Todays classroom is extremely diverse and the boundaries to which we teach are consistently changing and widening. As life goes on, more opportunities continue to present themselves. These ideas and experiences are passed on through us, the teacher, to the children, our students. With the continued inclusion of all students in the classroom, we are more apt to experience different learning levels and abilities among a group of children the same age. Cultural, developmental, behavioral and psychological differences present themselves constantly and yet each student has an equal right to equity at school.
Art integration helps aide in this challenge through its endless possibilities for differentiated instruction. In an art based curriculum, students are given options to express themselves more freely and in my opinion, taught how to better think for them selves. I can see a close tie between the arts and communication. And because communication plays such a large role in learning, so should the arts. (Drama, painting, singing, drawing, reading, dancing, etc! ) When teaching art in the classroom, it is important to have a fair grading rubric and effective teaching technique.Order now
It can appear to many people, not just students, that since art itself is so subjective, it is hard to make an objective, graded school subject out of it. While the aspect of grading is important, it is also equally significant to develop teaching techniques that will engage students beyond just wanting to draw a pretty picture. It is a teachers job to guide the students in learning about artistic theory, techniques, and genres. Effective art classes employ both fair grading rubrics and innovative lesson plans. This approach allows for students with little artistic talent to receive good grades.
As long as the student is showing effort and improvement, the grades should reflect the student in a good light. In art it is important to encourage creativity, not a style that will get you a good grade. Art is about expressing oneself and the lesson should reflect this. It is important for teachers to develop an effective style in order for children to be able to master the principles needed to create well designed works of art. Children need to be guided throughout the development of their works during the beginning stages of art education.
Slowly the students learn to be more self-regulated and rely on peer critiques to guide them. Art projects give freedom and creativity because students can express themselves even at a young age. Art as a school subject is sometimes difficult to define, but developing a grading rubric that measures improvement and not just skill is important to motivate students with little artistic talent. For those with great artistic talent, the rubric can reflect a more theory based system. Also since art projects are not the only type of assessment used in art class, essays on art history and specific styles can also be used.
Effective teaching methods are also important in the art classroom. Immediate feedback, whether from a teacher or peer, is important to giving students ways to improve their artistic skills. With the proper balance of freedom and structure from the teacher, children can evolve into creative, intellectual artists. I can recall a specific time when I chose to integrate art into math because math can be a rather dry, concrete subject. It is my strong belief that art is a subject of expression and often brings emotion out in students.
By working with art and math together, it is my hope that students will associate their positive feelings with learning, not necessarily the subject matter. Picasso gives us an excellent path with cubism to look at geometric shapes and also the grid system. Over and over again I see math in art and the opportunity for challenging my students with higher order thinking skills. Who, what and why are all suddenly coming out of a math lesson. As budgets continue to be cut, art will have to work its way into other content areas more and more often. This is just the beginning.
As if my own personal recollections are not enough evidence, the National Endowment for the Arts Association reports that (2001) Young people who participate in the arts for at least three hours on three days each week through at least one full year are: 4 times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement, 3 times more likely to be elected to class office within their schools, 4 times more likely to participate in a math and science fair , 3 times more likely to win an award for school attendance, 4 times more likely to win an award for writing an essay or poem.
Young artists, as compared with their peers, are likely to: Attend music, art, and dance classes nearly three times as frequently, participate in youth groups nearly four times as frequently, read for pleasure nearly twice as often, perform community service more than four times as often. The facts are that arts education makes a tremendous impact on the developmental growth of every child and has proven to help level the “learning field” across socio-economic boundaries.
Involvement in the Arts and Success in Secondary School, James S. Catterall, Americans for the Arts Monograph, January 1998) And has a measurable impact on youth at risk in deterring delinquent behavior and truancy problems while also increasing overall academic performance among those youth engaged in after school and summer arts programs targeted toward delinquency prevention.