Topeka schools join with KU to win education award

TOPEKA — As part of an initiative to enhance and strengthen programs that integrate the arts into elementary- and middle-school curricula, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Innovation and Improvement has granted a four-year, $1.8 million award to a collaborative project that teams Topeka Public Schools with two University of Kansas research centers.

The award, shared among the three partners, will provide support and professional development to teachers in Topeka Public Schools seeking to infuse the arts across the curriculum and strengthen their students’ critical-thinking skills. The Arts Infusion Project (TAIP) brings together Topeka educators with researchers from KU’s Music Research Institute in the School of Music and the Center for Public Partnerships and Research (CPPR) in the Achievement & Assessment Institute.

The project stresses two objectives to achieve its overall goal:

• Participating Topeka teachers will gain skills and knowledge that will enable them to strengthen the integration of standards-based arts instruction within other academic content areas. • Teachers will gain skills and knowledge to strengthen standards-based arts instruction by infusing critical thinking into all aspects of instruction and assessment, which will advance the education of the whole student.

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