Opening the Arts Toolbox: Resources for Professional Development (Opening the Arts Toolbox) offers tools and strategies for unpacking the suite of six arts education toolkits offered by the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA) through their statewide Arts Initiative and is available online at ccsesaarts.org. Opening the Toolbox is designed for use by professional development planners to provide professional learning opportunities in arts education to teachers, administrators, teaching artists, arts organizations and the community.
This document is divided into two main sections, first the Principles and Practices of professional development and then Sample Workshop Agendas for each of the six toolkits.
Principles and Practices describes the philosophical underpinnings of current professional development design and also gives practical examples of how this philosophy plays out in the field. A brief look at current brain research and implications for professional development is also included in Principles and Practices, and the section ends with suggestions for adapting the work through eLearning technology.
The Sample Workshop Agendas section offer six detailed sample agendas for workshops based on each of the six toolkits. Helpful suggestions are included to assist with preparation for the workshop, to make modifications for diverse groups and settings and to allow presenters to customize the workshop to highlight their own strengths and unique background. Each workshop is supported by a variety of resources including Power Points, print documents, model arts lessons and online videos posted at ccsesaarts.org.
The sample agendas are aligned with research-based principles for effective professional development in arts education. Although the agendas will work as stand alone modules, they would be best used as a part of an ongoing professional learning community in a school, district or county. For example, a group of teachers working together to improve the quality of the arts curriculum at their elementary school would discover a wealth of new knowledge and ideas in the one day workshop focused on The Arts in the Elementary Classroom: a Visual and Performing Arts Content and Delivery Guide. Or, perhaps, a group of secondary arts specialist teachers charged with developing a district-wide arts assessment model might use the Arts Assessment Resource Guide to inform their work.