Archive for the ‘Dance’ Category

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Call for MALI Teacher Leaders

May 9, 2018

Phase 8 leadership role

VPA Teacher Leader Search

Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) – Phase 8

The Maine Arts Commission invites you to consider applying for the role of Teacher Leader with the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI). Now in phase 8, MALI offers the opportunity to learn and network with arts educators and teaching artists from across the state. MALI is looking for PK-12 teachers interested in leading and in taking a close look at effective teaching and learning in the arts. Join us for a GREAT opportunity!

DEADLINE: Tuesday, 29 May 2018

APPLICATION

MALI Teacher Leader Winter Retreat, March 2018

MALI provides professional development and asks that you take what you’ve learned and share it with other educators in your region of Maine and beyond. Teacher Leaders are required to attend the three-day summer institute, July 31, August 1 and 2, 2018 at Thomas College.

If interested, please submit a completed application by Tuesday, May 29. APPLICATION 

Selected teacher leader responsibilities for the 2018-19 school year include:

  • Full participation in the 3-day summer institute, July 31, August 1 and 2, 2018
  • Communicate in a timely fashion by email and in a MALI phase 8 google site
  • Be prepared for summer institute by completing pre-readings and responding to prompts with the MALI community
  • Critical Friends Day – follow-up to the summer institute, fall 2018
  • Participate in 2 meetings electronically with teacher leaders during 2018-19 school year
  • Contribute your teacher leader story for the Maine Arts Education blog
  • Attend a retreat to reflect on the phase 8 MALI work and plan next steps, winter 2019

Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Background Information

Overall Description

MALI Mission: Committed to the development of Teacher Leaders to ensure deep understanding and meaningful implementation of high quality teaching, learning and assessment in the Arts for all students.

Since 2011 the initiative has been building capacity by training arts educators on the “what” and “how” of teaching and learning in the arts so they can provide the leadership in Maine through professional development opportunities. MALI DETAILS.

MAAI Summer Retreat, phase 1, MECA

MALI’s OVERALL OBJECTIVES

  • Create and implement a statewide plan for teacher leadership in arts education. This includes professional development opportunities, locally, regionally and statewide, which will expand on the knowledge and skills of teachers to better prepare them to teach in a student-centered and proficiency-based learning environment.
  • Develop and implement standards-based high quality teaching and learning statewide for Visual and Performing Arts
  • Continue to build on expanding the team of arts educators and teaching artists representing all regions of Maine
  • Provide workshops and other professional development opportunities for educators

HISTORY – Phases I through VIII – Summer 2011 to present

  • Ninety three PK-12 teacher leaders and eight teaching artists leaders attended summer institutes on assessment, leadership, technology, creativity, proficiency-based standards-based and student-centered teaching and learning
  • Teacher leaders presented workshops at three statewide arts education conferences: USM Portland, UMaine Orono, and Point Lookout Conference Center with over 700 educators attending
  • Teacher leaders facilitated about 125 regional workshops and 16 mega-regional sites across Maine
  • Another Arts Educators Story series (94) on the Maine Arts Ed blog
  • Arts assessment graduate courses provided by The New England Institute for Teacher Education
  • Nine arts education assessment webinars for Maine educators facilitated by Rob Westerberg and Catherine Ring. Archive
  • Video stories of seven teacher leaders that demonstrate a standards-based arts education classroom, Maine ARTSEducation YouTube channel
  • Teacher Leader Resource Team development of items for resource bank
  • Maine Arts Assessment Resources website contains a plethora of information

APPLICATION

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS

  • Current resume
  • Letter of support
  • Paragraph of interest

MALI Critical Friend Day, Point Lookout, October 2013

In the near future we will put a call out for Teaching Artist Leaders! If you have questions please contact Argy Nestor, Maine Arts Commission, Director of Arts Education at argy.nestor@maine.gov.

 

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Arts Learning Grant Recipient

April 18, 2018

Learning Works

Heather Davis and Amy Pichette

I had the chance to meet with Heather Davis, Executive Director of LearningWorks and Amy Pichette Learning Works After School (LWAS) Team Program Director recently. I learned about their comprehensive after school programs, had a tour of the Portland facility and to visit one of their after school programs at Reiche School. LearningWorks received Maine Arts Commission Arts Learning grant funds for the 2017-18 school year.

