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PreK-12 Teacher Program

A commitment to inquiry and process as a way of learning is primary to Arts Are Basic. A move toward participatory learning and away from what John Dewey called 'spectator knowing' is the basis of the teacher training in Arts Are Basic. The 'text' used is a work of art in the performance disciplines of dance, music and theatre, and in the visual arts.

For PreK-12 teachers, AAB offers a three-part program designed to center learning around art.  Contact Rhea Gill, Director of Arts Are Basic, for more information about this program.

The Three Parts of the Program

1. A summer workshop taught by a team of specially trained master teaching artists, during which they guide participating teachers to become more comfortable with the arts and give direction in structuring students' classroom experiences.

Following attendance at the summer workshop, Arts Are Basic participating teachers select the disciplines to be studied during the subsequent school year and plan their unit of study with a Professional AAB Teaching Artist.

Each first-year AAB teacher is expected to teach two units of study within the academic year following the summer workshop. In subsequent years it is expected that each veteran AAB teacher will teach at least one unit of study per academic year. The "text" for each unit of study is the selected performance or works of art previewed at the summer workshop.

2. Units of study taught collaboratively during the academic year by AAB-trained teachers and teaching artists. These units of study guide students through a minimum of nine lessons in which they experience the creative process through an exploration of elements that are integral to the work of art serving as the text. Each unit of study is written to serve curricular needs of individual classrooms in other subject areas such as social studies, reading, language arts, science, math, etc.

3. Attendance at the performance (text) or viewing the visual art works selected for study. The work of art is experienced in the middle of the unit of study.


CETL's mission is to serve as a catalyst for individual and institutional growth and development in pursuit of transformative learning.

Doane University Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning