Arts Based Learning

Facebook Twitter YouTube Print
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:
  • 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.
  • 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.  
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.