The Portfolio Design Project (PDP) worked directly with nine Fine and Performing Arts elementary schools. Each school worked with one CAPE teaching artists, who partnered with the on staff arts specialist (MCLT) and 4th, 5th, and 6th grade classroom teachers to focus on integrating the arts into language arts.
To improve student performance in the visual arts, music and literacy, the Portfolio Design Project is piloting a collaborative process for creating portfolios of individual students’ work in standards-based, arts-integrated curricula. Professional development, artist residencies, and collaboration are features of the project, with the development of individual student portfolios through collaboratively designed, inquiry-based, arts-integrated instruction at the center.
This project is particularly important at this time – the demand for data-driven decision making in Chicago Public Schools is increasing. This project is piloting a solution: portfolios of student work in the visual arts, music and literacy that are systemically analyzed and the results of which included in composite measures of student learning. The portfolios, which include still images, sound, video, and text, are organized around a common structure, so they can be analyzed and summarized across classrooms and schools. Furthermore, these results will be used by principals and district administrators in school planning and decision making processes.