I am a teaching artist, predominately an arts integrated teacher. I use the arts to enhance education, and reach students in a way other, more traditional teaching methods may not. I teach creative, out of the box thinking skills and student expression through art.
Arts Integration is in part a product of the school of Progressive Education, which at its core, has an emphasis on learning by doing, problem solving and critical thinking. It usually involves group work through collaborative projects which develops better social skills and emphasizes life long learning as opposed to memorization of text book material.
For students to be able to take a typical lesson and recreate it or enhance it through art requires them to understand and analyze the information in a new way, and use their creativity to find an interesting way to create art from basic information. For example analyzing a Shakespearean play by acting it out as opposed to just reading it, or creating a video animation to show how photosynthesis works.
Using Bloom’s Taxonomy to analyze Arts Integration shows it challenges students to create in the highest levels of comprehension, well beyond simple knowledge and comprehension of the material. They are required to analyze and summarize the information, prepare/compose/construct/produce a project. They have to prioritize not only information but also time, as they work together in groups and critique their peers thoughtfully and constructively. Arts Integration requires the use of all of these skills and more to be successful which require critical and creative thinking.
In most of my classes, I rely heavily on technology, so I am always looking for, experimenting and utilizing new cutting edge technologies to enhance my lessons and spark interest with students. Through technology integration projects, students will acquire and fine tune analysis and problem solving skills, access and process information, and addresses such ISTE standards as creativity and innovation, communication and collaboration, research and information fluency, critical thinking, problem solving, decision making, digital citizenship skills in addition to the basic technology operations and concepts.
I believe that utilizing technology in the classroom makes lessons more dynamic, interactive and engaging, and allows me to teach information in a new more interesting way, reaching students who otherwise might get left behind in a traditional classroom setting.
All of the skills practiced in both Arts and Technology Integrated learning improve and/or practice higher-order thinking skills and challenges students intellectually requiring them to think creatively and giving them a better more complete educational experience.