Why Integrating Art into Your Curriculum is Beneficial for Both You & Your Students
If you are in the education game, you have probably been informed, through a PD session or an email chain or that grad school class, about the push for art integration in the general education classroom. Generally speaking, because art, including music and theater, is considered a “special” subject, it is frequently devalued more than it should and forgotten about in many schools across the country. Fortunately, this push for art integration seems to show some hope for art in schools by placing it at the forefront in lessons throughout primary subjects’ curricula.
As a leader in online professional development for teachers in Montgomery County, PA, we at The Teacher’s Academy understand that it can be challenging for many teachers to use art as a teaching tool out of the gate, but we can help ease the transition with a few pieces of advice.
Get Excited About Something New!
For many educators, the dream is to be established in a school and be comfortable enough with their curricula not to have to plan out and write up lesson plans each day. Yet, once they get to this level, complacency gets stale pretty quickly. By integrating art into your subject, you can add some spice to your lessons, challenge yourself to think creatively, and find better ways to engage your students.
Think About the Benefits for Your Students
Art is a fantastic way to bring your students together, increase their interest in the subject matter, and challenge them to engage in new ways of thinking. Here is a breakdown of a few benefits:
- Increased Critical Thinking
Visual arts, musical arts, and dramatic arts all require skills like observation, reflection, exploration, engagement, and expression. These requisite habits assist students in developing critical thinking across subject matters and articulating their learning in more advanced ways.
- Better Collaboration & Communication
When integrating art into your curriculum, it is critical to have your students interact with each other. Contemporary art is all about collaboration and the fruits that come from putting minds together. Additionally, when your students are collaborating, they are also communicating to get the job done. Your students will begin to unlock empathy towards others, explain themselves through words and visual media, and address new values and knowledge effectively.
- Higher Levels of Creativity
It may not surprise you, but when you bring art into the classroom, you are challenging yourself and your students to become more creative. It can also drive creative inquiry, which does not necessarily aim to find answers, but looks into the process of learning and knowing. The questions of creative inquiry are the ones that matter to us as individual people and human beings.
You Have the Resources at Your Fingertips — So Use Them!
So, you may be thinking: this is all well and good, but how can I actually use art in my classroom?
Well, we at The Teacher’s Academy have a few suggestions for every primary subject (Mathematics, Language Arts, Science, & History). Read below to learn more:
As you can see, bringing in art, whether it is visual art, music, drama, or any other art form, can be simple and effective when you open yourself and your students up to new experiences and perspectives!
Of course, art integration in the general education classroom begins with the teacher. So, if you want to learn how to welcome art into your teaching, we recommend our 18 hr professional development course, Integrating the Arts in the Classroom. It takes on a broad overview of art integration to help you organize your thoughts and feelings towards art to explore your inner artist. Call us today for more information on how you can earn valuable Act 48 hours online near Philadelphia on your own time!