What is Integrate Fine Arts?
The Integrated Fine Arts Program is predicated on the belief that children do not all learn in the same way. Through the arts the students can be engaged in the curriculum and encouraged to learn. By infusing some form of art, such as theater, music, dance, drawing, or other expression of creativity, into the core curriculum, the Integrated Fine Arts program incorporates the arts throughout the learning process. It encourages the student to “experience” learning by “doing.” Using arts and cultural resources to expand the ways teachers teach and students learn has been proved to achieve measurable results. The Integrated Fine Arts helps develop the whole child, ensuring a well-rounded education.
It is important to note that Integrating arts and cultural programs throughout the learning process is an addition to — not a substitution for — fine arts instruction. The Integrated Fine Arts Program strongly supports classes devoted exclusively to instruction in art, drama, dance and music. This is integral to providing the students with a solid base upon which to build their learning experiences.
How does the Integrated Fine Arts Program work?
The Integrated Fine Arts Program engages students in learning and ensures that all students grasp key concepts by reaching beyond textbooks and lectures. The Arts teachers are also the Core teachers and through regular collaboration, teachers discover what each other is teaching and then plan arts lessons that reinforce the learning of those key concepts. Arts integration as a model has been working to improve student outcomes in urban public schools across the continent. Studies of middle and high school students have shown that those who participated in arts learning performed significantly better than their counterparts on standardized tests, across all socio-economic backgrounds. Integrated Fine Arts students demonstrated improved performance on literacy measures of vocabulary, organization, personal voice and overall writing compared to their peers. Students with three to six semesters of arts-integrated curriculum performed significantly higher on Proficiency Tests in reading, writing, math, science and citizenship when compared to students with only one or two semesters of arts-integrated learning.
Improved critical thinking skills.
To achieve success in today’s world requires imagination and creative problem solving skills beyond the “basics” of reading and math. Arts integration enables students to comprehend the basics while building their capacity for creativity and innovation. Most people agree that imagination is important to innovation and student success, and that building capacities of the imagination are just as important as “the basics” for students in public education.
Expanded teaching skills that engage the whole child.
Weaving the arts with the standard subjects is important because not all children learn in the same way. Using the arts to bring the curriculum to life encourages active learning and embraces the learning styles, abilities and needs of all students. Students excited about learning are excited about coming to school.