Providing professional learning

Contact with a professional artist or arts and cultural organisation can inspire and enhance the lesson plans and delivery of classes by educators.
Professional learning (PL) opportunities in arts education enables educators, who are often practicing artists themselves, to grow their skills and knowledge about current trends, techniques, research and development.
Likewise for artists and art and cultural organisations working in the school context, networking and learning about the education sector adds value to a project or arts in education program.
Like any professional, we regularly evaluate our skill base and look for ways of improving our practice.
Teachers delivering an arts curriculum may at some point come across gaps in their knowledge and skills in the arts.
Artists or arts and cultural organisations can assist these teachers by providing opportunities for them to participate in workshops or programs which provide alternate ways of considering and delivering activities in the five arts subjects and enhance their skills at the same time.
How can you value add to the arts in education experience(s) you provide for teachers and/or students? Here are some top tips to for artists and organisations to consider when developing professional learning opportunities for teachers:
  • Teachers must graduate with and maintain a high standard of pedagogy that meets the teaching standards as outlined by the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership. Familiarise yourself with what these standards (download fact sheet below) are and apply the information to your program, education kit and promotional material.
  • Drill down your information into direct, focused content knowledge which can easily be understood by teachers and adapted for
    classroom delivery.
  • When implemented in 2018, the Western Australian Curriculum: The Arts means Primary generalist teachers will need to teach a minimum of one performing arts subject (Dance, Drama and/or Music), and one visual subject (Media or Visual Arts). The teaching of each is not necessarily done in isolation. Think about how you can provide skills based opportunities which make connections across all arts subjects and across the curriculum, in a limited timeframe.
  • The Western Australian Curriculum: The Arts, includes ‘content descriptors’. In each year level of each arts subject, there are content descriptors which illustrate the level of knowledge and skills a generalist or specialist teacher must have in order to teach that art subject. Consider what examples your professional learning and/or education kit can provide to further illustrate ways in which the art subject can be studied by students relevant to the curriculum course of study.
  • In addressing ‘Viewpoints’ i.e. making and responding, using your arts practice provide examples which illustrate the types of questions students may ask when exploring an art work/performance etc. in more depth. Include these examples in your education kit or devise a practical professional learning workshop for teachers so they can explore the art subject from a professional artist’s perspective.
  • Contact the Teachers Registration Board (TRB) and find out what the current professional learning requirements are for teachers in Western Australia, and if your professional learning opportunity can be recorded by teachers to meet annual PL requirements.
  • Promote your PL via the Department of Education Institute of Professional Learning.
  • Promote your PL via ArtsEdge here.


Read about recent professional learning events held by ArtsEdge: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts and Culture in Education and STEAM: Learning Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics in and through the Arts.