Innovative Learning, as we move forward in the 21st Century, will play an intricate role in education. The ability for students to build skills that are useful in a world, where jobs are information and knowledge-based is paramount. Students need to become self-directed learners with the ability to adapt.
There are several guiding principles to innovative learning:
As with any new initiative, there are a number of factors that must be in place for it to succeed. With arts integration, high-quality professional development is essential. Teachers don't need to be "artistic" to be able to use arts integration; they just need to learn some of the fundamentals so they will be better able to think of ways to merge art concepts with other content.
- Students should be at the center of what happens in the classroom, recognizing learning is a social practice and can't happen alone.
- The Arts are a logical avenue for actively engaging students in the construction of their own knowledge within a student-centered environment
- The Arts are inclusive and accessible to all students
- The Arts by their nature offer students opportunities for interacting and collaborating with others within their environment
- The Arts are a natural platform for exploring cultural diversity and expression
- Emotions are a necessary part of learning in the classroom and help determine a student's level of motivation to learn.
- Students need to be challenged, but knowing just how much to challenge each student is a necessity, realizing all learners are different.
- Assessment should be used for learning to help gauge how to effectively structure a lesson.
- Ongoing formative assessment is key to Arts learning.
- Formative assessment is an ongoing process that mirrors integral aspects of the artistic process itself.
- Assessment in the arts allows for student involvement which fosters creativity and deeper learning
- Formative assessment in the arts includes clear criteria, feedback and revision
- Learning needs to be connected across disciplines. Students need to know the connection between subjects and ideas in order to transfer skills and adapt to solving problems.
- Arts integration as a philosophy, pedagogy, and methodology for teaching and learning in, through, and about the arts to achieve greater understanding across disciplines.
- Arts integration increases knowledge and skills in multiple content areas elevating learning by linking disciplines while developing related skills and deeper understanding of the arts.
- Arts integration creates a level of personal connection and insight through a creative, inquiry-based process that would not be obtained using a single-discipline approach.
- Arts integration goes beyond including art projects in class; it is a teaching strategy that seamlessly merges arts standards with core curricula to build connections and provide engaging context.
- Arts integration uses teaching practices that have been shown in brain-based research to improve comprehension and long-term retention.
- Arts integration encourages healthy risk taking, helps kids recognize new skills in themselves and others, provides a way to differentiate instruction, builds collaboration among both students and teachers, bridges differences, and draws in parents and the community.
- Failure, and learning from it, should be an idea that is embraced and explored.
- Through repeated practice and revision in the Arts, students discover that creativity and new skills can be learned.
- Artistic training is fundamentally based on a growth mindset, which can be applied to all learning.
- Through the Arts, students learn to take and value critique from peers and teachers and gradually learn how to evaluate their own work.