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ART PD Artful Thinking 2/16/15 @ The Crow Collection

#PISDArtPD February 16, 2015

Planning started in the early fall of 2014, Anne Kinseth, School Programs Manager of The Crow Collection of Asian Art contacted me to ask if our district might like to partner in a professional development. Our emails continued and then we were able to visit by phone, I felt an immediate connection in philosophies about art education and the importance of viewing art closely and regularly. She asked what I might like to focus our professional development on and I immediately stated “Artful Thinking.” I had just seen this technique masterfully done at the Warehouse in Dallas by a gallery educator at an AP Strategies professional development. After the experience I went online to read that it was developed through Project Zero in the Harvard Education School and knowing that Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences grew from the same place had me sold on Artful Thinking.

Moving forward I met with Jill VanGorden the Director of Education at the Crow Collection and Anne to discuss next steps and get to know each other better. Then in December The Crow Collection hired Carolyn Armbruster, Education Programs Manager and she immediately jumped on board to help us plan an excellent professional development.

Jill, Anne and Carolyn asked what my primary goals were for the event and the words that came to mind were, engaging, meaningful, enjoyable and immediately able to implement. The Crow connected with Julie Carmean of the National Gallery of Art and an expert on Artful Thinking facilitation and she was contracted to present for four hours of our professional development (this was provided by The Crow Collection of Asian Art.) Carolyn, Julie and I began to visit via email and I created a Padlet to attach documents and links. We narrowed down the time frame, outlined the day and visited about desired outcomes. Carolyn and I worked on the logistics, such as food, buses, an area for nursing mothers, just about anything and everything we could think of to take the stress out of the day for the teachers.

The Crow graciously invited me to spend the afternoon before our #PISDArtPD with them learning artful thinking with the gallery educators from Julie Carmean and it was amazing! I could see so many connections to our curriculum and possibilities for implementation in all grade levels. This also gave me the opportunity to set up the day/night before, Carolyn made folders with the templates and I provided bareback sketchbooks with pencils.

The day of the #PISDArtPD was finally here and it started off with a bang, it was extremely cold (we’re Texans and are not used to cold), one of our buses was extremely delayed and Matt had to take a min-van full of teachers to get everyone there on time, then the bus missed the exit, to top it off I left my phone in the lobby of my office; crazy start to the morning. However, as soon as we were there settled in, nametags on and coffee in hand it was fabulous.

Again the Crow was first class and went all out by providing a centennial breakfast, in addition to having a full staff there to assist, contracting Julie Carmean to present and sharing their beautiful Asian Art Collection as a structure to learn Artful Thinking. We worked in both large and small groups throughout the day and practiced the routines with both Julie and Carolyn throughout the gallery spaces.

Plano ISD was able to provide boxed lunches so that the teachers didn’t have to go off site during the limited time window and the Nasher Sculpture Garden opened during the lunch hour for our elementary teachers and at the end of the event for the secondary teachers.

It was a truly wonderful professional development; however continued learning is key so the Crow and Carolyn are going to continue to assist teachers as they learn/implement Artful Thinking and I have just sent out a feedback survey to determine additional next steps.

For more info search #PISDArtPD on Twitter


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