EDAR 528 Brains on Fire: Rekindling Imagination in the Classroom
(This course has been approved as one of four courses toward Gifted Talented endorsement 690 K-12 by the Maine Department of Education.)
As William Butler Yeats said, “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” There is no doubt about it, the arts motivate and inspire students! In our high-stakes testing culture, the arts are being left behind, but this is a big mistake! Not only do the arts motivate, they help students attain critical 21st century skills. Creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and problem-solving are all taught through the arts. While countries around the world are beginning to teach these important skills, creativity in the United States is on the decline. It is up to all of us to ensure that we maximize the arts to support the development of creativity in our schools.
This course will be an in-depth look at the significant role the arts can play in learning. Participants will see examples of student learning through visual art, dance, music and drama; learn about the critical evidence of improved achievement in all subject areas by students who are regularly exposed to the arts; and participate in practical, hands-on arts integration lessons which can be used immediately in the classroom. Helpful resources, including books, videos, websites, wikis and lesson plans will be shared. Collaborative work between arts teachers and classroom teachers are encouraged. Participants will take away a renewed sense of confidence that they CAN make a difference in their classroom by making room for the arts, and thereby promote engaged students through a rich learning culture.
A laptop is required. Please bring to the first session. Internet access is a requirement during the course. If this is problematic for you, please contact the instructor. Many of the resources for the course will be accessible to participants on a wiki site. Additional readings will be required.
Upon successful completion of this course, educators will be able to:
- Demonstrate an understanding of the value of arts education as inspiration for student success based on current research.
- Apply many useful resources on specific ideas on the connections between the arts and other content areas.
- Design quality arts integrated lesson plans and units using the Understanding by Design model
- Practice immersion in hands-on arts lessons and share with classes.
- Utilize integrative technology tools (wikis, digital media) throughout the course
- Apply instructional strategies to Gifted and Talented students
The course is offered either in two face-to-face weekend sessions with regular electronic communication with the instructor in between, or as a four day Summer Intensive followed by a reflective, summative paper. Both formats cover the same material.
It is strongly suggested that students familiarize themselves with the wiki site prior to the first session. The wiki address will be made available to those enrolled in the class. Students will be using resources (print, media, internet) as part of their inter-session and post- session work. Official reading assignments begin following the first class.
- The Reading Response/Process Journal – Participants will write about their reading, non-print media viewing, internet research, thinking and contextualized learning throughout the course. This will be helpful for the final weekend discussions, experiential learning project presentation, and for writing the final reflective paper.
- Meaningful, active class participation – One of the best ways human beings learn is through collaboration and participatory work. Thoughts, comments, reflections, shared resources and ideas, rich dialogue and feedback are strongly encouraged.
- The Experiential Learning Project and Presentation – Participants will use what they are learning throughout this study in a classroom or another appropriate setting. The final session will include a 30 to 45 minute presentation to the group.
- The Summative Paper – Participants will write a substantial, thoughtful, summative critical reflection paper at the conclusion of the course. This, and the completion of reading assignments and non-print media viewing, is due 30 days following the final class.
During the Two-Weekend Session format, weekly email contact with the instructor is required throughout the study, including the post-session work following the last class session. The purpose is to maximize instructor contact and support for you during the inter-session work, to facilitate the weekly submission of the process/reading response journal, and for dialogue about your Experiential Learning Project and final presentation. Email correspondence is due weekly by Sunday at 5 pm.