Arts Integration VS Arts Education?  Is this a battle?  I don’t think so!

Many arts educators are concerned that if their school or district starts to implement arts integration, arts education is going to disappear.  Now way!  Not gonna happen. Let me tell you why.

This is a very valid concern and many people tend to think there is a choice: arts education vs arts integration.  Ok… understandable.  However, this should NOT happen.  In fact, it goes against what arts integration truly is:

Arts Integration  – the integration of 2 subjects where you are learning objectives in both subjects and deepening your learning in both.

In this video, I’m going to go over some ways you can advocate for both, because, well, we NEED both in our schools.

As a classroom teacher and arts integration specialist, I have worked with many arts teachers and helped them to advocate for the work they do.  Hopefully, this video will help you to do the same!

Let’s get advocating,

Read the Transcription

Are you concerned that if you start to implement arts integration, arts education is going to disappear?  Uh, uh, not gonna happen. Let me tell you why.

I’m asked this question a lot: If we implement arts integration, will the arts classes disappear?  Your not alone, but listen to me when I tell you this is NOT the case. In this video, I’m going to tell you how you can advocate for both, because, well, we NEED both in our schools.

As a classroom teacher and arts integration specialist, I have worked with many arts teachers and helped them to advocate for the work they do.

So what’s the verdict?  We need both! We need both arts education AND arts integration for a fulfilling, whole child education.  The two work together, not against each other.

Let’s get into the nitty gritty…

First – Arts Integration

Arts education is where students learn the skills and practices of artists and musicians.  They learn how to play an instrument, techniques for painting, vocabulary that defines their movement or strategies to take a photo.

Students knowledge base in an artform as well as the historical aspect and appreciation of the arts is what is taught here.

Students are then given opportunities to explore, refine and use these skills in various art projects as they move through the artistic process.

When we have an education in the arts we are also learning skills beyond the ones that can be readily assessed.

Students learn collaboration and independence, work ethic and perseverance, communication and self-reflection.

A quality education in the arts helps us to define ourselves and understand our culture.  It is an essential piece to the whole picture of becoming a lifelong learner.

Go ahead and comment below and let me know if YOUR school has arts education as part of their programming.  I’m always interested in learning about what types of arts ed classes are available to students across the country and around the world.

Now let’s take a look at arts integration

Arts Integration is an approach to teaching where students are able to work with an artform while also working with other content.

Students learn about the art and the content simultaneously

And their learning is so much deeper!

For example, my students have gained quite a repertoire of math dances that have helped them to understand and remember math concepts such as area and perimeter, parallel and perpendicular lines and how to move on a coordinate grid.  All while developing a BEST dance vocabulary including body, energy, space and time.

My students have also actively listened to music and discussed related reading strategies such as visualization and the concept of beginning, middle and end.

When arts integration strategies are used, students’ learning is so much more meaningful and that’s how their learning is going to stick.

You know what I mean.  Students remember the hands-on, arts-integrated projects they complete because those types of projects and lesson engage the mind and the brain in many ways all at once.

If you’re interested in learning more about how you can easily bring in arts integrated strategies into your classroom, check out THIS video and be sure to download my resource, Arts Integration in Your Back Pocket.

OK… NOW here’s the important part:

It’s not Arts Education VS Arts Integration

No way!  It’s not a competition.

It’s about having these two concepts work together!

Sure, I guess they could be taught independently of each other, but that would take away from the amazing potential of a well-rounded education.

You see, with arts education, students are able to develop their art and explore more deeply the techniques and skills of a particular art form.

And when they are asked to integrate that art into other content area, their experience is enriched as they layer their knowledge of the art form WITH the knowledge of another content area.

Here’s the fear: that if schools start using arts integration, arts education, meaning arts classes, will get cut.

It is important to understand that arts integration SHOULD NOT and CANNOT replace arts education.  The only true formula is to have the arts taught for the sake of the art AND to integrate it into other content areas so that students can deepen their knowledge, appreciation and understanding of both the art form and the other content that is taught.

Let’s be proponents of the ideal where both artsed and artsint are taught simultaneously.  The two need to be taught and should be taught together. They naturally compliment each other and provide for the  most effective and long standing education we can give our students!

So, what are YOUR thoughts?

I’d love to continue this important conversation in the comments.  So, go ahead and type arts ed, arts int or BOTH to let me know where you stand.

And, if you want to join a community of teachers JUST LIKE YOU, who believe in arts in learning,  I have a group of other Inspiring Teachers who love to share and chat about teaching and learning in a way that truly inspires their students.

If you like this video, please let me know by liking it below, subscribe on YouTube and share it with your fellow teachers.  And make sure to comment below.  I look forward to seeing your responses and engaging with you in the comments.

I’m Elizabeth Peterson from The Inspired Classroom.  Thank you so much for watching.

And remember to keep inspiring yourself so that you can be inspiring to your students.


Download this free resource: Arts Integration in Your Back Pocket – 4 Tried and True Arts Integration Strategies

I have relied on these 4 strategies time and again for a variety of subjects.

Each is complete with ideas for Math, SS, Science, ELA and SEAL and includes objectives, assessments and rubrics at your fingertips!

Join our amazing FB community: Inspiring Teachers!  Share ideas, ask questions and get support from colleagues around the globe who believe in the power of arts in education! 

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Arts Integration in Your Back Pocket

Learn 4 Tried and True Arts Integration Strategies you can use Tomorrow! Includes: ideas in music, visual art, dance and drama ideas for science, social studies, ELA, math and SEAL; objectives and assessments for the art and content area; a rubric to use for each strategies

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