LearningWorks Mission

LearningWorks reimagines learning through innovative programs that help children, adults, and families realize their potential and build thriving communities. 

I asked Heather to answer some questions so the Maine Arts Education blog audience could learn more about the LWAS program.

What do you see/know are the greatest benefit(s) to students at Reiche and the other schools you are working with to offer the afterschool program?

The greatest benefits to students in the LearningWorks LWAS program are the opportunities to continue building skills, background knowledge, and confidence in a supportive environment.We love afterschool because it is flexible and student centered. We are able to provide students with structured learning activities, but the students can help guide the direction of the ship based on their inherent interests.

What do you hope that students will remember or will be saying in the near or far off future about the opportunity to learn in this manner?

We hope students will remember the experiences they had while participating in LearningWorks Afterschool and how it helped them perform better in school. We also hope that the students develop new interests and skills through participation in activities they may not have had the opportunity to participate in if they weren’t a part of LearningWorks Afterschool. For example, those students who participated in the Portland Youth Dance Club are developing new dance skills and it is our hope that some of the students will be able to take advantage of participating in Portland Youth Dance beyond their time in LWAS and it can becomes a lifelong engaging activity for them.

Success story

A LearningWorks Afterschool/Portland Youth Dance success story comes from our performance yesterday afternoon (Wednesday, April 4th, 2018) during our LearningWorks Afterschool/Portland Youth Dance Final Showcase. All six groups (Reiche, East End, Ocean Avenue, Presumpscot, Hall and Riverton Schools) of LWAS/PYD dancers traveled to the Casco Bay Movers Studios to show off their dances to their peers, parents, and the community. The energy in the room is like no other…students are full of excitement and nerves. Some dancers are so nervous when they walk into the studio, they don’t want to dance. But, when the music starts, every dancer is ready to use their dance energy. There are constant cheers of support from the audience and the other dancers throughout each and every performance. The room was packed and this year’s performance had the most dance participants and the most parent/community audience members than any of our showcases in the past. One dancer from Hall School had 14 family members attend the performance! This is the best day of the year!

This video is on the Learning Works After School Portland Facebook

Check out the energy of the dancers and the crowd – Ocean Avenue’s dance team.

LearningWorks Commitment

LearningWorks is committed to strengthening the communities we serve by providing free community-based education programs for children, adults, and families throughout Southern Maine. Our primary goal is to support academic and personal success for our neighbors who lack resources and/or fall outside traditional educational structures. Our unique blend of academics, youth development, and social and emotional expertise makes it possible for us to transition our students from a place of struggle and hopelessness to a place of possibility and opportunity.

LearningWorks History

In the mid-1960s, residents of Portland’s West End neighborhood banded together to advocate for change on behalf of families who were struggling to maintain affordable housing. This coalition became known as Portland West in 1967. Through its housing rights work, Portland West came to appreciate that education is the best pathway out of poverty. Thus, the group reoriented its mission to focus on education.

LearningWorks’ journey from a grassroots neighborhood advocacy group to a unique and innovative education nonprofit has been long and remarkable. In late 2016, our staff and board joined forces to rewrite our organizational mission statement to focus on the concept of “reimagining learning” to help Mainers of all ages realize their potential and build thriving communities.

As we celebrate 50 years of service, we look to the future with a focus on what we do best: reaching students that no one else can reach; breaking down barriers to create educational opportunities for all; and helping people of all ages and backgrounds achieve academic and personal success.

LearningWorks AfterSchool (LWAS) provides free, high-quality afterschool and summer programs for students in grades 2-5 who are below grade level and come from families that cannot afford a paid afterschool enrichment or tutoring program. The curriculum utilizes an innovative blend of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) and literacy to help improve each child’s academic standing, all in a safe and supportive environment. The primary focus of the afterschool program is academic enrichment through project-based, hands-on, and engaging curriculum. Transportation and a snack are provided.

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MALI Mega Oxford Hills

April 13, 2018

Fabulous learning opportunity

Over 70 PK-12 arts educators and Teaching Artists traveled to Oxford Hills High School in late March to attend the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative conference. The workshops varied greatly and participants had the opportunity to attend three during the day.

