Defining Quality in Arts Education

Arts Education Demonstration Project of the Marin Community Foundation

Flip Flop the Art: Start with the art in developing arts integrated lessons.

 I had a brief conversation with Anne Siskin at Willow Creek Academy today and she described a shift in her thinking that had occurred as she learned to integrate the arts with other subject matter in an authentic way.  She said, "I've learned to Flip-Flop the arts.  I start with the art, rather than using it to decorate the learning or the classroom. It becomes part of the learning process." She mentioned how her thinking started for her "Ocean" study on a visit to the Marin Mammal Exhibit where there was an art exhibit made from garbage from the ocean. This started her thinking about what she wanted her students to experience. We'll post some documentation of this year-long project later this spring. Thanks Anne for your insight!

Has anyone else had a similar realization?

In talking with one of our teacher researcher's, who teaches 8th grade LASS at Hall Middle School, she mentioned that they had wanted to give the students an emotional launch into their study of Immigration. What does it fee like to be an immigrant going through our system? They were thinking of trying somehow to recreate that experience for the students and realized that would be very difficult to do. My thinking went to the performing arts. What plays, movies have been produced on the subject? There is probably plenty of literature but maybe there has even been music or dance on the subject.  I remembered a huge, powerful sculpture I had seen at the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art about a group of people involved in a border crossing. I'll never forget that image. This experience of art could be the launch of the unit on Immigration.

Liz Lindsley

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