At UCP Charter Schools – we use a combination of arts (visual, performing, music and dance) and technology integration and Project Based Learning to reinforce and enhance learning for all students
Visual and Performing Arts Integration Specialists work in partnership with teachers to develop and implement projects based on the arts and academic core standards of the age/grade level. Additionally, through various partnerships with local theaters, VSA Arts, Walt Disney World and Universal Studios and other art groups, Artists-in-Residence are placed at the school to work with all students and broaden the exposure to a variety of art forms.
Arts integration is an innovative teaching strategy that fuses the arts curriculum—dance, music, visual arts—with standard curricula. Rich art experiences can lead to increased academic, social and functional skill development and knowledge (Catterall, 2009; Deasy, 2002). For all students, knowledge and skill development gained through the arts can play a crucial role in their overall success (Hillier, Greher, Poto, & Dougherty, 2012). Arts integration is a powerful tool to help engage all learners.
Additionally, children need to be engaged in learning, and learn in ways that can hold their attention, the way social media, and internet sites like YouTube currently do. One effective way to do this is to make it fun and interesting.
The inclusion of arts makes learning meaningful and attainable for all students. There is a significant body of research demonstrates a positive relationship between arts education, particularly in drama, and young children’s literacy and language development. Dramatic play provides pre- readers and writers an active context for learning about literacy, using literacy skills, and exploring new and abstract concepts. In addition, drama instruction where students act out a structured plot increases success in measures of oral language development and contributes to word fluency, keys to early literacy (Podlozny, 2000). Anvari, Trainor, Woodside & Levy (2002) determined that music skills correlate with phonological awareness and reading development. Research finds that young children who participate in arts instruction, specifically music and dance, are better able to self-regulate their behavior compared to those who do not participate in arts programs. With the arts students can demonstrate an understanding of core content in dynamic, meaningful ways that will empower them to be leaders or their own learning.