An Art Museum's Role in Professional Art Teacher Staff Development

UNCP Author/Contributor (non-UNCP co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Michele R. Horn (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Pembroke (UNCP )
Web Site:
Ann Horton-Lopez

Abstract: The visual arts are an integral part of the educational process in our public schools. However, due to shrinking funding, fewer staff development opportunities, and high teacher to student ratio, it has become more difficult for teachers and administrators to access the resources needed to continue incorporating the fine arts across the curriculum. Therefore, it is even more important for school systems to become aware of inexpensive local resources such as museums and other arts organizations to assist in the development of the arts in the public school system. For this thesis, I have studied the benefits of the Fayetteville Museum of Art's (FMOA) involvement in the Cumberland County School system's art enrichment programs. I will conduct an evaluation of past practices and a needs assessment of future continuing education for teachers. I will use the data in this future as a prototype for assessing professional development needs in other public school systems across the state.The FMOA reaches an audience in southeastern North Carolina that covers ten counties with a population of more than 75,000 (U.S. Census Bureau, 2001). Part of this audience consists of the Cumberland County School System, which employs the resources of FMOA to enhance its art education programming. Situated in the sandhills region of North Carolina, Cumberland County schools consist of 53 elementary schools, 15 middle schools, 10 high schools, 1 year-round classical school, 1 evening academy, 1 web academy, and 3 special schools. Enrollment for Cumberland County schools in 2000/2001 was 50, 979 students with a total of 3,057 full time teachers employed (Cumberland County Schools, 2002).As a former art teacher in a special needs K-12 Cumberland County School System, and a Director of Education for FMOA,I have participated in staff development for the school system both as an employee and as a guest lecturer representing the Museum. Currently, as Assistant Director at the FMOA, I manage the Education Department and assist in the implementation of exhibitions, special events, and revenue development. My position at FMOA has given me an opportunity to create a cross-curriculum supplement combining the subjects of science and art. Recently, I was given the opportunity to share the supplement with the art teachers of Cumberland County Schools during a staff development workshop. It is the Museum's intent to provide this cross-curricular workshop, based on the implicit findings of this research, to teachers across the state of North Carolina.In the region of the state where there are few available opportunities for university level coursework in art education, it is important for the art museum to play a role in staff development for the art teacher. Cumberland County School System provides only two-and-a-half teacher workdays for specialty areas in the school year and requires attendance by all teachers. The findings of this research may be used to complement the currently established county workdays or to supplement additional required continuing education credits. This research was undertaken to benefit the FMOA and the Cumberland County School System's art educational programs.Due to strong support from our local schools, one-third of Cumberland County schools' 50,979 students participated in FMOA tours and hands-on tours during the year 2000/2001 (Fayetteville Museum of Art, 2001). The Museum reached over 15,000 children in Cumberland County during its fiscal year 2000/2001 through tours, outreach programs, special events, and checkout resources; these children ranged in age from three to 19 years old. More specifically, the FMOA provided guided tours and hands-on tours for 27 Cumberland County schools with 1,021 children and 160 adults attending (Fayetteville Museum of Art, 2001).In the past, FMOA staff have presented in a few of the professional development workshops held by Cumberland County Schools. These workshops consisted of presentations of the Museum's Art Trunks, art library resources, upcoming gallery exhibitions, and information on tours and upcoming events. The Museum can benefit future staff development through the findings of this research with an implementation of teacher workshops on current topics in art education as well as presentations of current exhibitions in the classroom.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2002
Fayetteville Museum of Art, Visual Arts, Public Schools, Cumberland County School Sysytem, Art Enrichment Programs,

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