The PAIR Project Overview

The Partnership for Arts Integration Research (PAIR) project worked directly with six elementary schools, grouped into three pairs. Each pair of schools shared one set of two teaching artists, who partnered with 4th, 5th, and 6th grade classroom teachers to focus on integrating the arts into one major academic content area.

  • Swift and Thorp focused on math + arts integration
  • Lee and Eberhart focused on reading and writing + arts integration
  • Healy and Ward focused on social studies + arts integration

Within each school pair, the artists and classroom teachers focused on a different academic content area with which to integrate the arts. One school pair focused on math; another focused on reading and writing; and the third focused on social studies.

Student artifacts were collected by teachers and artists through the life of the project, and reflected on by teachers through labeling each artifact. Students and teachers were interviewed and surveyed.

Curriculum Examples

To view a couple of condensed curriculum examples, click below:

Visual Arts at Swift and Thorp Elementary      |      Dance at Swift and Thorp Elementary

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The PAIR Program Model

The five primary goals of the PAIR project were:

  • To create cross-school partnerships
  • To create models of high-quality arts integrated curriculum
  • To improve teachers’ instructional practice
  • To improve student achievement
  • To disseminate effective arts integration practices to other schools

To achieve these goals, PAIR employed the core CAPE methods:

Arts Integration
For CAPE, it is essential that arts instruction integrate with academic instruction. We believe art made from an integrated curriculum is more compelling because of the constant exchange of questions and ideas from the academic to the artistic work.

In our practice, teachers and teaching artists collaborate to address academic and artistic questions and challenges. Building on these ideas, they plan arts-integrated curricula that draw connections between arts and non-arts subject matter as the work progresses. The artist and teacher work together with the students, co-teaching and co-experimenting throughout their partnership.

Documentation helps educators get a fuller picture of how an individual student is or is not learning and growing. Examining the documentation aids teachers and artists not only in student assessment, but also in curricular planning, as they reflect on what is and isn’t working in their instruction.

Professional Development
As part of all CAPE programs, teachers and teaching artists from schools around the city come together regularly for professional development meetings.  There, they can examine others’ work and ideas, share their own successes and questions, and explore new possibilities for teaching and learning with CAPE staff.

All CAPE programs engage professional, highly qualified researchers. Researchers analyze CAPE documentation, interview teachers and artists, and gather student data. Researchers also develop new and innovative tools to measure arts integrated teaching and learning. Their research is regularly shared with the teachers and artists, providing them with a broader trajectory of how their school is improving via arts integration partnerships.

Public Sharing and Dissemination
CAPE shares arts integration work by students, teachers, artists, staff and researchers in many formats, including but not limited to: exhibitions, websites, published articles, workshops, whole school events, and/or conference presentations.

The PAIR Participants

CAPE’s programs and research could not be done without our gracious and enthusiastic school partners. We want to thank them for all their hard work and endless creativity.

John F. Eberhart Elementary
Principal: Nneka Gunn
Teachers: Paula Listro, Susan Bastien, Rosemary Giarratano, Therese Davis, Barbara Richards, Margaret Tucker
Teaching Artists: Charly Barbera, Kevin Douglas, Reginald Lawrence

Robert Healy Elementary
Principals: Mary Ellen Ratkovich, Alfonso H. Carmona
Teachers: Denise Fitzgerald, Doreen Cho, Jaime Jimenez, Kathy Salzman, Peggy Brazel-Shaw
Teaching Artists: Adam Busch, Mirtes Zwierzynski

James Ward Elementary
Principal: Sharon Wilcher
Teachers: Kimara Hall, Lily Ng, Peter Davis, Jenny Croitoru, Pat Danaher, Edward Kania
Teaching Artists: Adam Busch, Mirtes Zwierzynski

Richard Henry Lee Elementary
Principal: Christiana Arroyo
Teachers: Cynthia Dominguez, Therese O’Halloran, Eileen Puchalski, Lisa Krueger, Donna Jamen, Kathleen Walsh
Teaching Artists: Charly Barbera, Kevin Douglas, Reginald Lawrence 

Ole A. Thorp Scholastic Academy
Principal: Kathleen Bandolik
Teachers: Rosario Gomez, Cynthia Delgado, Colleen Sawicki, Suzi Gantz, Rebecca Kohler, Jessica Hehn
Teaching Artists: Jessica Hudson, Juan-Carlos Perez

George B. Swift Specialty School
Harlee Till
Teachers: Allison Burke, Jill Mazzone, Katie Loveland, Anita Holmes, Sucharitha Rao
Teaching Artists: Jessica Hudson, Juan-Carlos Perez

Special thanks to Anna Shane, PAIR project coordinator, who worked tirelessly to help the PAIR project succeed.

What did we actually do in the Partnership for Arts Integration Research?

Click here to learn about the project design, its goals, and what happened in the classrooms!

What did we learn through from the Partnership for Arts Integration Research?

Click here to learn about the outcomes of the project in the areas student academic impact and teacher professional development!

How can we apply the findings of the Partnership for Arts Integration Research going forward?

Click here to explore the implications of the PAIR project and learn ways you can support more engaging and inspiring arts integration work in your schools and communities!

Plan a CAPE Field Trip

Visit CAPE and learn more about our research: join us for a casual, one-hour info session that we call the CAPE Field Trip. You’ll tour our office, learn about our impact on students, teachers, and communities, and meet some of our staff members and partners.