Arts Education

Professional Development

The Kennedy Center Partners in Education program offers professional development in arts integration.

Sessions for 2021-22 

The following workshops were developed in association with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and are partially underwritten by the U.S. Department of Education and the National Committee for the Performing Arts.

The Power of Pictures: Political Cartoons, Paintings and Photographs: Reading Art in Secondary ELA and History Classrooms
Thursday, November 4, 4-6 p.m.
For teachers of high school and middle school

It can be difficult for students to comprehend curriculum because the themes, topics, people, places, and/or events feel abstract or removed from their own lives. In this online module, learn how to truly read works of art as texts to visually connect students to content while instilling a solid sense of visual literacy.

Listening to Comprehend: Hearing the Curriculum Through Music
Tuesday, November 16, 4-7 p.m.
Liberty High School (Black Box Theatre)
For teachers of grades 3-7

Music plays a crucial role in providing context, eliciting feelings and creating strong memories in our lives. However, when it comes to understanding how music communicates with us, we remain mystified. Let's access the power of decoding music in order to help students construct and demonstrate understandings of science and social studies concepts. You don’t want to miss this opportunity to learn how to sharpen your listening skills!

Building Reading Comprehension Through Sound and Rhythm
Thursday, December 2 OR Friday, December 3, 4-6 p.m.
For teachers of grades K-8

Explore new paths to help students develop reading comprehension strategies and make connections between music and language. This session guides participants through a process to help students create a soundscape – a way to retell the story that connects students to the story’s tone, mood, setting, and the characters’ culture(s). This learning process will help students create sensory images, use questioning strategies, develop inference skills, and determine importance.

The Many Ways to Move Through the Curriculum
Wednesday, January 19, 4-7 p.m.
Location TBA
For teachers of grades K-8

Dance is not one thing. It is many. There are multiple ways to effectively use it in the classroom as an instructional approach depending on your learning objectives and placement within a unit of study. Join Kennedy Center Teaching Artist, Harlan Brownlee, as he draws on his 37 years of teaching experience and guides participants in a series of participatory movement-based structures designed to integrate into daily lesson plans and increase instructional effectiveness. Dress comfortably to explore this toolbox of movement strategies and leave with the knowledge of when and why to use them and get your students moving through the curriculum!

Creatively Moving Through SEL
Tuesday, February 22 OR Friday, February 23, 4-6 p.m.
For teachers of grades K-8

As life serves up challenges, it is imperative we help students gather tools to navigate their shifting emotions. This workshop connects the elements of movement to social emotional learning skills like self-management, mind and body awareness, self-expression, collaboration, and empathy building. You will learn to guide students through working together, stepping into another’s shoes, and creating movement phrases that demonstrate how heroes transform their biggest challenges into their greatest successes.

Acting Right: Building a Cooperative, Collaborative, Creative Classroom Community Through Drama
Tuesday, March 22, 4-7 p.m.
Kauffman Foundation
For teachers of grades K-8

This workshop takes the foundational elements of acting such as concentration, cooperation, and collaboration and creates a structured process, which can become the basis for effective classroom management every day. This engaging, step-by-step approach empowers students to take ownership of and be responsible for their own behavior. Learn how to help students build the skills necessary to establish a sense of self-control, accountability, and teambuilding in your classroom. This workshop is recommended for any classroom based in active, social, cooperative learning.

Text Card Tableau: Introducing New Content Through Drama
Wednesday, March 23, 4-7 p.m.
Kauffman Foundation
For teachers of grades K-8

Prerequisite workshop: Acting Right
Learn how to use text as a springboard to create tableaus that help students examine the meaning of the text passages and provide teachers with instant assessment of student comprehension of specific facts, concepts, or big ideas. The strategy is also extended to introduce, reinforce and assess vocabulary.

Bars: Learning the Writing Process Through Rap
Wednesday, April 6, 4-7 p.m.
Johnson County Community College
For teachers of grades 3-8

In this interactive workshop, Baba Bomani will show teachers how to use aspects of hip-hop art and culture to create an engaging learning environment. Participants will learn rhyme-based strategies that build student writing and communication skills using the five steps of the writing process (pre-writing, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing). Through the art of hip-hop, these strategies also enhance vocabulary while making connections between essay writing and songwriting.

The Power of Pictures: Reading Art in Science, Social Studies, and Language Arts
Wednesday, April 27, 4-7 p.m.
Kauffman Foundation
For teachers of grades K-8

Explore how art can be read as visual texts that can communicate information through images as opposed to words. This strategy helps build background knowledge, create personal connections, and inspires inquiry for all learners.

The Power of Pictures: Decoding Illustrations to Deepen Comprehension
Thursday, April 28, 4-7 p.m.
Kauffman Foundation
For teachers of grades PreK-2 

Students in the early years are often emerging readers who depend on images to provide visual cues that aide in comprehension. This workshop focuses on reading illustrations in fiction picture books before, during and after reading to help students develop the skills of predicting, inferring/drawing conclusions, sequencing and retelling a story.


About The Program

The Partners in Education program is a national partnership with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The Partners in Education program believes that the professional development of teachers is an essential component of efforts to include the arts in education for young people. The Kennedy Center’s extensive experience with its local professional development program, established in 1976, provides the basis for this national program. The Kansas/Missouri Team is the Midwest Trust Center at Johnson County Community College, the Shawnee Mission School District, Liberty Public Schools and Kansas City Young Audiences. The team is one of three cross-state partnerships in the nation. The National Partners in Education Program of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts selects teams across the United States because of their demonstrated commitment to the improvement of education in and through the arts.

The Kennedy Center defines arts integration as an approach to teaching in which students construct and demonstrate understanding through an art form. Students engage in a creative process which connects an art form and another subject area and meets evolving objectives in both.

The Kennedy Center Partnership Team collaborates to provide arts integration learning opportunities for teachers throughout the year. Our goal is to create and develop arts programs for the education of teachers to:

  • Expand their abilities to integrate the arts into the curriculum
  • Provide innovative teaching techniques and tools
  • Inspire the artist within each of them

KS/MO Kennedy Center Partners in Education Report Summary 2018-19 (pdf)