Math Artistic Pathways (MAP) was a U.S. Department of Education Arts Education Model Development and Dissemination grant awarded for 2008-2012. It was a joint research project with Tacoma Public Schools and local arts organizations to study the impact of arts-infused teaching in visual arts/math and dance/math on middle school student achievement and the impact of in-depth professional development on improvement in teacher practice. The project also looked at developing visual arts specialists and instructional coaches to serve as a resources and supports for their building math teachers to infuse visual arts with math.
- Teachers demonstrated success in learning visual/art and math infused concepts, skills and processes
- Teachers showed growth in confidence and competence to teach arts-infused math concepts in the classroom setting
- Teachers gained the ability to independently plan, teach and assess arts-infused lessons
- Arts Impact classrooms outperformed control site classrooms on measures of Powerful Teaching and Learning as measured by the STAR Protocol
- Students demonstrated high rates of success on performance based assessments of arts and arts-infused concepts and skills
- Students in the Arts Impact group showed greater improvement on MSP math scores than students in the control group
- Teachers valued the Arts Impact professional learning program as “transformational”
- Teachers surveys reported that arts-infused learning was particularly beneficial for improving student understanding of difficult math concepts as well as creating a sense of community within the class
- Student surveys indicated that students felt more engaged in learning during participation in the arts-infused lessons
The project was a quasi-experimental design. Six middle schools with free and reduced meal percentages of 35% or more were randomly selected and assigned to one of two groups (MAP or control) with an equally matched set of teachers and students.
The MAP treatment group was comprised of 20 math teachers from grades 6, 7, and 8, Visual Arts Specialists, Dance Specialists (Year 2), and Instructional Coaches. This cross-curricular Instructional Team received the Arts Impact two-year teacher professional learning program, with the math teachers as key instructors. The project evaluated two classes for each math teacher, representing 1,000 students across the three schools each year for three years, for a total of 3,000 students.
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 math and the arts. Instruments include:
- MAP Autonomy Rubric for Teachers (text version)
- STAR Observation Protocol© assesses the presence of Powerful Teaching and Learning™ at the classroom level as evidenced by observation of students and teacher’s skills, thinking, knowledge, application, and relationships. For further information on the STAR Observation Protocol, go to www.bercgroup.com.
- MAP Teacher Journal (text version)
- MAP Grade 6 Student Survey (text version)
- MAP Grade 7 Student Survey (text version)
- MAP Grade 8 Student Survey (text version)
- 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.
- Integrate standards-based arts education into the core middle school curriculum
- Strengthen standards-based arts instruction in the middle school grades
- Improve academic performance of students in middle school grades, including their skills in creating, performing and responding to the arts
- Create a district-wide professional development model that includes visual arts specialists and instructional coaches for dissemination and replication
Professional Development Components
- Whole School (all math teachers)
- Two years of direct professional development: 57 total hours of instruction per year include:
- Experiential Summer Institute: 30 hours per year
- Classroom mentorship: 15 hours per year
- Cultural study trip to museum exhibition or dance performance
- Supplementary Workshops: 6 hours per year
- Learning Communities: 6 hours per year
- 57 clock hours or 5 graduate credits from Seattle Pacific University per year
- One year of tracking teacher autonomy to implement MAP curriculum
Visual Arts Infused with Math: geometric sense, proportion
Dance Infused with Math: (optional second year training): geometric sense, proportion
- Curriculum Notebook
- Artworks from local museums as references of concepts in each visual arts lesson and on disc
- Professional performances at partnering theaters and performing arts centers
- Museum tours customized to complement MAP lessons
- Documented, district-wide professional development plan
- Web-based lesson plan database