Interchange: Engaging Students Through the Arts in St. Louis
What is Arts Integration?
Arts integration incorporates the arts throughout the learning process by infusing some form of art, such as theater, music, dance, drawing, poetry, or other expression of creativity, into the core curriculum. It is experiential in nature and encourages learning by "doing." Using arts and cultural resources to expand the ways teachers teach and students learn has been proved to achieve measurable results. Arts integration also helps develop the whole child, ensuring a well-rounded education.
Integrating arts and cultural programs throughout the learning process is an addition to — not a substitution for — fine arts classes. Interchange strongly supports classes devoted exclusively to instruction in art and music, in addition to having a full range of the arts as part of the learning experience in all subject areas.
Click here to read about some examples of arts integration at work in the St. Louis Public Schools in the 2007-2008 school year.
How does arts integration work?
The arts engage students in learning and ensure that all students grasp key concepts by reaching beyond textbooks and lectures.
What can we expect from Interchange's partnership with the St. Louis Public Schools?
Arts integration is a model that is working to improve student outcomes in urban public schools across the country.
In St. Louis, we can expect:
Improved student performance. read more
In a national study of 25,000 middle and high school students, those who participated in arts learning performed significantly better than their counterparts on standardized tests, across all socio-economic backgrounds.
In Dallas, fourth grade students benefiting from a curriculum involving programming with area arts and cultural partners demonstrated improved performance on literacy measures of vocabulary, organization, personal voice and overall writing compared to their peers.
Fourth graders in Cleveland with three to six semesters of arts-integrated curriculum performed significantly higher on the 2004 Ohio Proficiency Test in reading, writing, math, science and citizenship when compared to Cleveland students with only one or two semesters of arts-integrated learning.
Improved critical thinking skills. read more
Success in today's world requires innovative thinkers people with imagination and creative problem solving skills beyond the "basics" of reading and math. Arts integration enables students to comprehend the basics while building their capacity for creativity and innovation.
A 2007 national poll of likely voters found that almost nine in ten agree that imagination is important to innovation and student success. Fifty-six percent of voters believe that compared to other nations America devotes less time to developing the imagination and innovation. Seventy-three percent believe that building capacities of the imagination are just as important as "the basics" for students in public education.
Expanded teaching skills that engage the whole child. read more
Weaving the arts with the standard subjects is important because not all children learn in the same way. Using the arts to bring the curriculum to life encourages active learning and embraces the learning styles, abilities and needs of all students.
Improved outcomes related to overall school culture and attendance. read more
Students excited about learning are excited about coming to school. At Jefferson Elementary in St. Louis, not a single student missed a single day during a four-month arts-integrated unit on the Civil Rights era.
Want to learn more about arts integration? Click here for some recommended sites to visit.Examples
Click here to see some examples of Arts Integration.