Thank you to the Oxford Hills visual and performing arts staff and administrators for providing the space for the conference. One week before the conference we learned that their workshop day turned into a teaching and learning day due to the many snow days. We are grateful that they were still able to make it happen.

Kris Bisson, Kate Smith, Brian Evans-Jones

A huge THANK YOU to visual arts teachers Cindi Kugell and Samantha Armstrong for all of their attention to detail.

Thank you to the following who offered workshops:

  • Cindi Kugell – Bookmaking 101: summative assessment never looked so good!
  • Lindsay Pinchbeck – The Arts and Emotional Intelligence
  • Dorie Tripp – Flexible Grouping Strategies for the General Music Classroom
  • Catherine Anderson – Tableaus of Courage: How to Help Students Engage with Complex Content through Theater
  • Samantha Armstrong – Stars and Stairs
  • Phil Hammett – Creativity
  • Tom Luther – Improvisation Crusader: Improvisation as an Essential Musical Skill
  • Nancy Harris Frohlich – Inspiring Environmental Stewardship Through Visual Arts
  • Lori Spruce and Tim Christensen – Integrating Curriculum: Making it Happen at the High School Level
  • Mandi Mitchell – Looking in the Mirror: The Importance of Student Self-Reflection
  • Brian Evans-Jones and Kris Bisson – Bridging Adolescence: A River Runs Through Us – Composing our Story
  • Jenni Null and Linda McVety – All Aboard for Arts Travel, Full STEAM Ahead!
  • Bronwyn Sale – Teaching Aesthetics and Criticism: Approaches to Standard D
  • Andrew Harris – Creativity and Taking Back the Classroom

Amanda Huotari

In the middle of the day we had the fabulous opportunity to work with and learn from Teaching Artist Amanda Houteri from Celebration Barn Theater.

Participants during Amanda’s session

In June there will be an opportunity for teaching artists. PK-12 arts teachers and teaching artists will have an opportunity to apply to be a leader. Watch the blog and weekly email to learn more.

Dr. Katie Rybakova and Thomas College pre-service teachers

Jan Gill and Jenni Null

Kris Bisson and Brian Evans-Jones presenting

Tom Luther presenting

Mandi Mitchell

Samantha Armstrong and Linda McVety

Teaching artists Tim Christensen, Tom Luther, and Brian Evans-Jones

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Dance Ed Grant Opportunity

April 11, 2018

Dance Education Grant Deadline May 2

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 10, 2018

CONTACT: Ryan J. Leighton

Marketing Director

207-287-2726

Don’t miss this great opportunity for Maine schools and teaching artists

AUGUSTA-April 10, 2018—The May 2 deadline for the Maine Arts Commission’s dance education grants for PK-12 schools and teaching artists is quickly approaching. Applications must be filed by 5 p.m. that Wednesday in the Commission’s online grants management system at www.MaineArts.com.

Launched in 2015, the dance education grant provides high quality learning opportunities for students and educators in schools where dance education is not being offered. Dance education changes lives, yet only 5 percent of all schools in Maine offer opportunities in this artistic discipline, according to the Arts Education Census study conducted in 2016 by the Maine Arts Commission.

This past year, the program funded residencies at Hebron Academy in Hebron; Prescott Memorial School in Washington; and East End Community School in Portland.

Chrissy Fowler was one of three recipients chosen from the Maine Arts Commission’s Teaching Artist Roster for one of the previous dance education grants. Chrissy’s dance residency included four weekly visits to Prescott Memorial School, culminating with a community dance.

“I think students, staff and families value the chance to connect in a fun and active way,” Chrissy said. “All of my residencies have common goals: everyone participates in the dancing, exhibits pro-social behaviors, and makes connections across grade levels.”

Chrissy’s residency specifically focused on K-6 students learning contra dance, or social dancing that consists of lines of partners pairing off and performing sequences led by a caller.

When asked about the dance residency, sixth grade students said it was a welcoming new experience. “I have been amazed at how quickly the students picked up the rhythm and the steps,” said Jim Freyenhagen, a sixth-grade teacher at Prescott Memorial School. “Not only are they learning to dance, they are practicing their social skills with their peers and younger students.”

