April 14, 2016
Teachers already have a lot to cover with their students, not to mention their work outside of the classroom. So why bother writing a grant application and bringing artists into the classroom? What value and benefit do they add for you and your students?
We may be biased, but we've come up with our top five reasons to bring artists into your classroom.
The obvious reason is the transfer of artistic technical skills. Whether it's a potter that can teach students how to throw a bowl on a wheel, or a spoken word artist providing instruction on writing poetry, professional artists can bring their knowledge and skills to you and your students. When students get to meet and interact with an artist they not only learn skills, they see art as a valid and valued career option for themselves.
Art allows students to engage, communicate and demonstrate their understanding in new ways. Artists actively engage learners in an art form, another subject area or an integrated fusion of both. When students draw, write stories or act out concepts, the information is better embedded. Students experience richer and more lasting learning.
Artists can enrich students with new experiences about their world and community. This is Grindrod was an AIC funded photography project involving students at Grindrod Elementary in SD 83 North Okanagan-Shuswap. Principal Jeff Abbott developed the project with local photographer Zev Tiefenbach. Students took photographs of their sense of place—what and where was special to them about the place they lived. Students developed connections to their subject matter. Zev's teaching allowed for a deep and transformative experience. He encouraged students to think of new perspectives through a creative filter—they started to see their world and how they related to it differently. Read more in Artists in the Classroom: Designing Memorable Learning Experiences.
Artists bring in their own networks and communities that open up new partnership opportunities for your school. Artists can bring ideas on securing resources, materials and other collaborators who can contribute their knowledge to the project. Many schools choose to celebrate the completion of their AIC funded projects with parents, neighbours and their new networks.
Creativity and the arts emphasize collaboration. You can demonstrate teamwork from the first steps of working with an artist on the project idea to having them work in your classroom. Bringing an artist into the classroom also allows the teacher to become a learner alongside students and collaborate with them.
Did we miss something? Add your thoughts in the comments section below.
Find amazing professional artists available to work with young people across BC in the Artists in the Classroom Directory. And check out the Artists in the Classroom grant. You can start by taking the AIC Eligibility Quiz to find out if you're a good candidate. Then read the full grant guidelines and familiarize yourself with the Application Form found here.
Questions? Contact Emily Beam, Grants Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org or 604-336-0626 ext 110.
Read other posts in this series:
AIC Projects | Arts Integration in Action | ArtStarts Artists | ArtStarts Team | Community Events and Engagement | Exhibitions | Grants | Guest Blog | Infusion Pro-D | Knowledge Philanthropist | Meet a Community Art Star | Showcase | Supporters | The Next 20