Statewide Resource for Arts-Integrated Teaching

University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee’s Center for Partnerships for Arts-Integrated Teaching (PAInT) took the next step in its evolution in 2016 by becoming Florida’s official – and permanent – resource for arts-integrated instruction.

In spring 2016, Florida lawmakers and Gov. Rick Scott provided the Center with an expanded statewide role and designated it as The Florida Center for the Partnership for Arts-Integrated Teaching at USF Sarasota-Manatee.

In summer 2016, that designation was made permanent in an education bill signed by Gov. Rick Scott.

Along with that role, the Center partners with colleges and other institutions that want to learn more about arts-integrated teaching or implement their own training programs.

Arts-integrated instruction is a teaching method in which the arts are woven into academic lessons to help students understand and retain the academic material. Studies show that students’ comprehension significantly improves when classroom lessons are combined with the arts.

USF Sarasota-Manatee, a pioneer in arts-integrated instruction, launched The Florida Center for the Partnerships for Arts Integrated Teaching in 2012 after the dean of the College of Education advanced the instructional method in 2011.

The Sarasota-Manatee area, with its arts-rich culture, proved to be an ideal location to start the program. Based at USF Sarasota-Manatee’s campus at 8350 N. Tamiami Trail, the center partners with several cultural organizations, including the Circus Arts Conservatory, Sarasota Opera, Sarasota Ballet, Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium, the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, Venice Symphony, and the Florida Studio Theatre.

Over the years, as the Center’s partnerships grew and arts-integrated programs spread across USF Sarasota-Manatee’s service area, supporters suggested replicating the effort on a statewide level. Discussions with local legislators began and in this past legislative session, language was added to the state budget to create the new PAInT Center.

The Center will continue its existing partnerships and offer instruction to teachers within its host counties of Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte counties. However, its mission will now expand to schools and districts across Florida, not only to public schools but also to charter and private schools.

Additionally, preservice students enrolled in USF Sarasota-Manatee’s School of Education continue to learn about arts-integrated instruction, along with other forms of teaching, as they work toward their degrees.

On a general level, the Center’s purpose is to increase knowledge and research of arts-integrated instruction, provide analysis of arts-integrated programs statewide and to partner with arts and educational organizations to introduce arts-integrated programs to more Florida schools.