Community members tapped for PAInT Advisory Board at USF Sarasota-Manatee

Several members of the community involved in either arts, education or both have been asked to join the PAInT (Partnerships for Arts Integrated Teaching) Advisory Board for the College of Education (COE) at the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee (USFSM).  The group has been tasked with making local connections that will help the College of Education (COE) begin developing curriculum centered on arts infusion.

Dr. Elizabeth Larkin, Professor of Childhood Education in the COE is the lead for this new initiative and is excited about what it will mean for students, both at the University and in the local schools.  “Our USFSM College of Education graduates will benefit from the faculty partnering with a variety of arts organizations and collaboratively exploring effective curriculum design and strategies for enhancing learning,” she said.  “We are focused on developing critical and imaginative literacies to help students listen carefully to different perspectives, reflect on professional practices, find innovative solutions by reframing problems, and express ideas with clarity and conviction. We will be documenting our work, and using the outcomes to build our programs.”

While the initiative is still in its early stages, the university has already incorporated several activities and events to its annual agenda that help make PAInT a reality.  In early February, the Children’s Literature Symposium, in its 6th year, will bring together educators for a two day workshop exploring variants in children’s media.  Then, in early March, 5th graders from around the county are invited to participate in the SMART Fair on campus, an event that allows students to make the connections between math and art by participating in hands on activities.  These events, along with classroom curriculum, faculty brainstorming sessions and involvement by the local arts community will continue to unfold this initiative.

“PAInT really does set us apart,” said Dr. Terry Osborn, Dean of the College of Education.  “It’s going to allow our students the opportunity, through their internships and teaching in the local schools, to take advantage of the tremendous resources we have in this community and take those to the classroom.  It will create a learning environment in our local schools like none other.  We are very excited about that.”

Members of the PAInT Advisory Board are: Shelly Dorfman with the Lincoln Center Institute; Nancy Roucher, a member of the Arts Education Task Force; Stephen Miles, Provost, New College of Florida; Judy Sedgeman, newly appointed Director at Manatee Tiger Bay; Johnette Isham, Executive Director of Realize Bradenton; Elizabeth Power, Executive Director of the Perlman Music Program/Suncoast; Robert Warren, Director of Education and Community Engagement at Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall; Gregory Chesnut, Director of Music at First Congregational Church; Angela Hartvigsen, Fine Arts Program Specialist for the School Board of Sarasota County; and Sherry Lawrence, Curriculum Specialist, K-12 Arts & Gifted Education Director and Project STAGE for Manatee County Schools.

Recently COE faculty participated in a one day retreat led by Shelly Dorfman and Nancy Roucher where they were submerged into arts integrated learning.  The retreat utilized books, artwork, music and creative discussion to help the faculty members grasp how impactful arts integrated teaching can be.  Due to the successful nature of the discussion and experiences at the retreat, the COE has scheduled a follow up meeting to continue in their discussions and to begin to work through how these new tools will be integrated into their own teaching.

The College of Education at the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee is home to undergraduate and graduate programs preparing those who enter the field of education as teachers and administrators as well as professionals who can assume roles in business, industry, and the non-profit sector related to education.  Our graduates are in demand throughout the state and region for their excellent preparation to impact learning.  The USF College of Education has been continuously accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).  To receive national accreditation, a college must meet the six NCATE standards.