See the full story of this and other dance residencies at the ME Arts Ed Blog.

Funding for this program is made possible through the generosity of a collaboration facilitated by Thornton Academy dance educator Emma Arenstam Campbell, Dancers Making a Difference non-profit organization, and several community dance studios committed to raising funds for dance education.

“We are extremely appreciative of these contributions and the impact they will have on dance education in Maine,” said Julie Richard, Executive Director of the Maine Arts Commission. “There are so few dance education programs in our state and this is one important way we can make a difference for the students that we serve.”

Grant guidelines and application criteria are at www.MaineArts.com and the Commission encourages PK-12 educators or teaching artists to review them prior to applying. The funding cycle for these grants is for projects from September 1, 2018 through March 30, 2019.

For more information visit the grants and the teaching artist roster webpages at www.MaineArts.com.

For questions regarding the grants or current teaching roster, contact Argy Nestor, Director of Arts Education at 207-287-2713 or email at argy.nestor@maine.gov.

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The Maine Arts Commission supports artists, arts organizations, educators, policy makers, and community developers in advancing the arts in Maine. For more than 50 years the Commission has encouraged and stimulated public interest and participation in the cultural heritage and cultural programs of our state; has worked to expand the state’s cultural resources; and encouraged and assisted freedom of artistic expression for the well-being of the arts, to meet the needs and aspirations of persons in all parts of the state. Additional information is available at MaineArts.com.

 

 

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Dance Grant Recipient: Prescott School

April 4, 2018

MAC Dance Education Grant – Chrissy Fowler

The Maine Arts Commission (MAC) established the Dance Education grant in 2015 to provide funding for schools to provide a learning opportunity for students in grades PK-12. Four schools, hundreds of learners, and four dance teaching artists from the MAC teaching artist roster have benefited from the funding. This funding is made possible through a dance performance sponsored by several community dance studios and school dance education programs in Maine.

Traditional social dance artist, Chrissy Fowler has been working in Prescott School, Washington this year providing instruction for the school’s K-6 students and staff. This dance residency is made possible from the Dance Education grant.

You can find Chrissy’s teaching artist profile on the Maine Arts Commission roster. The dance education grant is available right now for those interested in obtaining funds for the 2018-19 school year. For more information please go to the blog post called DANCE EDUCATION FUNDING. The deadline is Wednesday, May 2. 

Here’s the story from this year’s grant recipient… Thank you Chrissy for providing it.

Chrissy earned her M.Ed. in 1996 and started calling both community and contra dances in 1999. She has led school residencies for about a decade, and has been an educator for aeons. Leading contra dance residencies lets her combine PK-12 teaching and traditional New England social dance, the dance form which lets her identify as a “dancer” even though she doesn’t feel physically graceful. In this tradition, you work with a partner as well as everyone else in your set. Although there are sometimes roles which can be danced by anyone (e.g. “lady” or “gent”), there is no designated leader or follower. All dancers have equal agency in making the dance work—and we’re all in it together. Chrissy loves that! She’s also on the board of a local non-profit, Belfast Flying Shoes, which has a comprehensive outreach program including support for school dance residencies, such as the one at Prescott School.

RESIDENCY DESCRIPTION

All of my residencies have common goals: everyone participates in the dancing, exhibits pro-social behaviors, and makes connections across grade levels, and the residency culminates with a community dance for students, staff, and families.

At Prescott, we’re trying a few new things. First, my visits are structured in three mini-residencies, each comprised of four weekly visits and a culminating dance. Spreading it out over three seasons (fall, late winter, and late spring) has allowed me to integrate a bit more into the school community.

The residency also specifically connects to local history. Charlie Overlock, who fiddled and called for dances for 66 years, was born in Washington. He led dances all over his hometown and nearby. I’ve shared some of Charlie’s story with the students and I’ve taught dances I don’t usually use in schools – such as the foxtrot, which featured prominently in his program for the Washington High School Class of 1921’s graduation dance.

