Teaching is a creative act, never more so than in primary and secondary schools. Good teachers, like good artists, have their own individual styles of performing. They also respect the individuality of their students in the realization that everybody learns through his or her own perceptions. The story is told of a legendary teacher who was asked at the start of the term what his course matter would be. "I don't know," he said. "I haven't seen my students yet." - excerpted from The Importance of Teaching –Royal Bank Newsletter, author unknown
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Cory Wilkerson
Who am I?
My name is Cory Wilkerson and I am a Theatre Arts Educator and Arts Consultant specializing in integrated arts and arts performance assessment. I was privledged to be the facilitator for the Orange Collaborative Inquiry Group, one of six communities of inquiry who were part of the Arts 2.0 project, year two, managed by the PA Department of Education and Intermediate Unit One in Coal Center, PA. This dedicated group conducted action research in their individual classrooms to explore ways to reach out to their diverse student populations and better engage all learners.

A little bit about me..

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Middle Schoolers perform Pinocchio
I live a life of wearing many hats – directing and teaching as a practicing theatre artist and consulting to Arts Education groups b
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On tour with WOW! Children's Theatre
oth in Pennsylvania and nationwide. Currently, in addition to Arts Educator 2.0, my hats include working with the historic Fulton Opera Houseas part of a project to use theatre to teach pre-reading and critical literacy skills to pre-school aged children, serving as Project Manager to a national arts group (State Education Agency for Directors of Arts Education) and developing curriculum and teaching acting K-12 at the Theatre Arts Academy of the Hershey Area Playhouse.

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A Community of Inquiry
"Within the classroom context, inquirers co-construct meaning through dialogue and decision-making based on informed critical, ethical, and creative reasoning." – Paula Fraser and Rich Henry



Who are we?
In addition to directing and designing the shows on this page, I am proud to be the facilitator for the Orange Collaborative Inquiry Group. We are a group of diverse educators from Pennsylvania who have come together to conduct an experiment in teacher professional development meant to serve Arts Educators. It has been an honor to be working with these dynamic, caring, highly effective teachers as we journey together on this path of inquiry. Our group members included Diane Ader, HS Music and Theatre, Ringgold, Joseph Andria, HS Music and Theatre, Albert Gallatin, Jacquelyn Cavey Schultz, HS Language Arts and Theatre, Albert Gallatin, Lorraine Kelly, MS Communications, Social Studies and Theatre, Washington and Tracey Gilpin, MS Visual Arts and Theatre, Washington.

What did we do?
After thoughtful discussions and explorations of their own practice using guided reflection exercises, our group collaboratively decided to use action research techniques to explore the question: How do we better engage students of diverse backgrounds and learning styles?

What did we discover?
At the beginning of our project we used an exercise called Paper People to examine our practice. Each teacher filled in a "paper person" using images cut from magazines and drawings to illustrate their triumphs and challenges. A common theme emerged- all were concerned about the students they just could not reach. All were looking for ways to better engage all learners- and suddenly our inquiry question was born. In our final meeting of the year we took out the Paper People again and together built one paper person symbolizing the growth of the group as a whole. Check out the videos on our home page to see our group Paper Person reflection.


Facilitating - A personal journey
This year has been a journey for myself as well as the teacher's involved in the group. I sometimes felt as if I were just one step ahead of chaos- as I attempted to learn to be the best facilitator I could be while immersed in the process. I was, to quote a dear friend, attempting to leave the traditional model of professional development where my role was "sage on the stage" to embrace this model of "guide on the side". I was enthusiastically in favor of the idea, but not quite sure how to begin. The Reflective Educator's Guide to Professional Development- proved an invaluable resource. I used many protocols from this book and shared materials and ideas with my Orange Collaborative Inquiry teachers. What perhaps was the most challenging was finding times to meet together to form the community necessary for collaborative inquiry. We used Skype and email predominately, and also dabbled in Voice Thread. Even with these added tools- it was difficult for my busy teachers to find a time where we could all be in the same place at the same time.

Year Three - The project continued into year three. Please see our blog and wiki documentation.

Questions? Feel free to contact me at coryw2.0@gmail.com.


Documentation
Although this entire wiki is indeed a documentation, the links below document our paper trail. Feel free to explore and enjoy.

Arts Educator 2.0 Project Overview
Use this link to connect to the Arts Educator 2.0 wiki for an overview of the entire project. The Orange Collaborative Inquiry Group was only one of six Collaborative Inquiry groups in the project. This link will take you to documentation of each group's journey as well as a description of the structure of the project and our large group meetings at Intermediate Unit One in Coal Center, PA. .
Orange GPDP
Our Group Professional Development Plan served both as a roadmap and a contract.
Orange Time Documentation
Each member of the group was required to complete 90 hours of work on the inquiry. Forty two of the hours were spent in large group meetings with the other five Collaborative Inquiry Groups involved in the Arts Educator 2.0 project. A minimum of forty eight hours were to be spent in research, meetings, collaborative activities and action research in the classroom. Members of the Orange Collaborative Inquiry documented their time using a google spread sheet.
Meeting Minutes
Orange Collaborative Inquiry group members met monthly and conferenced individually on a weekly basis using site visits, email, telephone conversations, Skype and wikispaces. In addition we held three face to face visits as a group and met six times within a larger group gathering of all inquiry groups involved in the Arts Educator 2.0 project at the Intermediate Unit One in Coal Center, PA.
Meeting Minutes 9-25-2009
Meeting Minutes 10-22-2009
Meeting Minutes 11-13-2009
Meeting Minutes 11-30-2009
Meeting Minutes 12-4-2009
Meeting Minutes - Individual Meetings in December and January
Meeting Minutes 1-15-2010
Meeting Minutes - Small Group Meetings in February and March
Meeting Minutes 3-5-2010
Meeting Minutes 4-7-2010
Meeting Minutes 4-30-2010