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This We Believe!

October 20, 2015

MALI makes it clear

This summer while attending the Teach to Lead Summit in Washington D.C. the team representing the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative decided to take action on the MALI Teacher Leaders idea of creating Belief Statements. The topics were selected based on the past 4 years of MALI and ones that MALI Teacher Leaders are engaged with, individually and/or collectively: Arts Integration, Advocacy, Assessment Literacy, Creativity and 21st Century Skills, Educator Effectiveness, Effective Teaching and Learning, Proficiency Based Learning and Student Centered Learning, and Teacher Leadership.

IMG_1901At the Summer Institute that MALI had August 3-5 participants worked in groups to draft the statements of which everyone provided feedback on during the institute culmination activity. As a follow-up to the institute they were updated with the suggestions and went back to the teams who collaborated on the writing of them. One last look by the Leadership Team and what you can read below is the result of the several months process. The collaborative effort is another example of the grass-roots work of MALI.

These statements were created to help guide MALI as we continue to move forward with our work. Will these This We Believe statements change? Perhaps, as is most things with MALI, changes are made to move the initiative forward to meet the needs of Arts education in Maine which should positively impact every Maine student.

These statements now live on the Maine Arts Assessment website at http://www.maineartsassessment.com/#!this-we-believe-statements/cmni and were unveiled recently at the Biennial Statewide Arts Education conference on Friday, October 9.

  • ARTS INTEGRATION… allows for cross-curricular collaboration within the creative process. Interconnected learning provides students an opportunity to demonstrate understanding and knowledge using multiple avenues.

  • ADVOCACY… educates communities that arts education is essential. Arts advocacy should involve the presentation of solid, factual information that challenges misconceptions about the role of the arts in our society. Arts advocacy should also highlight the various benefits of the arts through the creation and viewing process; involving the larger community in purposeful and meaningful ways.

  • ASSESSMENT LITERACY… is an ongoing dialogue between stakeholders that informs instruction, supports learning, clarifies understanding and validates what we do as educators.

  • CREATIVITY AND 21ST CENTURY SKILLS… quality arts education is critical to fostering Creativity and developing 21st Century Skills. The arts provide authentic, real life opportunities that nurture:

    * Collaboration

    * Communication

    * Critical Thinking

    * Creative Problem Solving

    Creativity is the ability to connect ideas, information and issues, through exploration, and in novel ways in order to develop personal and relevant solutions.

  • EDUCATOR EFFECTIVENESS… effective teachers are passionate, and love what they do. They are problem solvers, able to reach all learners. They are informed about current pedagogy. They are flexible and can adapt their perspective. They are positive, with a focus on developing student growth.

  • EFFECTIVE TEACHING AND LEARNING… effective teaching leads to effective learning when students are actively engaged, the learning is individualized and relevant, and feedback leads to informed teaching practice and improved student progress.

  • PROFICIENCY BASED LEARNING AND STUDENT CENTERED LEARNING… students are encouraged and empowered to become independent learners, ultimately taking charge of their own education. Experiences within the learning environment are active, collaborative, and engaging; supporting students to explore their artistic processes in meaningful and purposeful ways.

  • TEACHER LEADERSHIP… is collaboration, the ability to foster change, challenging and supportive of others, advocating for the needs of all, and inspiring others to become leaders. Teacher Leadership is an intentional, collaborative strategy which supports and inspires: a) students and their learning through effective teaching practices and  b) the teaching profession through shared expertise, resources, and high quality and ongoing professional development.

Please note: On August 3, 2015, MAAI, the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative, announced its new name, MALI, the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative. MALI is a program of the Maine Arts Commission. You can read about it at https://meartsed.wordpress.com/2015/08/09/maai-goes-to-mali/. Please email Argy Nestor if you have any questions at argy.nestor@maine.gov.

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