ArtsPath recently completed an artist residency within the College of Education and Educational Technology with a culminating presentation event hosted by the instructor, Dr. Paula Purnell, and ArtsPath professional visual artist Martha McKinley Murphy.
Also attending the event were state Senator Don White; Michael Hood, dean of the College of Fine Arts; Dr. Mary Ann Rafoth, dean of the College of Education and Educational Technology; Dr. Jennifer Rotigel, chair of the Professional Studies in Education Department; and Myron Tomb, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts council member and local attorney.
Several arts projects were created throughout the semester, and the class joined forces to create a tiled mosaic presented to Dean Rafoth. It will hang in the college’s offices.
The residency is the third hosted by the College of Education. The first of these residencies was held in 2008 and featured fiber artist Sandy Trimble as she worked with Dr. Mary Anne Hannibal’s students in a pre-kindergarten course. Last year’s residency was in the same Pre-K course and featured the ensemble of Stories ’n Motion, a talented storytelling and dance team duo composed of Jan Kinney and Anne Van Kuren. Murphy, Trimble, and Stories ’n Motion are all professional artists included in the ArtsPath and Pennsyvlania Directory of Artists in Education.
This spring’s residency centered on junior-level students in Creative Experiences to Enhance Literacy Acquisition. As with the previous two residencies, the education students were learning why the arts are so critical in learning and how they can be infused into the lesson plans of any curriculum.
The majority of ArtsPath residencies currently occur within the public school system, helping current teachers understand the power the arts can have in all learning. The goal of the higher education residencies at IUP is to present the possibilities the arts hold in learning to future teachers before they begin their careers as educators. These junior students will now have the opportunity to spend the rest of the semester working with cooperating teachers in the Derry-Latrobe School District, presenting lessons that were developed with Murphy.
Comments from the students included: “I think this is a wonderful program and should be continued at IUP,” and, “I always liked art, and now I’m motivated even more to use it in the classroom.” And, from Purnell, “This in-depth experience allowed the students to develop their arts skills and self-efficacy, which will be integral to using the arts in their future classrooms.”
And, according to Dean Rafoth, as the state requirements change in regard to elementary education certification requirements, integrating the arts into this course at IUP will only continue to grow in the future.
Pictures above include the Tree of Learning mural (top) and the students who created the mural and presented it to the College of Education and Educational Technology. Artist Martha Murphy is pictured to the far right. The back row, left to right, includes Dean Hood, Senator White, Myron Tomb, Dean Rafoth, and Dr. Purnell.