Springer Theatre Academy for Classrooms: the Professional Arts Integration Resource (PAIR) Program
Based on the 20-year success of the Springer Theatre Academy, the PAIR Program serves as a part of Professional Learning opportunities in classroom settings. The PAIR Program is a sustainable, gradual release professional development arts integration program that aligns the Springer Education staff with schools. School partnerships span three years and will focus on providing support for teachers to plan and instruct integrated lessons and units. Learning through the arts engages students and positions the teacher as a co-learner, supporting student-centered classrooms.
The Goal of the PAIR Program
The PAIR Program seeks to transform the lives of students at partner schools through creative, collaborative, arts integrated instruction that emphasizes character, empathy, self-discipline and resilience.
How does the PAIR Program work?
- Teachers self-select into program for minimum of 1 year and receive Professional Learning Units for participation
- Monthly arts integration trainings for 10 months of the year for up to 8 teachers per school per year
- Gradual release process-driven arts integration instruction modeled, co-taught then teacher-led. At least 10 lessons per year per teacher.
- Professional arts-in-education experiences via field trips integrated through standards-based study guides, tours, etc.
- Fine Arts Night at each school supported by PAIR Program
- Action-research conducted, focusing on teacher self-efficacy, teacher collaboration, student discipline and absenteeism.
- 1 day observation of teaching artists at Springer Summer Theatre Academy with guided reflection discussion
- Annual Evaluation Process and Report
- Total of 1390 contact hours between PAIR Specialists and classroom teachers over three years
How does the PAIR Program benefit the community?
The PAIR Program is a necessity to the community because it helps create community.
PAIR builds community in classrooms. Through arts integration instruction in the classroom, students are required to think critically, consider more than one solution to a problem, express themselves, rehearse ideas and thoughts for authentic audiences and enact visions and plans collaboratively. They will practice these skills as a central component of their everyday learning. It will simply become the way they learn. Those creative “soft skills” that are usually not included in state standards will be instrumental in the arts integrated class work while students still learn the required curriculum. The relationship of the art and the core content is symbiotic— they serve each other. The PAIR Program introduces a process by learning, not a product that will be created by a particular deadline.
PAIR builds community in families and neighborhoods. Rehearsing these artistic skills regularly will also help students apply those habits outside their classrooms into their family lives and neighborhoods. Over the last twenty years, families who have students attend the Springer Theatre Academy have told us again and again how instrumental their child’s learning has been to the health of their family, and we expect the same to be true with PAIR. Children learn to relate to others through the arts. The group becomes most important—not the individual—and students learn to serve the group before themselves. Respect and empathy drive interactions, and students learn to think before judging someone else’s contribution. This is the foundation of neighborhood—that people are encouraged to work together, speak to each other and celebrate a common cause.
PAIR also builds community in teachers. Partnering PAIR Specialists with classroom teachers not only supports the expertise of classroom teachers, but it also helps teachers to plan, teach and assess creatively. Teachers also develop stronger relationships with each other because they are struggling, creating and learning together. Building this partnership over time builds trust, respect, and risk taking between teacher and Specialist and teachers in the school.
PAIR builds professional public/private community relationships. In this pilot year, three Columbus leaders, the Springer Opera House, MCSD and CSU are all invested in this project. The program will be run by the Springer and MCSD, of course, but CSU’s Department of Education is also interested to place pre-service teachers in PAIR classrooms so that they may observe quality arts integration instruction. Combining the resources of these three institutions will result in a deep impact in schools and their communities and provide an even richer relationship for the program to continue to grow.
Where is the PAIR Program being piloted?
In its first year, the PAIR Program is being piloted at South Columbus and Fox Elementary Schools.
How can I learn more about the PAIR Program?
Please contact Sally Baker, Director of the Springer Theatre Academy and PAIR Program Director.