This article features a creative fabrication project assigned to participants in a short-term education abroad program at a Midwestern state university in the US. The Get-in-Touch assignment merged intercultural research and studio work to enrich and transform participants’ travel experience in China. Several aesthetic stances (mimetic, formalistic, and contextualist) were adopted to interpret the three-dimensional projects documented with photocollages and stories in this manuscript. Travel–study provided a dynamic platform that allowed the four participants to manifest intercultural learning outcomes: making the dissimilar similar, making the unfamiliar familiar, making the familiar unfamiliar and making the similar dissimilar. This article further illuminates the aesthetic stances noted above through the work of four contemporary Chinese artists and offers an indirect glimpse into the art school curricula found in higher education in both cultures. The discussion highlights learned lessons of cultural humility.
Arts integration and 21st century skills are increasingly relevant to addressing complex student needs in contemporary education. The Creative Classroom Collaboratives: Creativity, Confidence, & Competence (C32) study found that comprehensive arts integration approaches and peer-to-peer professional collaborations between teachers, teaching artists, and cultural partners such as museums, theaters, and arts councils had a positive relationship to students’ achievement and 21st century skill development. By reinforcing criteria that make up the core 21st century skills of creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, and communication, arts integration methods were associated with increases in student learning in a cluster randomized control trial of a study of fourth- and fifth-grade students in two school districts with low socioeconomic status on Long Island, New York. This study includes implications for arts integration in schools, peer professional development and teaching practices, and dynamic partnerships with arts and cultural partners.
A curriculum that integrates Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (called STEM education) has been implemented in K-12 schools in the United States for several years. The purpose of this article is to explore the further integration of issues-based art education into STEM education (hereafter-called issues-based STEAM education) to expand the benefits of STEM education for school children. Adopting issues-based art education into STEM education provides students with a more authentic learning experience because its interdisciplinary pedagogy emphasizes inquiry-based, real-world learning, and critical thinking. In this article, we discuss the recent educational movement from STEM to STEAM, followed by an introduction to issues-based STEAM education. We then provide a relevant lesson implemented in a Hong Kong high school to shed light on the significance of issues-based STEAM education and as rationale for the importance of issues-based STEAM education that engages art students by exploring social issues.
Making Music: Composing with Young Musicians is a multi-year, multi-site research project partnered with the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board and the Canadian Music Centre to commission composers to collaborate with teachers and students (age 11 to 18) to write a piece of music. This article outlines findings on the analysis and interpretation of teacher questionnaires through a pragmatic lens to answer the following question: What do students and teachers learn musically and pedagogically from collaboration with professional composers? This new pedagogical approach of composer/teacher/student collaboration represents a possible paradigm shift–from a traditional teacher-directed approach to one that is creative and interpersonal. The approach is quite beneficial as it highlights the extent to which learning the musical compositional process can be engaging and enjoyable. It also encourages teachers to learn new pedagogical strategies while valuing the creative compositional process. The findings will be of potential interest to music teachers, post-secondary music educators, composers, and music publishers, as the data will help them write/teach/disseminate educational music.
This article explores an innovative strategy for teaching preservice university freshmen to integrate the arts in STEM content. Based on theoretical foundations of brain science, and combined with the author’s 15 years of experience as an elementary school teacher, and an additional 15 years in higher education, this approach represents a conceptual framework that includes coaching teacher candidates to write, teach, critique, and reflect on lessons that integrate the arts, and to effectively use arts-infused lessons throughout their academic program and their own reflective professional practice. This instruction includes early hands-on learning opportunities and experiences, enabling preservice teachers to learn from their own teaching, and the teaching of their peers, by using reflective reciprocal feedback to revise and improve lesson design and teaching skills. Possible implications for more effective educator preparation, arts integration in STEM content, and curriculum design and program development are discussed.