Arts education. New buzz word or New approach? By: Tiffany Festa-Sneddon

Sixty percent of students reported being bored and disconnected in school. Why? How can we find better and creative ways to reach all learners? Arts education and arts integration help lead the path to reach all learners. Arts Ed touches that child who may be struggling academically, although, may be able to play an instrument or sing like a pro. The positive reinforcement used in that class may help that struggling student find success in school and beyond. Reaching students beyond the core classes engages all learners on various planes and intelligences. The arts are the missing link in education. The link that helps students make connections in different ways, using various parts of their brain. If that teacher knows the student enjoys a specific art form, the teacher can use that to differentiate a lesson for that student. For example, having the output or final assessment for that lesson be something other than a test. Something that showcases the skills of that learner while still addressing educational standards
What even defines “core classes”? Math, Language Arts and Science? As these classes are necessary and important, why does it trump all other learning? Educating the whole child must be taken into consideration or else what kind of people are we sending out into the world? Visual and performing arts must have a seat at the education table. Arts classes should be part of the weekly breadth of classes. Why? Hard, scientific evidence proves the arts tap into parts of the brain untouched by customary rote work.
Learning does not happen in only one classroom, with one teacher in one academic setting. Learning happens everywhere all the time
Without Arts Ed, I would have been lost. I would not have taken the career path that I did. Arts Ed and the wonderful educator who recognized that, helped propel me to lengths I thought I would never be able to reach based on a standardized test score. I personally have seen the arts take my own students onto amazing paths of their own.
This is arts education. The power is real and the time is now.

Second Grade students working with partners to create numbers and letters.

Grade 4 students wrote their own play, created props and rehearsing for their upcoming adaptation of How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

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