An inquiry-based approach to teaching and learning in the arts with partnership opportunities for local schools. This dynamic program places the arts at the center of inquiry-driven learning experiences that include attendance at performances and exhibits. Teachers and students who partner with McCallum Theatre Education are encouraged to be curious, ask questions and rigorously explore works of art to awaken imaginative learning.
Intensive professional development courses for educators, residencies in the classroom by McCallum Teaching Artists and encounters with live performing works of art and exhibits, allow students in Kindergarten through 12th grade unique opportunities to be actively engaged in dance, theatre, music and the visual arts.
The Aesthetic Education Program responds strongly to the call for 21st century readiness. As the United States continues to compete in a global economy that demands innovation, a partnership with the McCallum Theatre Education provides an opportunity for schools to offer dynamic units of learning in the arts focusing on developing imaginative capacities in young learners. The cultivation of these capacities powerfully contributes to students’ ability to think critically, create, collaborate and communicate effectively, and closely aligns with the objectives of the Common Core State Standards.
Designed to cultivate perceptual abilities and higher thinking skills, this year’s program serves 313 teachers and over 8,000 students in 25 local schools. 2,300 individual workshops are facilitated by McCallum Theatre Education teaching artists in partnering classrooms across the valley, preparing students for deeper and more meaningful encounters with works of art.
The Aesthetic Education Program consists of the following:
1. Professional Development — Educators from affiliated schools participate in workshops in which they explore specific works of art available to select for study in their classroom. As educators engage in first-hand experiences of the creative process, they also learn more about the aesthetic education approach to teaching and learning in the arts.
2. Designing a Curriculum — During the school year educator teams are paired with McCallum Theatre Teaching Artists in enriching partnerships for the benefit of student learning. Teachers use the knowledge and skills acquired in professional development to co-create a unit of study.
Each unit allows students to explore a specific performance or exhibit from McCallum Theatre Education’s annual repertory of focus works. The lesson plan is custom-designed based on students’ age, strengths and needs, and is integrated with topics students are exploring in other subject areas.
3. Awakening the Imagination — Educators and teaching artists collaborate on implementing the unit in which students explore the focus work through hands-on artistic experiences interwoven with reflection, questioning and contextual research. Teaching artists and teachers layer and facilitate four sequential workshops each to promote discovery and imaginative learning. As part of the unit, students attend the focus work performance or exhibit.