The paper describes and analyses a model for arts integration in Salt Lake City elementary schools, developed under the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts Learning Program. In Continuum, the University of Utah’s newsletter, the program identifies the benefits of arts integration in other core subjects as: "Scores of studies nationwide detail the ways in which arts programs positively impact students’ lives: better school attendance and test scores, lowered dropout rates and drug use, increased creativity and critical thinking skills. The newest buzzword is 'integration', the idea that art can perhaps best serve students if it’s woven seamlessly into every aspect of learning." The objective of this paper is, however, not direct student benefits, but rather how arts integration can potentially benefit teachers in terms of professional development. Arts integration is viewed as an experiment within an established teaching practice. The way arts integration is carried out in the program is based on three activities: collaborative planning, side-by-side teaching, and professional development. Here, an arts specialist and core subject teacher plan lessons in collaboration and carry out teaching together in the classroom. The aim is that the art form and the core subject together enhance and support different ways of learning, and that both the art form and the core subject are understood in a deeper sense by the students. We will focus on understanding arts integration as a new way of developing professional practice in a pedagogic framework based on philosopher and pedagogue John Dewey’s concept of experience. We term it the three e’s of professional development: experience, exploration, and experimentation. Preliminary findings show that there are potentialities for developing new understandings of teacher practice and professionalism by integrating arts in other core subjects.
|Keywords:||Arts Integration, Teacher Professional Development, Action Research, Experience-based Learning, Knowledge Creation|
Ph.D. Student, Department of Learning and Philosophy, Aalborg University, Aalborg, Aalborg, Denmark
Clinical Instructor, coordinator, College of Education, University of Utah, Salt lake City, Utah, USA