Students who learn cross-disciplinary content that integrates the arts into instructional activities develop a deeper understanding of content and create a long-lasting learning experience. I have had a first-hand experience while watching two teaching video programs. Despite the program being an enjoyable experience, I made several revelations: students who use arts integration accept more instruction because they use their experiences and interpretations, making learning more exciting and personal.
In the two teaching programs, the students responded positively to the integration of creative arts, demonstrating an in-depth understanding of the concept. For example, in the video by Edutopia (2016), through using paint pouring, students related the four physical forces that aid the areophane to fly: lift, gravity, thrust, and drag. By pouring a large drop of paint, one student realized that the force of gravity facilitated the process. Still, in the same video, students dramatized deforestation, polluted river, and the community’s effort to clean it through body movements, gestures, and dances. Similarly, in the video by Edutopia (2016), students conceptualized mood using different colors. One student, for instance, was able to link a happy mood with a picture of light-toned colored home.
Students found teaching experience interactive and full of fun, although some found it intimidating, but through art integration, their needs were met. Through art integration, students deepened their understanding of the content, remembered content for longer, and used their voices and body to demonstrate knowledge in a fun way. This is because arts are intrinsically beautiful and create a long-lasting impression in student’s minds by making abstract concepts concrete. As a result, students were collaborative and made outstanding contributions – they pointed and held the learning experience and were ready to demonstrate them to others. However, at first, some students found it intimidating to read the text, but later learning made much sense to them with pictural artwork.
The information gained from the assessment about the learners was substantial. Besides retention and engagement, students cited several other benefits of arts integration. It only helped students recognize new skills in themselves and others, but also provided a way to build collaboration between teachers and students. In the future lesson, the candidates will integrate literacy with creative arts through signwriting and murals – creating large-scale text and typography to communicate important messages around a chosen theme. They will use a playground mural that describes positive attitudes towards learning, hence improving their learning experience.
Edutopia. (2016). Arts integration: Deepening understanding of core content. YouTube. Web.
Edutopia. (2019). Art as text: Bridging literacy and the arts. YouTube. Web.