g., the American Revolution, the study of fractions, habitats of different animals, Greek Mythology, or the culture of Mexico). The Artist develops a lesson or lessons to conform to the curriculum topic (e.g., teaching the Virginia Reel, the study of time signatures and the number of beats given to different notes, dioramas of natural environments with figures of animals who live in those habitats, narrated pantomimes of Greek myths, or the making of a quilt using traditional Mexican color combinations and designs). The Teacher takes part in the lesson with her students. Assessment is based on how well students are able to make the connection between the arts lesson and the curriculum unit they are studying.
III: Artist as Teacher
Teacher as Support
The Classroom Teacher has given the Teaching Artist a specific, curriculum-related objective (e.g., the Boston Tea Party, the study of the relationship between fractions and percentages, animals of the American Northwest, the story of Hercules, the conquest of the Aztecs by CortÚs). The Artist creates a lesson or lessons through which his or her art form may help to teach the curriculum objective (e.g., the choreography and performance of a dance depicting the Boston Tea Party, the development of a rap song which equates one half with fifty percent, etc., the creation of Northwest Native American medicine shields depicting appropriate totem animals, the development of improvisational scenes dramatizing the twelve labors of Hercules, the creation of a felt banner replicating the Aztec calendar). The Teacher supports the Artist during the class (relating activities to previously learned information) and follows through with related assignments when the Artist is not there. Assessment is based on the improved comprehension by students of the unit learning objective.
IV: Artist and Teacher as
The Classroom Teacher and the Teaching Artist meet prior to the Artist's residency. The Teacher determines the curriculum unit learning objective or objectives. She and the Artist together develop a set of Student Expectations for the unit. Each accepts the other as mentor; they plan the lessons as a team; and they team teach the classes. Students are aware of the mutual mentor relationship between Teacher and Artist and they actively participate in the learning experience. Arts strategies are chosen based on both the academic and the artistic progress of the students and on the combined background and experience of the Teacher and the Artist. Assessment is based on the accomplishment of the pre-determined Student Expectations.
V: Teacher Empowered as
Arts Activity Leader, Artist as Consultant
The Classroom Teacher has been empowered to continue the arts program on her own. The Artist has passed on the skills and tools necessary for the Teacher to now take the lead. If funding continues, the Artist can be retained as a Consultant to watch and mentor, or can develop a new level of program in the arts.
From TEACHING CURRICULUM THROUGH THE ARTS
Creative Educational Systems