The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

Exploring Arts in Education: Arts Integration Isn’t Just For Education Majors

Angela Cornelius, LaGuardia Community College, City University of New York (United States)


Arts education, defined broadly as the process of teaching and learning how to create and produce the visual and performing arts and how to understand and evaluate art forms created by others, provides a teaching model to integrate the arts with core academic subjects (Eisner, 2002). Equity, social justice, diversity, and inclusion are important elements of arts education — connecting active, creative, relevant and liberating learning through individual and collaborative processes and experiences. Yet too often, arts education and arts programs have faced existential threats due to budget cuts and curriculum constraints at all educational levels, private and public (AAAS, 2021; Kerby, et. al, 2021). This paper argues that by integrating meaningful arts experiences into curriculum planning, teacher training programs ought to provide opportunities for students to engage with the arts as an essential component, not just for teacher education preparation, but for various transferrable skills. Using the presenter’s teaching context, at a diverse urban college in the United States, this paper will explore how arts integration takes students on a journey of self-discovery and meaning-making. The paper will introduce a design of an introductory course in Arts in Education in a teacher training program at the Associate degree level. The semester-long course is taken by a student population from linguistically diverse, immigrant, low-socioeconomic communities that are historically underrepresented in higher education. Many immigrant students from non-western educational systems have had very little to no arts education experiences. While required for education majors, the course is also offered as a liberal arts elective for non-education students. The paper will showcase the theoretical and practical underpinnings of the course design that pursues two goals, simultaneously. (1) The course’s goal is to teach ways of integrating the arts into planning academic and multicultural curricula for K-12 classrooms. (2) The course aims to create spaces for students to explore their own relationship with arts, or the ways of meaning making. Creative and critical thinking skills are enhanced through hands-on projects, technology-based activities, and reflective writing as well as school visits (fieldwork). The presentation will offer examples of innovative practices implemented in the course to show how the arts can positively influence their academic, social, emotional development as students, parents, employees, and leaders.

Keywords arts integration, arts education, teacher education

[1] American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS) (2021).  Art for life’s sake: The case for arts education. Cambridge, Mass.: American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
[2] Eisner, E. W. (2002). The Arts and the Creation of Mind. New Haven: Yale University Press.
[3] Kerby, M., Lorenza, L., Dyson, J., Ewing, R. & Baguley, M. (2021). Challenges, implications and the future of the Australian curriculum: The Arts. The Australian. Educational Researcher, 48, 901–922.

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