Renaissance in the Classroom: Arts Integration and Meaningful Learning

Renaissance in the Classroom: Arts Integration and Meaningful Learning

Renaissance in the Classroom: Arts Integration and Meaningful Learning

Renaissance in the Classroom: Arts Integration and Meaningful Learning

Synopsis

This book invites readers to consider the possibilities for learning and growth when artists and arts educators come into a classroom and work with teachers to engage students in drama, dance, visual art, music, and media arts. It is a nuts-and-bolts guide to arts integration, across the curriculum in grades K-12, describing how students, teachers, and artists get started with arts integration, work through classroom curriculum involving the arts, and go beyond the typical "unit" to engage in the arts throughout the school year. The framework is based on six years of arts integration in the Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education (CAPE). Renaissance in the Classroom: *fully explains the planning, implementation, and assessment processes in arts integration; *frames arts integration in the larger context of curriculum integration, problem-based learning, and the multiple intelligences; *provides the theoretical frameworks that connect standards-based instruction to innovative teaching and learning, and embeds arts education in the larger issue of whole school improvement; *blends a description of the arts integration process with personal stories, anecdotes, and impressions of those involved, with a wealth of examples from diverse cultural backgrounds; *tells the stories of arts integration from the classroom to the school level and introduces the dynamics of arts partnerships in communities that connect arts organizations, schools, and neighborhoods; *offers a variety of resources for engaging the arts--either as an individual teacher or within a partnership; and *includes a color insert that illustrates the work teachers, students, and artists have done in arts integration schools and an extensive appendix of tools, instruments, Web site, contacts, and curriculum ideas for immediate use. Of primary interest to K-12 classroom teachers, arts specialists, and visiting artists who work with young people in schools or community arts organizations, this book is also highly relevant and useful for policymakers, arts partnerships, administrators, and parents.

Excerpt

In most developed countries, the arts are at the margins of formal education. There are three reasons: They are seen as leisure activities, nonacademic, and irrelevant to employment or the economy. They are seen as separate from the main concerns of formal schooling, where the emphasis is on academic ability and especially literacy and numeracy. cape offers a powerful alternative vision of the arts and of education. This book says what this vision is and how it can be put into practice.

Education should be a social process. It must help young people engage with the cultural universes where they live and must make their way. It is through the arts that cultural values are most vividly expressed. Conventional academic education develops certain sorts of intellectual ability, especially verbal and mathematical reasoning and particular forms of critical thinking. These are very important, but they are not the whole of human intelligence. If they were, most of human culture would not have happened. There would be no music, no design, no feelings, dance, poetry, architecture, no love, relationships, or innovation. We often do need to think logically, but our deepest thoughts and judgments are also touched by values and feelings, by intuition and rapport, and by the very sensuousness of living. These are what the arts are about.

Education must enable young people to engage with themselves. It should help them recognize and develop their own unique capabilities. Human culture is so rich and diverse because human intelligence is so complex and dynamic. We can think about our experiences in all the ways we have them—visually, in sound, in movement, and in touch, as well as through words and numbers. All young people have academic abilities; for some, this is their real strength. But they also have other abilities, which may be expressed through music, art, sport, design, dance, and other ways. the arts offer many different ways to think and communicate—ways that have been the drivers of human culture and creativity down the ages. Too many young people never discover these abilities because education does not value or look hard enough for them. As a result, they often turn away from or against education altogether. cape has an impressive record of reengaging young people in education by rekindling their confidence in themselves and their real abilities.

The arts are important in themselves; they are also essential elements of a broad and dynamic curriculum. Motivation is born out of success. When young people find what they are good at in education, they tend to improve overall. Schools everywhere are under pressure to raise academic standards. Too often they think this means working within tightly defined subject boundaries, dropping the arts and . . .

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