Finally, I was privileged to meet with the staff before the start of school, to find out what they wanted from the residency. Based on their input, I have made a special effort to articulate ways they can use the dances in their own classrooms (e.g. adapting them for movement breaks) and I’m putting together an annotated bibliography of children’s literature related to dance, especially various forms of traditional social dance. (When complete, the bibliography will be available to others via chrissyfowler.com and belfastflyingshoes.org)

GREATEST BENEFITS 

I lead dance residencies in many schools; some have me back every year. I think students, staff, and families value the chance to connect in a fun and active way… with eye contact, broad smiles, cooperation for all ages, and a lot of moving to music. And I think that’s the same at Prescott. We’ve witnessed a lot of joy and delight, and the best part is that contra dancing is something that they can do in their community for the rest of their lives. Maybe even with their own children.

LANGUAGE

Rather than any specific vocabulary words, I hope the learners take with them the kinesthetic language of moving their bodies through space in particular patterns. Contra dance figures such as “do-si-do” or “allemande left” are very positional, and there is also a tremendously strong left:right, clockwise:counter-clockwise dimension. We know that movement builds cognitive pathways, and contra dance can be a great way to learn, concretely, about equal and opposite forces, patterns, or directionality. The various figures also can support strong proprioceptive and vestibular systems, although that’s certainly not something I’d expect learners to articulate!

I also hope that they experience some social-emotional learning, such as the thrill of positively connecting with someone by dancing with them. Or doing the hard work of getting through a dance that’s challenging—either because the figures are complex or because you have to muster the inner strength to be kind and respectful to someone who’s not your favorite dance partner.

FUTURE REMEMBRANCE

It would be a thrill if anyone remembered the ways that contra dance is part of their own local history in Washington. Beyond that, I hope they internalize that moving – together – to songs and fiddle tunes can be both social and fun for all ages… and at any level of gracefulness!

WHAT PARTICIPANTS ARE SAYING

When students were asked for their response to the opportunity to learn with and from Chrissy, 6th graders said:

  • It is fun to learn to social dance.
  • It’s really different than I thought it would be.
  • I think it kind of feels like country but also feels a little like Scottish dancing.

Grade 6 teacher, Jim Freyenhagen:

I have been amazed at how quickly the students picked up the rhythm and the steps. The dancing makes them interact (in a positive way) with kids they don’t normally interact with.

Not only are they learning to dance but they are practicing their social skills with their peers and younger students.

Principal, Nancy Stover:

I think one of the highlights of this residency has been watching (through Chrissy’s magical techniques) how the students and staff have been able to abandon their inhibitions and try something out of their comfort zone. It has been amazing to observe students who struggle with peer relationships walk up to someone from another grade and ask if they could be their partner. It’s also heartwarming to see how well the older and younger students work together. They help each other learn the dance steps with patience and kindness, laughing and smiling all the way.

The community dance was a huge success! Parents and community members participated and those that initially observed from the audience, joined in and before the evening had ended, everyone was on the dance floor. The word spread throughout the community and we’ve had many people ask when the next community dance is scheduled. This residency has been one of the most rewarding I’ve experienced. It gives everyone a sense of belonging and inclusion while having fun! 

COMMUNITY MEMBER, HAZEL KOPISHKE, HISTORY

Charles E. Overlock was born in Washington in 1870.  His father Samuel played fiddle for kitchen dances. At the age of 6 or 7 Charles was sneaking his father’s fiddle and learning to play.  He played for his first kitchen dance at the age of 11 and continued playing for dances for 66 years. For the first years, most of the fiddle playing was for dances in homes in the neighborhood that could be  walked to. Later he would travel by horse and buggy, and in 1916 in his first automobile, to play at the many grange halls and dance halls in the area often traveling from 5 to 20 miles. Through the years the Overlock Orchestra included his wife Clara and daughter Josephine playing organ and piano and his son E. Burnell  on drums along with local cornet players. His orchestra usually consisted of 2 or 3 people but did grow to 4, 5 and once 6 members. He played for more than 300 dances at Light’s Pavillion located within sight of his home on Rt 220 between Washington village and So. Liberty.

Charles Overlock was a country fiddler that could not read music but kept people dancing for many, many years.

This information was taken from the book Sixty-Six Years A Country Fiddler, Charles E. Overlock  by E. Burnell Overlock, published 1984.

