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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Arts Integration!

Arts Integration!

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I believe this group needs a new name to stand along side STEM and Technology Integration! ARTS INTEGRATION! Gale Sheaffer

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Christine Termini Passarella's picture
Christine Termini Passarella
Founder of The Kids for Coltrane Project in Education

Hi Carol, your comment is profound. Human beings communicate what is vital to them through the arts, and yet the arts have taken a back burner in me this is tragic! The arts connect to who we are emotionally. How can we properly educate the future adults of the world if we don't recognize the importance of teaching through the arts? I agree that it is the connection to the arts that must be recognized and allowed to flourish throughout the curriculum. My educated guess is that our student teachers would welcome the training you speak of here. You may find the work of neuroscientist Dr. Immordino-Yang encouraging. I had the opportunity to be in one of her lectures last summer during the Future of Learning Institute at Harvard University. She is a brilliant star in education. I hope educators follow her work. She can help illuminate the way...and it is all based in real research. "Emotions allow us to use our knowledge in ways that will be culturally appropriate and useful, both in school and outside of school.

Emotions are not add-ons that interfere with cognition. Instead, they are a foundational element of why thinking and learning happen.

Emotions involve the self and the body...and therefore so should schools."
Dr. Immordino-Yang and Dr. Antonio Damasio

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Julie Behrse's picture
Julie Behrse
Vetern teacher returning full time to graduate studies

I agree that arts integration does begin with trained artists, and art historians. Los Angelos County Museum offers a monthly Evening for Educators training for non-artist teachers integrating art across the curriculum. The non-artist teacher who assigns -say a poster project- may have the good intention to "expand the learning domain" or to address individual learning modalities, but I question how valid is this approach. I do not think it is accomplishing much. Our Asian competitors teach classical, or formal art and can then utilize these art strategies across the curriculum. I am a trained artist with a dual degree. One of my professors who had her PhD in Education with a specialty in Ceramics asked me why I did not enroll in the Art for Educators program. Looking at her poorly executed ceramic work, I thought to myself, because I did not want to be an incompetent artist teaching and encouraging others. I think the American art teacher should be trained as an artist first, before training as a teacher. The non-artist should use the material produced by trained artists/art historians such as what is available through LACMA. America isn't at the bottom rung of education for nothing. We've earned it.

Carol Parker's picture
Carol Parker
7/8 Drama, Film, Honors & Regular Language Arts

One great way to keep the arts in the classroom is to always include films in education. We are allowing a generation to forget the beauty of the movies that have introduced the world to the greatest talents ever. Try Chaplin "The Kid" to introduce your classroom to a fabulous story and to introduce the word PATHOS. To introduce the word COMPASSION AND EMPATHY. Children love Chaplin!!! They always get upset when I finish the silent Chaplin and move to the Marx Brothers and then they laugh their heads off. Then the cycle begins again!

I AM SAM is THE KID.....I use both these films in Language ARTS. I teach them how to read a story by reading people on the silver screen.They compare and contrast. It is great break for a lot of kids from "just" reading! Often it motivates them to read, but most of all it introduces silent film and Chaplin. And, it introduces great acting, and two emotional stories. You will experience a very quiet classroom. And, your students will want MORE classic films.
All children deserve the ARTS.

Carol Parker's picture
Carol Parker
7/8 Drama, Film, Honors & Regular Language Arts

Thank you Julie. I really agree with you.

Jay's picture

I completly agree with your statement on how the arts take the right brain creativity and inspires the left brain. Art is all about being creative, integration with the core areas of education is a must for the United States to become one the upper tier Countries in education. For instance, I am a middle school art teacher in a low income school who has found that fine art has enriched the thoughts of these children to be more creative when it comes to the core areas of education. When our students have a creative side, they are more inclined to be creative in learning english, or math. Yes, there are successful ways to use cross curriculum ideas to help our students succeed. The teacher is key in taking these low income students, who really have no want to learn something with a little added twist of creativity.

willa taylor's picture
willa taylor
Director, Education and Community Engagement, Goodman Theatre

Surprised to see the debate arts ed vs arts integration even here. It has been a fairly divisive issue here. As someone who teaches both the skills of the discipline and trains teachers to use arts to teach other subjects, I think of arts as education. Even as audience members, museum visitors, concert-goers, the impact the arts have in that moment to stir something in you, to make you consider, to think and see in a different way, is not only an aesthetic but educational experience. And isn't that what we want for all children?

