Teacher Training: Arts as Literacy (TTAL) was a U.S. Department of Education Professional Development for Arts Educators grant awarded for 2008-2011. The three-year project was a partnership with Seattle Public Schools in collaboration with local arts organizations. The project expanded arts education in the Seattle School District, supported literacy learning, and developed a district-wide professional development model utilizing teacher leaders.
- Teachers demonstrated success in learning arts-infused concepts, skills and processes in arts Dance, Theater, and Visual Arts with Reading and Writing
- Teachers showed growth in confidence and competence to teach arts-infused literacy concepts in the classroom setting
- Teachers gained the ability to independently plan, teach and assess arts-infused literacy curriculum
- Arts Impact classrooms showed continued growth on the STAR Classroom Protocol over the scope of the project
- Students demonstrated high rates of success on performance based assessments of arts and arts-infused concepts and skills
- The project created a K-5 sequential curriculum Arts infused with Reading and Writing
- An Arts Impact teacher leader model was developed, documented, and presented to Seattle Public Schools as a model for scaling up arts integration across the district
TTAL developed teacher leader teams from four elementary schools with free and reduced lunch percentages of 50% or higher. The project expanded Arts Impact’s existing arts and literacy infused lessons to support the Seattle Public Schools “Balanced Literacy” initiative. The project brought teachers together in learning communities to share knowledge within their buildings. A project leadership team comprised of Arts Impact and Seattle School District curriculum specialists collaborated to develop a teacher leader professional development model for the district.
Quantitative and qualitative data was collected to compare integration of arts education into the core curriculum, growth in teacher practice, and student academic achievement in the arts, reading and writing. Instruments include:
- TTAL Autonomy Rubric for Teachers
- TTAL Family Survey (this survey was made available in multiple languages: Chinese, Somali, Spanish, Vietnamese, as well as English)
- TTAL Post-institute Survey
- Performance-Based Assessments: Specific criteria-based performance assessments are included in each lesson which can be found in the Arts Impact lesson database and Curriculum.
- Measurements of Student Progress: Information about the Washington State Assessments, Measurements of Student Progress (MSP) Tests, can be found on the OSPI website.
- STAR Observation Protocol© assesses the presence of Powerful Teaching and Learning™ at the school level as evidenced by observation of students and teacher’s skills, thinking, knowledge, application, and relationships. For further information on the STAR Protocol, go to www.bercgroup.com.
- Expand standards-based arts education in Seattle Public Schools
- Strengthen and build capacity of teachers and schools to deliver standards-based arts education
- Integrate standards-based arts instruction with literacy
- Create a sustainable and replicable model of professional development in the arts and arts-infused education for Seattle Public Schools
Professional Development Components
- Teacher teams (one teacher per K-5 grade level) in four schools
- Two years of direct professional development: 52 total hours of instruction per year include:
- Experiential Summer Institute: 30 hours per year
- Classroom mentorship: 10 hours per year
- Cultural study trip to museum exhibition, dance or theater performance
- Supplementary Workshops: 6 hours per year
- Learning Communities: 6 hours per year
- 52 clock hours or 4 graduate credits from Seattle Pacific University per year
- Year 1 focus: arts-infused concepts in dance, theater, visual arts with descriptive language in narrative writing; infused processes of generating ideas, making meaning, and self-reflection
- Year 2 focus: arts-infused concepts in dance, theater, visual arts with comprehension and story sequence in reading; infused processes of generating ideas, making meaning, and self-reflection
- Two Curriculum Notebooks: Arts Infused with Writing; Arts Infused with Reading
- Artworks from local museums as references of concepts in each visual arts lesson
- Professional performances at partnering theaters and performing arts centers
- Museum tours customized to complement TTAL lessons
- Teacher-written lesson plans
- Documented, district-wide professional development plan
- Web-based lesson plan database
- TTAL full research report: Teacher Training: Arts as Literacy 2008-2011