Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Artist and Teacher Collaborative Partnerships as Professional Development for Teachers in Elementary Schools
by Shaw, Steven L., Ph.D., University of Washington, 2011, 261; 3501877
Abstract (Summary)

School reform efforts to strengthen and sustain teacher quality have included teachers working collaboratively with professionals from outside of teaching yet within school-based contexts. This study focused on artist/teacher partnerships because of the project-based nature of arts residencies and the presence of innovation and experimentation in the creative process of teaching and art making. The study examined professional learning opportunities for elementary teachers through four artist/teacher collaborative partnerships within arts residencies at three urban sites. These arts residencies included theater, dance, music composition, visual arts, and opera. Four practicing artists, four teachers representing first, fourth, and sixth grade, and two principals participated in the study.

Two questions guided the research: (1) What and how do teachers learn through collaborative artist/teacher partnerships in elementary schools? (2) What are the relationships between school context and what, and how, teachers learn within artist/teacher partnerships? A multiple case study design using a grounded theory approach was used to explore the phenomenon of teacher learning through artist and teacher collaborations. Data collection included field observations, semi-structured interviews, and archival materials. A constant comparative analysis process was used to generate grounded theory about teacher learning.

Ten grounded propositions emerged from the data: (1) Teachers learn to help students work and learn with an artist; (2) Teachers learn about individual students' characteristics and capabilities during residency activities; (3) Teachers gain an awareness of the motivational effects for students working with an artist; (4) Teachers learn about the cognitive effects of an artistic point of view; (5) Teachers learn to use ideas from the arts partnerships to construct meaning for their own teaching beyond the planned residency sessions; (6) Teachers recognize vertical connections for the arts in the school curriculum through their work in collaborative arts partnerships; (7) Teachers learn about the satisfaction and reward of collaboration in residencies; (8) The context provided by working relationships is related to the kinds of learning opportunities teachers experienced; (9) The nature of the trust relationship between the partners is related to teacher learning; (10) The features of the school context are a factor in the opportunities for teacher learning.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Gehrke, Nathakie
School: University of Washington
School Location: United States -- Washington
Source: DAI-A 73/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Art education, Elementary education, Teacher education
Keywords: Artist-teacher partnerships, Collaboration, Partnerships in education, Professional development, Teacher learning
Publication Number: 3501877
ISBN: 978-1-267-23752-1
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