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The Kennedy Center
[Professional Development Opportunities for Teachers]

The Professional Development Program
in the Arts for Teachers

The Professional Development Opportunities for Teachers program is a local program that focuses on teachers in the D.C. metropolitan area, including teachers in the District of Columbia, Northern Virginia, and surrounding areas of Maryland.

The philosophy of the professional development program for teachers at the Kennedy Center is based on the following premises:

  1. All teachers can make use of the arts in their teaching.
  2. It is essential to focus on building both teachers' knowledge of the arts and their knowledge and ability to teach in, through, and about the arts.
  3. As adult learners, teachers benefit from access to the rich professional arts resources of the community.

The professional development program at the Kennedy Center builds teachers' knowledge of the arts by:

  • heightening teachers' understanding, appreciation, and responsiveness to various art forms; and
  • exploring aesthetic principles, concepts, and ideas through live performance experiences and encounters with creators (choreographers, directors, composers, writers), performers (actors, dancers, musicians, visual artists), and others (producers, managers, critics).

The Kennedy Center's professional development program offers opportunities for teachers to develop their skills in teaching in, through, and about the arts by:

  • providing hands-on experience in exploring the concepts and processes of an art form;
  • exploring the interrelationship between art forms and the curriculum;
  • modeling classroom practice;
  • providing opportunities for teachers to take active roles as learners;
  • offering opportunities for reflection, analysis, and application.

The professional development program acknowledges teachers as adult learners, respecting their maturity and experience. It recognizes the widely differing needs and interests of teachers, thereby supporting teacher empowerment in making decisions that affect their professional growth and development. Teachers are free to select events they believe will be the most beneficial to them. Attempts to legislate choice, framework, or schedule are avoided.

Teachers play an important role in assuring the maintenance of quality in the professional development program at the Kennedy Center. Their participation in ongoing evaluation is an essential element to ensure the quality of programs.

Questions about the program can be directed to the Professional Development Opportunities for Teachers office by email or phone at (202)416-8813.