Integrating art

Hardiman (2012) suggests that integrating art into instruction aids student learning in four ways:
– art is in itself a worthwhile pursuit
– artistic experiences enhance student academic and cognitive skills
– art helps students cultivate “habits of mind” such as persistence which aid in academic performance
– integrating art instruction aids in the long term memory of content.
How can this be implemented in an alternate setting, where students are working at their own pace in different courses at different grade levels. In my limited experience, getting alternate education students to participate in any performance arts can be challenging. The answer, I think, lies in creating opportunities for student choice.
If students were given the choice some would, at least initially, continue with the text-based courses, with worksheets and tests. Some may choose to express their learning in other ways, especially if the medium was left up to them. Rubrics would have to be created that are not medium specific.

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