The ancient Greeks—who knew a thing or two about learning—practiced the arts in school. Aristotle is said to have believed that artistic expression played a big part in cognitive development.
But, somewhere along the way, the arts got a bum rap in schools. It became a “bonus” class—something to be appreciated and enjoyed.
However, it is not taken seriously and pushed out of the classroom when budget cuts demand it and out of some schools altogether.
If ancient history doesn’t convince people that the arts deserve a place in our curriculums, perhaps modern research should. Experts contend, for example, that making art is good for your mind and body: It lowers stress levels and anxiety, helps with problem-solving, and just plain feels good by stimulating pleasure sensors in the brain. In fact, for all its health benefits, art is as important as exercising and eating right.
These advantages are seen in school when art is a part of instruction.
In addition, it can also encourage joyful, active learning, help students express abstract concepts, stimulate higher-level thinking, and build community and collaborative work skills.
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So why, then, aren’t we making art a top priority in schools?
Despite all the evidence to the contrary, you have probably heard, or maybe even used, any number of reasons for keeping art out of your instruction.
- Our school doesn’t have the budget for it.
- I didn’t go to art school —I don’t know anything about it or how to be creative.
- My principal won’t support it.
- We don’t have fancy art supplies.
Yet, we all know that art can be made with the cheapest materials or even free items.
And, while you may not be an expert, creative type, or even an art fan, the truth is, you don’t have to be.
Your students are!
Most children welcome the chance to mess around with materials; it’s a rare opportunity to get their hands dirty, so to speak, and to be free from rules around what they make.
As for principal “pushback,” think about what assumptions they may be making about the arts and fight fire with facts.
For visual learners, drawing can be a doorway to writing or a way to make sense of a story problem in math. Students don’t want to learn what’s not interesting to them. Art can provide a pathway to reach your students.
So remember, learning hasn’t stopped just because we’re doing art.
It’s just gathering steam.
Speaking of steam...
As you probably know, STEAM is the popular acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math. The Rhode Island School of Design pushed to get the “A” in STEM. As quoted from their webpage:
Art integration is the answer to keeping our students making art and preparing them to be 21st Century thinkers.
If you are reading this post, you already believe in the importance of the arts in your classroom. Most likely, you are looking for ways to apply art integration to your own lessons. Now you need the tools.
…and that is where I, Jenny K, come in.
I have dedicated my professional life to helping teachers infuse art into their classrooms. I support classroom teachers, art teachers, and homeschool families.
In other words, I always have two things in mind when sharing my ideas with educators—to make art easy for teachersand fun for kids!
Everything I do is geared to help you and your students and to make art integration a breeze!
Teachers have come to rely on me to help them with their art integration needs. I take this role very seriously and strive to give teachers more than they expect from me.
I know you are busy, and I know all the obstacles that you face as an educator.
Let me help!
Let’s do this together 🙂
You don’t have to be an art teacher to infuse art into your classroom.
You just need to know one—and now you do—me!
Don’t take my word for it. Take theirs…
Years ago, a teacher “revealed” one of my collaboration posters to her group of students that had worked together on the project. She caught their reaction on video and sent it to me. I loved it so much that I got permission from every student’s family to share this video with teachers like you.
If you don’t believe me, I know you’ll believe the kids. You’ll see their reaction at the beginning of this video, and if you keep watching, you’ll get an idea of more of the ways I can help you infuse art into YOUR school.
Over the years, I have listened to teachers and responded to their requests. I have answered their questions, given advice, and even made some custom resources.
I add teaching videos to my art integration resources any time that I can. This extra step is part of my dedication to helping you.
I like to imagine that you hit “play,” and I take it from there. Of course, you do all the heavy lifting (I know this), but I love to think that I can help—in just a small way.
Thanks for reading!