Arts integration


Arts integration

Arts integration is a term applied to an approach to teaching and learning that uses the fine and performing arts as primary pathways to learning. Arts integration differs from traditional arts education by its inclusion of both an arts discipline and a traditional subject as part of learning (e.g. using improvisational drama skills to learn about conflict in writing.) The goal of arts integration is to increase knowledge of a general subject area while concurrently fostering a greater understanding and appreciation of the fine and performing arts.

History of Arts Education and Arts Integration

Arts integration is related to arts education in schools. Arts education, while existing in different forms during the 19th century, gained popularity as part of John Dewey's Progressive Education Theory. The first publication that describes a seamless interplay between the arts and other subjects (arts integration) taught in American schools was Leon Winslow's "The Integrated School Art Program (1939)." For the remainder of the 20th century, arts education's role in public schools ebbed and flowed with the country's political leanings and financial well-being. According to Liora Bresler, during the 1970s and 1980s, two advocates for arts integration emerged: Harry Broudy and Elliot Eisner. Broudy advocated for the arts on the basis of strengthening the imagination. Broudy viewed imagination as an essential component of learning that should be cultivated in schools, and he advocated for the integration of aesthetic education into all subject matters in his work," Enlightened Cherishing". Eisner followed Broudy, citing that the arts were important to varying types of cognition. He believed that arts brought about a deeper understanding of the world due to their interactivity-- the arts move learning beyond what is written or read. [Bresler, Liora. "The Subservient, Co-Equal, Affective, and Social Integration Styles and their Implications for.." Arts Education Policy Review 96.5: 31.] Currently, No Child Left Behind legislation describes arts education as "essential to every child's education," and include it as one of the Core Subjects. [ [http://www.ed.gov/teachers/how/tools/initiative/updates/040826.html The Importance of Arts Education ] ] . No Child Left Behind legislation also emphasizes accountability through assessment (often taking the form of the standardized test.) While no standardized assessment has been mandated in any of the arts, the need for academic accountability in the arts, as well as in other academic subject areas, has led to increased research on and advocacy of arts integration and its impact on student learning. [ Please see Renaissance in the Classroom's sub-chapter entitled "The Arts in American Public Education: A Brief History" for a more comprehensive reading with additional references ] hdfh

Arts Integration Research and Advocacy

The impetus for arts integration is a growing body of research that demonstrates how learners experience success when taught why and how to use music, visual art, drama/dance, theatre and the literary arts to both express and understand ideas, thoughts and feelings. Critical Links [ Deasy, Richard, et al. Critical Links : Learning in the Arts and Student Academic and Social Development. Washington, DC: Arts Education Partnership, 2002.] , a compendium published by the Arts Education Partnership ( [http://www.http://www.aep-arts.org/e.com AEP] ), includes 62 studies which examine the relationship between arts learning, academic achievement, and social development of students. [ [http://www.aep-arts.org/resources/toolkits/criticallinks Arts Education Partnership : : Publication Toolkits : : Critical Links ] ] Highlights include studies which explore the use of drama to increase students' reading comprehension and studies which examine the relationship between music and math concepts. The Arts Education Partnership has also published The Third Space [Stevenson, L. M., R. Deasy, and A. E. Partnership. Third Space: When Learning Matters. Arts Education Partnership, 2005.] , which profiles ten arts-integrated schools across the United States.

Another American organization conducting research in arts integration is the Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education ( [http://www.capeweb.org/about.html CAPE] ) [http://www.capeweb.org/about.html CAPE] . It has published, through Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Renaissance in the Classroom: Arts Integration and Meaningful Learning [Renaissance in the Classroom : Arts Integration and Meaningful Learning. Mahwah, N.J.: L. Erlbaum Associates, 2001.] The book, edited by Gail Burnaford, Ph.D, professor at Northwestern University; Cynthia Weiss, teaching artist and CAPE associate; and Arnold Aprill, CAPE's executive director, combines the contributions of two-hundred seventy-two participants in CAPE's arts integration partnerships. James Catterall, arts education researcher and professor at University of California, Los Angeles's Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, has collaborated with CAPE on publications.

Harvard University's Graduate School of Education supports [http://www.pzweb.harvard.edu Project Zero] , an educational research group founded in 1967 by Nelson Gooding, which investigates learning in the arts.Former directors of Project Zero include David Perkins and Howard Gardner. Currently, it is directed by Steve Seidel, and has expanded its research in arts learning to include other branches of education. [ [http://pzweb.harvard.edu/History/History.htm History of Project Zero ] ] Howard Gardner's Theory of multiple intelligences has been used as part of the rationale for the use of integrated arts models in teaching and learning.

The Kennedy Center Partners in Education, headquartered in Washington, DC, is an organization that has promoted arts integration for over two decades. While The Kennedy Center does conduct research in arts learning, they also provide networking opportunities for arts education programs nation-wide through The Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education Network [http://www.kennedy-center.org/education/kcaaen/home.html KCAAEN] . This organization advocates for arts education, fosters collaboration between artists and schools to support arts learning, develops and conducts professional development in arts education for teachers, and recognizes achievement in the arts. [ [http://www.kennedy-center.org/education/kcaaen/home.html KCAAEN] ]

References


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