Field Building in the Arts and Social Justice: Engaging Teachers, Learners, and Practitioners in the Collaborative Development and Use of Open Educational Resources
In 2008, ISKME conducted a study to examine the feasibility of and design for an initiative that engages teachers, learners, and practitioners in the collaborative process of developing, using, and improving freely available Open Educational Resources (OER) in the arts and in social justice. That work revealed an opportunity to increase greater creative, equitable participation in teaching and learning the arts in K-12 classrooms. Our efforts in the field of OER have identified skills and behaviors that deepen engagement with curricular resources, media, and tools, through sharing with peers and communities.
ISKME implemented the program, "Field Building in the Arts and Social Justice: Engaging Teachers, Learners, and Practitioners in the Collaborative Development and Use of Open Educational Resources" during 2009-2010. This work involved the development of practitioner professional development workshops, research-based training model, and partner networking around advancing arts integration with the use of OER, supported by the Ford Foundation’s Knowledge, Creativity, and Freedom Program.
The analysis revealed that teachers’ engagement with OER has the potential to support enhanced teacher collaboration and curriculum development activities as well as information sharing about resources, practices, and teaching challenges. Participation in the OER training network and engagement with OER not only reduced teacher isolation, but also helped expand teachers’ roles, as they shared and learned from one another. The findings have implications for engaging teachers in adopting new curriculum development practices, including documenting teaching practices tied to OER use and having students use OER as part of their school work. The findings also have implications for how OER can be integrated as a model for innovation in teaching—particularly in terms of the design and implementation of professional development and training models. The findings indicate the importance of identifying and assessing ways to inspire teachers, beyond an initial group of OER leaders or champions, to form OER communities around personal teaching challenges and pedagogical approaches for collaborative problem solving. In light of the innovations and knowledge sharing that resulted through the network of teachers engaged around OER, continuing this model of teacher collaboration and supporting teachers through professional development becomes central.
- How and to what extent are new pedagogical practices inspired and implemented as a result of teachers’ participation in the Arts and Social Justice Project?
- What do teachers perceive as the impact of arts OER and associated tools and processes on teaching and learning, and on the role of teachers and learners?
- What role(s) do experts/champions take on in engaging teachers in OER, and how does that role inform models for engaging teachers in OER more generally?
- What does art as a discipline add to OER? What does OER add to art as a discipline?