Katie Rogerson's picture
Katie Rogerson
Marketing & Outreach Director, Arts Integration Solutions

Hello Arts Integration Enthusiasts!
We've just announced our 2011 schedule of professional development in Arts Integration. The Opening Minds through the Arts (OMA) Foundation offers both 2-day and 4-day training sessions to teach you how to infuse the arts into everyday curriculum. The Arts Integration Academies and Intensives train classroom teachers, artists, specialists, and administrators to develop integrated lessons using the arts to meet your academic standards objectives, raise test scores, create a new level of learning and a new joy in teaching.
This is an innovative opportunity for continuing education and professional development.

OMA builds brains! Learn more at where you'll also find our complete schedule of 2011 Arts Integration trainings.

Watch Edutopia's short documentary of the OMA Program in action:

Susan Riley's picture
Susan Riley
Arts Integration Specialist

Hi there! I'm so excited to find this topic on here! My website is ALL about arts integration - it is truly my passion! For me, arts integration is when you are teaching a lesson that assesses EQUALLY the objectives from the content area and the arts area of a naturally connective topic. For instance, creating dance steps that use intersecting and parallel lines (dance and math). I'm so thrilled to find other teachers on here that are excited by the possibilities of this technique. If you have a spare moment, please visit and connect with me! I provide free lesson plans, podcasts, resources and more - I'd love to develop a professional learning community for educators who see the potential for this.

Dulce's picture

Hello Everyone, My name is Dulce and I came to your site while searching for information about the impact of arts (music, art, dance, drama, etc) Please if I don't belong to this disscusion board I'll get out, but perhaps you can help me. I'm a Mexican girl who came to the US to find a passion for art, I'm currently studing graphic design and just love to learn and let my creativity fly. As I study my background I realize that I always had the talent, but was never thought to look for it because art was never introduced to me at school. Where am I gong with this? I'm working on a webpage that will open the eyes (hopefully) and provide information to the school system in Mexico. I'm a dreamer, but don't want to start changing the world YET, just a small town. I BELIEVE IN CREATING FORMULAS, NOT SOLUTIONS for a country with so much crime (most of it done by teens and young adults) I love reading about the impact of arts in the education and future of the kids, but in orther to link people to information like that I would have to translate it, and don't know if I'm allowed to do that (there is no information in spanish). I have contacted the president of the town I want to work on (my hometown) and he showed interest on the project. I want to try, I want to give the kids/teens a new window onto the world and keep them busy as they seach for their own talents.
Is this even right to do? I know this info is not going to benefit your country yet, but it might do it in the future.
Thank you so much for your time :)

Carol Parker's picture
Carol Parker
7/8 Drama, Film, Honors & Regular Language Arts

Lovely Dulce! Welcome and how fabulous that you are doing so much for your community. Do not give up on your dreams and remember that you are touching lives FOREVER AND EVER!! The arts will and have changed the world and you are automatically part of that change because you want it and have made it a part of your life. You have already begun that turning back.

I teach Arts Appreciation in Southern California. The struggle is the system and adults who have never known the joy of the arts so do not understand the value of arts education. But every child loves loves loves the arts, no matter what you teach, you will forever be rewarded.

My suggestion is to go on the internet and find pictures of the MASTERS who you know and print them. I would begin with DaVinci and Michelangelo. They had fabulous lives, they lived in Italy, they influenced the world and their art is universal. I love introducing both men's lives and art and my students curiosity and thrill of colored pencil drawing is totally amazing, AMAZING!! You are not teaching technique, you are simply saying "would you like to try and copy their art?" They are thrilled to have the chance to KNOW and LEARN! The arts are empowering.

My students have "drawn" Monet, Renoir,while learning the story behind the artists....just to name a very few.

And, I teach the History of film. Charlie Chaplin's THE KID will capture their hearts.....and yours. Your Mexican films are still my favorite "foreign" films! Show them "I AM SAM" and "FINDING NEVERLAND" and 'KUROSAWA'S DREAM." All of these DVD's can be found with spanish sub-titles. So many films draw in people and help them "read" and connect to literature, social studies, history, self-esteem and building character.

Is their a Community Center where all this can take place? I am not sure of if you are going to be in charge or who is going to implement this. Is their a Library?

Keep in touch. We have crime in our schools/towns, art is a great window, it is not a guarantee but a global connection. I have so much more to share. Let me know if this helps.....happy to continue our conversation.

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