PDs in Motion: Together Again

 In The CAPE Blog

Professional Development Sessions Returned in Person in December 2022

December 1, 2022 SCALE – After School Programs
December 8, 2022 Artist Researcher Partnerships (AR/P) – In School Programs

December 1, 2022 SCALE – After School Programs: Positionality in the Classroom
This Professional Development welcomed back Teachers and Teaching Artists to a physical space for the first time in two years, and they expressed their joy at seeing one another in person and connecting with old friends they had not seen for such a long time. The focus of this PD was to explore positionality, a form of reflexive inquiry into one’s background and identity, and how it impacts both teacher creation and student perception of curriculum.

Teachers and Teaching Artists joyfully greet one another in the CAPE space and work on their positionality activities.

Beth Barrow, Sekou Conde, and Robert Zant shared their discussion and teaching experience with the activity. By sharing their positionality tracing and skill maps with one another, they were each able to use the new information that they learned in order to adapt how they taught their skill.

Robert’s skill: flip book making

Beth’s skill: making iced tea

Sekou’s skill: teaching rhythm and music

Robert showed Beth how to make a flip book about making Iced Tea, which she used in her own lesson. He also appealed to Sekou’s musical affiliation by showing him the noises that a flip book should make. Additionally, he prompted Sekou to make his content related to humor, which Sekou had mentioned was important to him.

Sekou was also able to use the sound of the flip book to show Robert how to make sound from different places. He was also able to draw in Beth’s own skill map by using his cup of iced tea to show the two others how to make a shaker-like instrument from the ice in his iced tea cup. 

By finding intersections in their skills, they were each able to position their teaching plan in a way that appealed more to the interests of their “students”. As a result, they found unique ways to look at their teaching that differed from the position they often take in relation to that subject.


Sticky note pictures: Teachers and Teaching Artists stuck their post-it-notes all over CAPE as they reflected on different items, feelings, and thoughts that they brought to the space. Many were inspired by the space itself and noted the emotions that the space created. Some responded to one another as the post-it notes they read inspired more thoughts, feelings, and memories.

For complete slides and information about the 12/1/22 PD click here: https://sites.google.com/capechicago.org/scale/pds/pd-2-positionality-in-the-classroom.


December 8, 2022 AR/P Professional Development – In School Programs


Thursday, December 8, welcomed this year’s Artist/Researcher Partners cohort back into our space for the second PD of the school year.

The PD began with an activity led by Mark Diaz called “Language of Materials.” The activity had individuals explore a blank white piece of paper and explore ways to change the paper without the assistance of any tools. The activity spanned several pieces until an intermission when we welcomed guest speaker and researcher, Erin Preston.

Erin Preston, CAPE researcher, discussed ideas of materialism and agency in CAPE projects from the 2021-2022 school year. Erin shared two example projects where students took agency of their curriculum and started to define what their projects could look like.

A/R Partners participants, Penny Schultz and Jordan Knecht spoke about their projects as they were directly involved with the research and shared stories on how their students took initiative to exceed their expectations.











Following the presentation, Mark resumed the Language of Materials activity to have people combine their paper products that they created in the first part of the PD to create assemblages. They were sculptures that took advantage of 1010’s 10’ ceilings and even incorporated elements of performance.


For more history on CAPE’s Professional Development and the move to the new space, click here: https://capechicago.org/blog/professional-development-at-cape/


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