Not long ago, art wasn’t considered a relevant subject in the classroom. In fact, many schools reduced art classes to the minimum to make room for other standardized subjects. However, things have undergone a complete metamorphosis, and the emphasis is now on art integrated learning. It is a learning and teaching methodology based on the philosophy of ‘learning through arts’ and ‘learning with arts.’ It is a method of teaching and learning where art is used to help students understand concepts in different subjects included in the curriculum.
Fundamentally, the students connect the various concepts through other art forms, thus learning creatively in art integrated learning. In addition, different art experiences, including visual and performing arts, help them better understand the topic. It also follows the experiential approach of learning, which emphasizes ‘learn by doing.’
Why is Art Integrated Learning Important?
Art integrated learning (AIL) offers an interactive learning method with several constructive ways to showcase understanding. Lately, this approach has gained significant popularity, thanks to its many benefits.
- It has been observed that AIL helps the students develop creative problem-solving skills.
- AIL makes complex concepts simple. Teaching with the help of visual arts can make complicated topics easy to understand.
- Apart from enhanced creativity in learners, AIL promotes the development of language skills, social skills, motor skills, decision-making skills, ability to take risks, innovation-led thought processes, etc.
- Learners better understand color, layout, and balance through visual arts. All of these skills help create better presentations.
- AIL helps students concentrate in the classroom better who otherwise find it difficult to do so.
- It has often been seen to promote critical thinking in the learners, and they are seen to become more observant.
- Learning through art makes the experience fun and engaging for the students.
- It also offers challenges to the students at multiple levels.
- Art experiences open up the learners’ minds to many things, broaden the outlook and help in understanding different perspectives.
- Students take more interest in attending these classes, completing the assignment, and learning more.
- Integrated learning methodology drives the students towards dreaming, aspiring, and achieving.
- Kids start paying attention to detail. When they draw on paper, they focus on every step. They develop better focus at an early age.
Why does Art Integrated Learning Work?
Arts integration learning utilizes teaching-learning practices that have been shown to develop a better understanding and long-term retention of knowledge. For instance, when students create pictures, drawings, or any other nonverbal expression of the concept they are learning, they tend to understand it better. This process, called elaboration, results in the embedding of the information.
Like any new initiative, this teaching method requires a few factors to fetch results successfully. In this case, teachers should learn the fundamentals of the art integrated learning to be able to blend art with the other concepts of the curriculum. They don’t necessarily have to be artistic, but they should be encouraged towards expression and creativity. They would have to ensure correct implementation of the methodology to have positive results out of it.
How Art Integrated Learning Affects Educational Performance?
A significant outcome of art integrated learning is better and improved educational performance of kids. Students learn quickly and develop skills that help them perform better. With art integration, students can understand complex concepts with relative ease, and they tend to remember them for a long time.
In addition, AIL helps learners become more focused, and this, in turn, singing, dancing, drawing, etc., helps in developing motor skills that can have a substantial impact on a child’s performance. With improved motor skills, kids start writing and reading better. They also get better at sports and other physical activities. In addition, they acquire enhanced decision-making skills, which is an excellent quality to possess.
Additional Benefits of Art Integrated Learning
Now that we have established what art integration is, its importance and how it affects educational performance, here are a few more benefits of this process.
- Reveals Students’ True Potential- The traditional method of teaching and learning is not as engaging as the art integrated one. Not all students enjoy studying the old-school way. Students feel more focused and motivated to learn and explore with art integration. They find their creative bent, and with better engagement, they are able to bring out their best. Art integrated learning helps in revealing a student’s true potential.
- Promotes Collaboration and Cooperation- Integrated learning often requires students to work in groups. They have to work on projects together, wherein they have to collaborate. It fosters a feeling of being a team in them and thus promotes collaboration and cooperation among them. It is a great way to teach students these critical life skills.
- Provides Sense of Ownership- Allowing the learners to express what they’ve learned in class through different art forms inculcates a sense of ownership in them. It also makes them feel that they can show what they know using their creativity.
- Offers Meaningful Learning- Through art integrated learning, students have a chance to learn and retain knowledge with a creative approach. They learn concepts from their curriculum and acquire skills that are essential to their personality development. In addition, this kind of learning is respectful and meaningful.
Art integrated learning offers several benefits to ensure learners have a better overall development. They can learn complex concepts efficiently and consequently perform better in exams and tests. If exposed to integrated learning at an early age, learners can focus better, acquire enhanced motor skills, and have other positive outcomes that promote their mental and physical growth.
Therefore, art integrated learning is a practical approach towards learning-teaching. It offers a richer and memorable learning experience to the students. Teachers have a significant role to play in the implementation of this learning technique. They should make it a part of their teaching methodology to bring the best out of the students.