Arts education “leads way” at statewide conference

More than 200 visual and performing arts educators attended the biennial statewide conference, Arts Education: Leading the Way, held at the University of Maine in October. The Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI), established by the Maine DOE in 2011, enlisted its teacher leaders to present 35 professional development workshops at this event.

Workshops covered a variety of topics, including standards-based arts education, utilizing technology, implementing the proficiency-based diploma and graduation standards, formative assessment, developing vocabulary-literate musicians and differentiated instruction.

“Words will never do justice in describing a day with my peers working, learning and reflecting on best practice and assessment strategies,” a visual arts teacher said of her conference experience. “The work our peers have poured into these presentations is reflected in their thoughtful, informative and enthusiastic sharing. The State of Maine holds a wealth of knowledge ready to be offered to anyone who wants to grow in the profession.”

Other conference highlights included Lynn Tuttle, director of arts education from the Arizona Department of Education, presenting an update on the National Core Arts Standards draft. In addition, Bates College Lecturer Bronwyn Sale was issued the Carol Trimble Award for Exemplary Service.

The MAAI teacher leaders will provide two additional workshops this school year at the regional and mega-regional level. Look for this information in future updates or on the Maine Arts Education blog.