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Dance Education Funding

March 19, 2018

Grant deadline: Wednesday, May 2

AUGUSTA-April 12, 2017—Dance education changes lives, yet only 5 percent of all schools in Maine offer it. The Maine Arts Commission is offering a grant program for schools and teaching artists that seek to bridge this gap and bring the power of dance to more schools. Applicants may apply for awards up to $2,250. The deadline for this new program is Wednesday, May 2, 2018.

John Morris leading a session at the MALI Mega conference, spring 2017

This program was launched in 2016 and has successfully funded 4 dance education residency’s. Each will have a story included on this blog during this school year.

The first teaching artist to provide the residency with the assistance of these funds was veteran dance educator John Morris. “Creative movement is meant to allow students the ownership of their own uniqueness,” Morris said. “I give students the foundational movement to invent and explore their own movement, and I guide them through the process of making their own dances.”

John is also a member of the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) Design Team and works with the teaching artist leaders.

Funding for the dance education grant was made possible this year by several dance studios and two high schools who came together for a benefit performance in November, 2017.

Karen Montanaro leading a session at Hampden Academy, December 2017

The Maine Arts Commission is pairing eligible PK-12 school districts with teaching artists from the Arts Commission roster. The roster includes 16 dancers.

“We are extremely appreciative of these contributions and the impact they will have on dance education in Maine,” said Julie Richard the Executive Director of the Maine Arts Commission. “There are so few dance education programs in our state and this is one important way we can make a difference to the students that we serve.”

If you’re a PK-12 educator or teaching artist looking to introduce students to the power of dance education, the Arts Commission encourages reviewing the grant guidelines and application criteria before applying for the May 2 deadline. The top qualifying schools selected will be eligible for the next funding cycle from September 1, 2018 through March 30, 2019.

For information visit the the grants and the teaching artist roster webpages at www.MaineArts.com

For questions regarding the grants or current teaching roster, contact Argy Nestor, Director of Arts Education, argy.nestor@maine.gov.

 

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New England Institute Courses

March 18, 2018

Encountering the Arts, Music assessment, G/T 

  • Encountering the Arts: Choice, Voice and Creativity, (hybrid) taught by Lindsay Pinchbeck – April 7 to June 9, 4.5 CEUs
  • Assessment in the Music Classroom, (online) taught by music educator, Jake Sturtevant – April 2 to June 11, 4.5 CEUs
  • Educating Gifted & Talented Learners, (online) taught by Grace Jacobs – April 2 to June 18, 4.5 CEUs

Encountering the Arts: Choice, Voice and Creativity – April 7 to June 9

You can join Lindsay Pinchbeck, MALI Design Team member, in her very own school, Sweetland School in Hope, and learn some wonderful strategies to incorporate into your classroom right away. Sweetland School is s a project based elementary program inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach. Drama, Movement, Music, Poetry, Storytelling, and Visual Arts will be integrated across content areas: Math, Science, Social Studies, Reading and Writing.

Work with colleagues, build relationships, and ask questions of the professor, in person, for two Saturdays and have the convenience of doing the rest of the coursework online. Encountering the Arts: Choice, Voice and Creativity is one such hybrid course.

Assessment in the Music Classroom – April 2 to June 11

This online course taught by music educator and MALI Design Team member Jake Sturtevant provides looking closely at assessment practices through a collaborative and fine-tuned lens. It can provide unique opportunities for growth. Connecting new assessment practices to instruction can bring exciting changes to how we approach our students and their learning.

Participants will discuss how best to apply recent music assessment work to their own unique situations in their own school music programs. This will lead them to create a personalized plan for implementing new strategies. Assessment in the Music Classroom will provide a great opportunity to look closely at assessment practices.

Educating Gifted & Talented Learners

This introductory course provides foundational information relating to the field of gifted and talented education (i.e. history, laws, etc.), details characteristics of gifted students from various populations, describes how such students are identified and assessed, and presents up-to-date, research-based pedagogy relating to curriculum design and instruction.

It may be applied toward the 690 (Gifted & Talented) endorsement for the State of Maine teachers. Join Grace Jacobs for this Educating Gifted & Talented Learners online course.

If you have questions contact Catherine Ring, Executive Director, New England Institute for Teacher Education.

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