Arts integration combines curriculum and teaching among dance, music, theatre, and visual art, and interconnects the arts with non-arts subjects. Integration takes many forms as teachers from different subject areas collaborate for rich curricular connections.
Arts Integration Theory (Back to top)
Arts Integrated Instruction has become an area of great interest over the past decade as schools across the country are discovering the power of the arts when used as a catalyst for teaching across the curriculum. Arts integration is not a substitute for teaching the arts for their own sake. We are champions of art specialists in the schools, and recognize the need to add to their forces in cities across the country. What is Arts Integration?
It is important that all educators become aware of the successes that have been demonstrated when students become engaged in their own learning via arts integrated instruction. Arts integration is not about artist residencies, or occasional arts projects that connect to other curricular subjects. It is about a methodology and a philosophical approach to education that creates a level of personal connection and added depth in the classroom through a creative inquiry-based process of teaching and learning. How do I learn more about how to do arts integration?
This module in combination with the On-line Expeditions website encourages a layering of arts integration within the classroom as students engage in this work. You can access resources in your community, or within your own building perhaps, that you didn't know existed before. Possibly the arts specialist(s) in your building would like to explore enhancing the core curriculum with rigorous arts integration. Or maybe you can arrange for professional development training that will introduce arts integration to your faculty in a substantive way. Another option might be to explore how you can bring in professional artists trained in this area to team teach with you in the classroom.
Consider checking your state arts council for additional ideas and resources. It's always a good bet that some local theatre or dance troupe has an outreach program that works in schools. Sometimes it is simply a matter of doing some research and inquiring about town. Some organizations also travel. As part of this module you will explore various aspects of the Arts for Learning website, www.arts4learning.org. You may wish to return to this site for ideas and possible resources in your community. Benefits of an integrative approach
An integrative approach to teaching, for example, connects visualization with reading comprehension, contextualizes math, or brings an experiential context to the science or social studies classroom. Using the arts can assist students in understanding and applying skills to standardized exams. Focus and concentration can be developed through an appreciation and application of different learning styles, such as linguistic, visual or kinesthetic thinking. Through the connection of personal experience with the subject matter, and an emphasis on the process of discovery which allows for unexpected outcomes, teachers help students to develop more complex thinking skills. Through the integration of perception into cognition, and expression into reflection, students perform at a significantly higher level. While this module will focus on arts integrated activities you can do yourself, know that having artists team teach in classrooms alongside teachers is an ideal model for truly integrated instruction. Research, Results, and Resources -- Critical Links and Champions of Change There has been much research on...