MALI: This We Believe


During the Summer and Fall of 2015, MALI Teacher Leaders and Leadership Team members created these statements to help guide us as

we continue to move forward in our work. A collaborative update of these statements started during Phase 7 by the Design Team, Teacher Leaders and Teaching Artist Leaders at the Winter Retreat and was completed at the Phase 8 Winter Retreat in 2019. Social Responsibility was added in the 2019 update.                                                 Published March 2019

ADVOCACY... educates communities that arts education is essential. Arts advocacy should involve the presentation of solid, factual information that challenges misconceptions about the role of the arts in our society. Arts advocacy should also highlight the various benefits of the arts through the creation and viewing process; involving the larger community in purposeful and meaningful ways. 


ARTS INTEGRATION... fosters cross-curricular collaboration and moves the arts to the heart of teaching and learning. It provides all students with opportunities to share understanding and demonstrate knowledge and learning through the arts. 


ASSESSMENT LITERACY... describes an ongoing dialog about assessment practices to inform planning and instruction, support learning, clarify understanding, and validate our work as educators and what students do as learners.  

CREATIVITY… a set of cognitive, emotional and sensory processes, inherent in all human beings, that individuals or groups use to express or make meaning, ideas, products, or solutions that are both unique and relevant for their context. Quality arts education fosters creativity through communication, collaboration, creative thinking, critical thinking, problem solving, personal expression, and innovation.

EFFECTIVE TEACHING & LEARNING... actively engages students by carefully planning, individualizing, aligning to educational objectives, and using feedback, assessment, and data to positively impact student learning. Effective educators are members of learning communities who stay informed about current pedagogy, reflect on their teaching strategies, and focus on developing student growth.

SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY... When we teach the arts, we empower students to address, describe, solve, and speak about social issues in powerful and universal ways.


STUDENT-CENTERED LEARNING... encourages and empowers students to become independent learners, ultimately taking charge of their own education. Experiences within the learning environment are active, collaborative, engaging, and support students to explore their artistic processes in meaningful and purposeful ways.


TEACHER LEADERSHIP... supports and inspires: a) students and their learning through effective teaching practices and b) the teaching profession through shared expertise, resources, and high quality, ongoing professional development. Teacher leaders see the bigger picture, mentor, and model best practices. Teacher leaders include classroom teachers, administrators, teaching artists, and community leaders.