Monday, June 1, 2009

Advocating for Arts Integration in Schools

In this interview in the Wittenberg Journal of Education, Dr. Lora Lawson who teaches Integrating Literature, Art, Drama, Dance, and Music Throughout the Curriculum at Wittenberg discusses advocating for arts integration among other things. Here's an excerpt:

WJE: How would you recommend teachers and others supporting the arts advocate for arts integration in school?

Lawson: It depends on what will convince the audience. But first, provide data. Spread the word about research supporting arts integration. For example, arts-based programs around the country are demonstrating they can engage disadvantaged youth in schools, as evidence by increased attendance and graduation rates, and the closing of achievement gaps. Talk about research that concludes school reform through the arts can result in better student motivation, increased problem solving and higher-order thinking skills, better multicultural understanding, and more.

Next, tell the story: share examples of effective arts integration programs. Ask people to remember the arts in their schooling and childhood. Have the current students tell their stories.

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