Teaching Tallahassee: An Interdisciplinary Civics and Art Curriculum Project




This project has two phases:

Year 1 Curriculum Development: Six teams of teachers will pair up to develop a project-based curriculum that uses art and local places to scaffold civic outcomes for k-12 students.

Year 2 Curriculum Implementation: The final units developed in year 1 will be implemented in classrooms. The year will culminate in a final exhibition of student artwork.

Research questions

This project aims to:

Goal 1 Develop a model for institutions of higher education, like FSU, to provide opportunities for K-12 teachers to understand how civic engagement can be nurtured on a local level.

Goal 2: Foster the collaborations of art, history, and civics educators and faculty, to develop an effective and evidence-based curriculum focused on civic engagement and participation in Leon County K-12 school students.

Participating Teachers

Augusta Raa Middle School: Katie Aylward (Art), Shawn Ackerman (Social Studies)

Fairview Middle School: Janine Falah (Art), Benita Brown-Lyons (Media Specialist)

Florida State University School ELE/HS: Egda Claudio (Art), Marlon Williams-Clark (Social Studies)

Florida State University School HS: Michelle Hartsfield (Art), Shannon Axtell (Language Arts)

Montford Middle School: Dr. Donald Sheppard (Art), Sara Hogan (Social Studies)

Springwood Elementary School: Stef Prieto (Art), Mary Winsett (5th Grade)

Research Team

Team: Dr. Sara Scott Shields, Dr. Rachel Fendler, Dr. John Myers, Minki Jeon, Doctoral Candidate

Funding: FSU's Council on Research and Creativity provided funding through the SEED Grant program



Project progression

Getting started

FALL 2023. Art teachers invite a partner from their school to join the project. We explore civic and activist art outcomes, and the civic themes embedded in local places.


SPRING 2023. Teacher teams write a project-based curriculum for students that spans both classrooms. In June, the teams present their curricula in a professional development webinar.


FALL 2024. Teachers bring students into the project! The curricula will be implemented in teachers’ classrooms.


SPRING 2025. FSU faculty will work with teachers and students to develop an exhibition of their work in public venues in Tallahassee.