How can students use the arts as part of their lives to demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of global issues that effect their world?
Project or Program Summary
Please provide a summary of the project/program as demonstrated in the case study:
Arts For Learning CT, the CT YA affiliate, developed the Arts Lab residency program at Highville Charter School, Hamden CT and Carrigan Intermediate School, West Haven CT. giving students the opportunity to investigate global issues in their curriculum with teaching artists Adam Battelstein, Craig Norton, Richard Hill, and Khaiim Kelly. In the Arts Lab residency, the artists and classroom teachers worked together to integrate arts (dance, digital photography, radio production, and rap poetry) into the core curriculum strands and to develop curriculum units with continued arts experiences. Artists also provided teacher professional development in arts integration.
Portfolio Purpose and Rational
Portfolio Purpose and Rationale: Why has this case study been submitted?:
The work in this study provides a basis for developing true arts integration in a curriculum for middle school students. Both schools expressed an interest in motivating students to learn in ways that reflect 21st Century Learning Skills. Specifically, both schools were interested in students understanding and connecting to global issues that have bearing on their lives. The arts are a perfect vehicle for student engagement and for reaching all learning styles.
What are your overall conclusions regarding the documentation gathered for this case study?:
From the documentation and formative assessment work done during this study, it was apparent that teachers and artists worked beautifully in tandem to understand the problems each have in presenting information to urban middle school populations, and how to work as a team to overcome those problems. This partnership allowed for the process of arts integration to move forward fluidly so that the inquiry question could be addressed. Thus, students were engaged, learned more about the arts, and connected their new-found skills to express coherently what they had learned about global topics such as hunger, respect, civil rights, and the environment.
What conclusions have you drawn from the responses to the assessment tools you have developed?:
For this specific project written assessments by the students were used by the artists, teachers, and the project manager. The artists were interested in finding out about the students' confidence in arts skill building. The teachers and project manager were interested in overall reactions to the learning taking place and the use of the arts as an effective method for teaching and learning. While the questions were very simple, the range of competency in answering in the written form was wide. However, assessment through photographs, video, and audio recording, as well as written assessments from the teachers and artists would indicate that this was a very successful project.
Answering the Inquiry Question
Back to the initial inquiry question, can it be answered?:
Clearly the inquiry question could be answered. The arts, especially those genres selected for this project, are an effective method for students to demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of global issues effecting their world.
Conclusions: What Was Learned
What was learned?:
Through this project an effective method for arts integration was learned. The method involved artist and teacher working as a team to understand their goals and objectives; an administration that sought the aid of Arts For Learning CT to provide arts integration (i.e. buy in from the top level); and that constant communication and reflection among the teachers, artists, project manager; and administration is essential for success. When these elements are met, students are given an effective method for learning that reflects the 21st Century Learning Skills.
Conclusions: What Can Be Done Differently In The Future
What can be done differently in the future?:
It became obvious during this project that many students wanted more time to engage in the art making process within the genre they were working. This was especially true with those students engaged in digital photography. The Highville Charter principle especially would like to develop an entire day in the school week to allow the students this opportunity to gain further expertise in the arts and to give the students a chance to inform the community of their work and learning.
Conclusions: How Will This Inform The Work Moving Forward
How will this inform the work moving forward?:
In the future, we may structure the Arts Lab time differently giving the students that extra time to develop further their skills in the art form. Additionally, student involvement in planning this time, and as part of a teacher/artist/student reflection group would be interesting.
Core Content Standards
Key Ideas and Details
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity
Text Types and Purposes
Production and Distribution of Writing
Research to Build and Present Knowledge
Range of Writing
Speaking and Listening:
Comprehension and Collaboration
Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas
Conventions of Standard English
Knowledge of Language
Vocabulary Acquisition and Use
21st Century Learning Skills
Learning and Innovation / Creativity and Innovation:
Work Creatively with Others
Learning and Innovation / Critical Thinking and Problem Solving:
Use Systems Thinking
Make Judgments and Decisions
Information, Media and Technology / Information Literacy:
Access and Evaluate Information
Use and Manage Information
Information, Media and Technology / Media Literacy:
Create Media Products
Information, Media and Technology / ICT (Information, Communications and Technology) Literacy:
Apply Technology Effectively
Life and Career / Flexibility and Adaptability:
Adapt to Change
Life and Career / Initiative and Self-Direction:
Manage Goals and Time
Be Self-directed Learners
Life and Career / Leadership and Responsiblity:
Guide and Lead Others
National Core Arts Standards