As the span of two months comes to a close, I am amazed at the great insights I have seen from the guest bloggers and readers during this series on Arts Integration.  I started the series with The Garden Philosophy, my philosophy of education written as a young ed student awaiting the opportunity to touch children’s lives.  Today, I want to share with you a précis piece I wrote only a few months back as an assignment where I expressed my philosophy of education and the role the arts played within it.   Your comments on it are always welcomed!

In an age of information, high stakes testing, standards based learning and meeting AYP, we risk forgetting to teach the whole child.  The arts are the first to get cut when a budget needs trimming and yet are most essential to our rearing of whole children.  They teach our students invaluable lessons in determination, team work and communication.  They allow us to think critically about the world around us, pose difficult questions, and find our own place in the world.

Assessment of the arts is difficult and the outcome of their teaching is not immediate, but that is the point.  Education in the arts stays with you, it is long term, it buries itself into the guts of who you are as an individual striving to succeed in an ever changing society.

Teachers need to find the times and places in their classrooms to make the arts a vital part of their day.  This type of education, where arts are taught both for their own value as well as integrated into other disciplines, brings out the innovation, creativity, thoughtfulness and depth of learning that no other can.

Our systems need to stop isolating and discriminating and start seeing the value and  integrative possibilities that will lead to meaningful experiences to share and build on, teaching students that memorizing facts and figures isn’t everything.  The world needs our children to be alive and to be excited about learning.  Students need to have their curiosity stimulated so that they are willing to always contribute their very best.

The arts are an integral part of this educational journey.  When that happens, the whole child can be taught and the whole child can learn.

What are your thoughts?  Please comment here!

~EMP

The Elevator Speech
Highlights from the Arts Integration Series

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