BRAINworks programs are federally-funded, providing professional development in arts integration for Berkshire County educators across PreK-12 classrooms and content by leveraging the region’s existing educational and cultural assets.
The Summer Institute is an intensive, five-day professional development course for our BRAINworks educators covering focused content, including:
arts-integrated teaching strategies for PreK-12th grade
rigor in the classroom and using Webb’s Depth of Knowledge schema for increasing academic rigor in lessons
skill-building for arts techniques across artistic disciplines
strategies for evaluation and documentation of student performance and learning through assessment
exploration of Berkshire County arts/cultural organizations and how their programs and offerings can play a role in curriculum development
The content of each subsequent Summer Institute builds on the learning from the previous one.
Evening Workshop Series
The Evening Workshop Series offers professional development opportunities to BRAINworks educators that are taught by the staff of our 12 key program partners. These monthly, 3-hour workshops are hosted by arts/cultural organizations across Berkshire County and provide educators the opportunity to experience artmaking strategies for the classroom firsthand. Strategies have ranged from collage to mobile phone video production! Evening Workshops are led by our partner organizations:
Barrington Stage Company
Berkshire Film and Media Collaborative
Berkshire Theatre Group
IS183 Art School of the Berkshires
Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center
Norman Rockwell Museum
The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute
Lesson Study Seminars
Lesson Study Seminars are a series of immersive workshops where participants explore arts integration and Webbs’ Depth of Knowledge on-site at local arts organizations. In 2018, we held Lesson Study Seminars from October to December. In conjunction with additional online learning components, BRAINworks educators:
explored, analyzed, and applied knowledge about academic rigor in lessons
continued building skills in artmaking techniques across artistic disciplines
delivered presentations to and received feedback from their peers about arts-integrated lessons they had taught in their classrooms
practiced evaluation and documentation of student learning through arts-based assessment strategies
studied Professional Learning Communities as a method of collaborative peer learning to achieve common goals
The seminars were hosted by three of our key partner arts/cultural organizations: Berkshire Museum, Jacob’s Pillow, and MASS MoCA.
Profesional Learning Communities
Each BRAINworks educator works throughout the year in a small group of their cohort members: a Professional Learning Community (PLC). In their PLCs, educators critically engage with their peers about developing arts-integrated curriculum, share experiences about using arts integration strategies in their classrooms, and seek feedback about this work.
PLCs meet monthly and allow BRAINworks educators the chance to work collaboratively with their peers across disciplines, schools, and school districts. The BRAINworks Content Coordinator meets with all PLC groups to offer additional support and guidance.