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Arts and Architecture and TLT Launch Center for Arts and Design Pedagogy

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Susan Russell

The College of Arts and Architecture and Teaching and Learning with Technology at Penn State (TLT) announce the creation of the Center for Arts and Design Pedagogy (C-PAD), a cross-disciplinary center whose goal is to advance arts and design pedagogies, research, and professional development applicable to learning and teaching in all disciplines. It will serve as a nexus for scholars, artists, designers, practitioners, and community members who share a common interest in learning and teaching through the arts.

“The center intends to help connect faculty and researchers outside the arts with those within the arts, ideally leading to new interdisciplinary projects,” explained Ann Clements, associate professor of music education and director of C-PAD. “The changing of STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics] to STEAM is not simply the addition of Arts somewhere within the mix. It’s an attempt to place artistic thinking and doing centrally alongside and within other disciplines, as artistic and creative thinking is what makes innovation in all fields possible.”

Developed to meet Penn State’s strategic plan goals of transforming education and advancing the arts and humanities, C-PAD will foster transdisciplinary teaching and learning communities; conduct research on arts and design pedagogies; and assess and disseminate innovative pedagogy practices that impact learning. The center will sponsor programs that fund research fellowships and community programs, host world-class researchers and pedagogues, and create local conversations around new and emerging trends.

According to Kyle Bowen, director for Teaching and Learning with Technology at Penn State, many of the creative and innovative teaching methods used today have roots in the arts and design. “Through C-PAD, Penn State can build on this work to engage faculty and scholars across the institution in the development of new experiences that enable our students to get the most from their education,” said Bowen. “C-PAD enables the development of new approaches to teaching where students can tinker, explore, think divergently, and even fail.”

Clements noted the partnership with TLT provides access to an expansive group of educational innovators at Penn State. “Their expertise in modern teaching and learning practices, including the use of information technology to enhance learning, will supplement and enrich arts and design practices and research.”

In addition, the partnership opens up new opportunities for collaboration with other universities through consortiums such as the Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA) and Unizin, which facilitates sharing of university-developed open-source tools and digital teaching and learning materials. “It was a natural fit, as our college and TLT value creative and innovative approaches to modern teaching and learning. Through this partnership we will explore new and artistic approaches to Penn State initiatives, such as All In at Penn State and engaged scholarship,” said Clements.

C-PAD is sponsored and supported by the College of Arts and Architecture and Teaching and Learning with Technology at Penn State. 

IMAGE: The Center for Arts and Design Pedagogy will support programs that facilitate artistic research, engagement, and outreach, including events like “The ABC’s of Peace: The Power of ‘U,’” which was part of the Schreyer Honors College’s 22nd Annual Mark Luchinsky Memorial Lecture Series. Susan Russell, associate professor of theatre, was this year's Luchinsky Lecturer. Photo by Steve Tressler