29 SES 07, Arts Education and Cultural Representations
This paper discusses integration, its origin and nature in the educational system. The point of view is built around scholars within Social Constructivism to make an argument for integrating the arts. Over the past two years, a development work has been carried out in connection with the integration of arts at the University of Iceland, School of Education. A new course (5 Ect) has been created that have music, drama and visual art in the same course. The name of the course is: To play and create: Drama, visual arts and music. Student teachers that take part in the course focus on combining on artistic expression through these three genres: music, drama and visual art.
The teachers students learn about the importance of the arts in education for children and adolescents. The general theme is multicultural and one common subject will be chosen each time as a pivot point for the three genres of artistic expression. Practical tasks are developed based on the student’s ideas and the students develop creative projects based on their own ideas.
The main pedagogical and didactical approaches are weekly workshops in the different aesthetic expressions: music, drama, dance and visual art – separately and combined.
The workshops include exercises/tasks a lecture followed by discussion and workshops in the different groups. The last day there is a final performance and evaluations.
EU eight key competences for lifelong learning, including cultural awareness and expression, which involves appreciation of the importance of the creative expression of ideas, experiences and emotions in a range of media (music, performing arts, literature and the visual arts) http://envil.eu/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Research-into-competency-models-in-arts-education-2.pdf;
The course contributes to a joint curricular aim: The ability to reflect upon oneself and develop the understanding, that one’s own resources and talent can serve a bigger and common good.
Through an innovative approach the students themselves create a common festivity including the art-subjects, they do not only learn about other cultures, they also, because they have to work creatively in the groups, get closer to each other. The students will gain knowledge and experience with theme based and aesthetical collaborative learning approaches and as most of the students are future teachers in primary and lower secondary schools, their experiences can therefore be very valuable in their future work as teachers in schools.
In the last decades there has been an increase in immigration in Icelandic society like in many other countries. With increased immigration, the school community has become more diverse and students with different cultural backgrounds have grown. It may therefore be said that the school community has become multicultural and that it continually changes and develops according to the composition of the student group. To meet those students it is important, like with all other students, to use a variety of teaching methods as the students are as different as they are many. Charmed by professors Ann Craft theory the “possibility thinking” the course is shaped around creativity. Possibilities are generated by the teacher students in all areas of learning, whether in imaginative play, musical exploration and composition, drama or visual arts. Possibility thinking is the means by which questions are posed or puzzles surfaced through multiple ways of generating the question ‘what if?’ (Craft, 2000). When working with the student teachers the teacher educators used the possibility thinking theory and pushed the student teachers further to think “what if” related to the multicultural. That increased their imagination and creativity and they had to think “out of the box”. Moreover they saw opportunities to work with multicultural issues using the theory. At a time when creativity is increasingly becoming seen as a vital disposition in the life of everyone in a rapidly changing world, the need to develop reflective practice to encourage and nurture possibility thinking in students seems to be important.
Expected Outcomes: By the end of the course students should • be capable of integrating art, drama and music in children’s education, using various teaching methods • be able to explain the importance of the arts for children’s education and development. • be able to describe the achievement goals found in the National curriculum for the arts subjects in school • know how to effectively apply the methods of art, drama and music in school At the end of the course the students will therefore answer some specific questions regarding their experiences to make a final evaluation and reflect upon their learning experiences. The feedback has showed that the students did have a deeper understanding of the theme and how you can intergrate art into the classroom. The direct learning (acedmic) is difficult to measure on this stage but most of the student said that they had a great learning benefit of it. Many of them where surprise over their own input, and the dedication and joy they felt working through the arts in the groups. Developing confidence by collaborating with other and getting constructive feedback. It was suprising when one of the studenst said: I didn't know that I had such imagination. I am the one who is always with the exel file!
Armstrong, T. (2001). Multiple Intelligences in the classroom. Alexandria, Virginia USA: ASCD Beetlestone, F. (1998). Creative children, imaginative teaching. Buckingham. Open University Press. Booth, D., & Barton, B. (2000). Story Work. Teachers can use shared stories in the new curriculum. Markham Ontario: Pembroke Publishers. Craft, A. (2000), Creativity Across the Primary Curriculum. London: Routledge Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1996). Creativity. Flow and the psychology of discovery and invention. NY: Harper Collins Publishers. Eisner, E. W. (2002). The arts and the creation of mind. New Haven: Yale University Press. Lilja M. Jónsdóttir (1995). Integrating the Curriculum. A story of three teachers. A Qualifying Research Paper Submitted for the Degree of Master of Education. Robinson, K. (2001). Out of our minds learning to be creative. Oxford, Capstone. Publishing. United Kingdom. Tomlinson, C. A & Allan, S. D. (2000). Leadership for differentiating schools & classroms. Alexandria, Virginia: ASCD.
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