I have been an arts educator for almost 2 decades, and in that time I have frequently felt left out, isolated, and treated as if my subject was just a reward for kids who read, write, and do math well. Or even worse, just recreation. But lately there has been a shift. With Arts Integration, STEAM, and project based learning, the arts are starting to be recognized for what we contribute to the academic landscape.
A couple years ago, as Common Core started entering the scene, there was a plethora of information sweeping the educational field. Everyone was discussing Common Core and the assessments, and our professional development began to hone in on this new initiative. But yet again, the arts were left out. We wanted to play, but no one could tell us our rules for the game. I remember being told, “ummm…I guess go with English?” But I wasn’t English, I was Dance! At that moment, I declared my mission; bring the arts to the forefront of education! Now, I just had to figure out how.
As I worked with the English teachers on professional development for Common Core Assessments….I saw it! A beacon of arts amidst a field of rhetoric and grammar… The Performance Education Task! The Common Core assessments, literally have a section called the Performance Education Task….THE PERFORMANCE!!!! This is us! This is the arts! We are finally here! So, I spent the last 2 years researching, writing, presenting, questioning, and designing, Putting the Performance in Performance Education Task. They can’t do it without us…we are literally in the title!
Putting the Performance in Performance Education Task is a colloquial and pragmatic resource book for all arts teachers! It begins with defining the Common Core Conversations in a manner that is easy to digest, even offering some unfiltered thoughts of Common Core by sharing the Good, the Bad, and the Reality. The second part moves into tangible, ready to use, strategies for reading and writing in the arts, including the 4-read strategy, note taking techniques, ARTISTIC critique, creating constructed response, and the coup de grace How to Design Performance Tasks for the Arts Classroom! The final part is 10 ready to use Performance Educatio Task samples for visual and graphic art, music, theatre, and of course, dance. There are over 50 reproducible pages including charts, graphs, checklists, and full tasks. As well as comments directly from teachers just like you, who are charged with supporting the Common Core, but are left out because no one knows how. It also addresses how to Find the Time to support Common Core while remaining true to the integrity of art.
We all know that summer break is not really a break. We spend a lot of time rethinking, reflecting, and redesigning what our next year will look like. This is a great summer read. It will help you backward plan your entire year by helping you to create a performance task first and then when you start planning out your year you can easily work backward.
This book breaks down the process of performance-based tasks specifically for arts educators in a way that is easy to understand and practical. A fantastic set of tools that are desperately needed in the arts education community! -Susan Riley
Check it out! I would love to hear your thoughts!
Piquès & Pirouettès
NEXT WEEK: Continues the Curriculum Design Series with “Viewing” Music.
Typhani Harris is a dance educator and mentor teacher who has been on the boards of both the California Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (CAHPERD) and California Dance Education Association (CDEA). Recently, she has made a cross-country move and is now an instructional coach in Brooklyn, New York. Having begun as a high school English teacher, it has been her mission to bring theory and research into the traditional dance class, and in 2009 she won the Music Center’s Bravo award for excellence in Arts Education. Typhani is currently on a mission to help teachers Stop Teaching and Start Reaching their students, check out the unTeacher Lab at stopteaching.org