The article I selected to review is Project-Based Learning as a Context for Arts Integration by Andrew Miller. It can be found here.
Art integration is something that I feel is important for a well rounded education. It could be because I work at an Arts charter school but more importantly it is because daily I see the power art has on my students. It could be a drama performance, concert, visual or digital piece. Regardless of the media, art allows students to express their learning in a creative and personal way. It is effective and will work well incorporated in a Project Based Learning Environment.
Mr. Miller’s article describes how art integration can be used across different curriculum and can be used as an entry event to grab attention. It can also be used as a culminating event. One we don’t think of often, is how it can be used to scaffold learning. “As you consider this scaffolding, include arts-related activities. Use these activities to help students process their content and represent their thinking.” Giving students the power to represent their thinking with more than words is a great way to get them involved. If you have a student who is reluctant to speak in front of a group of people might embrace the opportunity to create something that represents their ideas.
Art integration is a powerful tool that is too often overlooked. Art has been stripped away from the foundation of education. I can reflect back to my childhood and I remember playing a spoon in a class play about nursery rhymes. I would not consider myself an artist by any means, but I appreciate and recognize the effectiveness it had on my learning and the learning of my students.