Maine Arts Education Institute

August 9, 2011

2011 Maine Arts Assessment Institute participants

The evaluations are in!

The four day institute held at Maine College of Art (MECA) fulfilled the planning committees dreams. In fact, in many cases it surpassed the plans. Below are some of the participants comments to give you an idea of the response. We have been provided with much food for thought for the future.

General comments:

  • I know you probably have the same feeling, but words can’t express how thrilled I am with this project.  It’s hard to know exactly what to call it, but I do know who was there and who made it happen.  Thanks again.
  • I had never realized how alone I was in my work at my school until I spent these 4 days.  Now that I see how wonderful it is, I am not willing to let it go and am motivated to keep up the connections.
  • Thanks for this experience I learned a great deal about assessment, leadership, technology, and myself! I appreciate this opportunity and all of your help and support.
  •  I am considering asking for our entire Arts staff to be here for professional development.
  • What a great opportunity to collaborate with colleagues and tackle important issues and topics.
  • I was empowered by colleagues who share similar passions about assessments in the arts.
  • EXTREMELY well organized. The days were paced well, the mix of people was very focused, helpful, and a lot of fun. The logistical pieces were thoughtfully prepared and executed.

About Technology:

  • There was an incredible amount of knowledge that was presented in a safe and supporting environment. Most importantly, I was told where the support would be when I need it in the future.
  • This was an informative part of the institute.
  • Little overwhelming at first, but the support was there to feel comfortable diving into these new programs and really gain an understanding of some useful technologies that can be helpful in the classroom (for assessing but not only for assessing).

About Assessment:

  • Having a general follow ups to our readings was very effective as we had the foundation for further depth.
  • Very helpful and inspiring.  Lots of good ideas that we could pick and choose from, could work with what might work best for us in our classroom and curricula with our teaching philosophies.
  • The information learned in these pods will help inform my assessment creation and explanation throughout the year.
  • These sessions were awesome and very helpful.  I like the nuts and bolts sessions.  I work best when we start with what’s relevant to me on a day to day basis and then find the theory and practices that support that.
  • The concept of working on assessments through student products was also a revealing and important topic.
  • Great dialoging and discussion/checking in. It gave me a lot to think about. Really liked hearing about the assessment work in other countries.
  •  The breakouts by subject area were fantastic collaborative times.

About leadership:

  • Clearly the students were the focus of the session.  There was no formal lecture, but a well guided opportunity to learn for ourselves and discuss with others.
  • We were given some important information around the leadership process that will most certainly benefit us as we all move forward with this initiative!
  • This was a beneficial part of the institute and added to my knowledge of leadership.

About the site:

  • Everything was awesome! The venue at MeCA couldn’t have been more appropriate
  • Everything was great, and I would highly recommend to do this here again.
  • Food and site (MECA) were both fabulous.

About the design:

  • Well done.  There’s never enough time, because this work will never be done.  good job keeping us on task and moving us forward.
  • Well organized and planned- lots of information.
  • Good number of days with appropriate length.  Good balance between extended time on an area, but frequent changes to keep things fresh.
  • Very well planned, and it was great that you worked each day to be flexible, and rework time.

About the approach:

  • Collaborative work went well.
  • It was awesome- loved the blocks and how we moved around from spaces and learning pods, really nice- FLEW by.
  • Staggered is good, collaborative good, professional colleagues, awesome!
  • Excellent mix of themes, styles, and pods!
  • Loved the supportive environment that allowed not only for collaboration, but symbiotic relationships to help each other and genuinely have everyone succeed.

About the climate:

  • Creating a learning community in such short time was well done.  Everyone was so welcoming and non-threatening.  Everyone seemed comfortable, valued and part of the process.
  • This was great as well, I liked the pre-reading and then coming and getting all the new info too add to what we already had learned from reading and from our own experience.
  • Enjoyed the opportunity to work with professionals from other disciplines
  • Our group created a climate through the built in structures of this assembly that really pushed, extended, and authenticated learning about our three main focal points!
  • I learned so much this week.  I feel much more confident about being a district leader.  I know that it’s more about collaboration than anything else, and I don’t have to know it all.
  • I loved the excitement and the support my new friends offered me. Because of the intensity of the conference, I felt a shared bond with fellow educators. I have learned more than I thought possible.

And in closing… The mark of a good conference is that at the end you wonder where the time goes and I am surprised it is over.
REMINDER: The overall assessment initiative plans can be found on the Maine arts assessment wiki http://maineartsassessment.pbworks.com.

NEXT STEPS: Five webinars starting in September facilitated by Rob Westerberg and Catherine Ring. Statewide arts education conference, October 7th. (More information on these will be posted on the wiki).


  1. Wow! It sounds like the institute was a wonderful success – congratulations to the team!! Argy, I hope to connect some time soon to hear all the details.
    Wendy Cohen

  2. Thank you Wendy! I look forward to connecting with you and am sorry you couldn’t join us at the institute.

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