Friday, 14 September 2012

The Common Core - Fine Arts Connection

"I will let you in on a secret: CCSS presents a teaching philosophy closely aligned with most fine arts classrooms. The methods of CCSS rely on teachers working as facilitators as opposed to lecturers, stress the value of modeling over telling, and emphasizes valuable learning occurs when subjects are interrelated and meaningful connections are made."

Amen, Amy Johnson!

Amy teaches in Austell, GA, and blogs at Artful Artsy Amy. Today, I want to point you to her post on the Arts Education section of ARTSblog: Common Core Collaboration Key for Fine Arts and Classroom Teachers

Here's a shot of Amy's classroom, with her students engaged in, yes, collaborative learning:

I'm SO impressed at the way Amy and the teachers at her middle school have collaborated to create meaningful cross-curricular connections! She offers an editable collaborative framework for FREE, and provides this example of her work with a seventh grade Math teacher for a unit on tessellations:

Amy says, "Instead of demanding core subject teachers to make connections to the arts, we should ask them to share their units and work together to make meaningful connections. In this manner, both teachers are able to rely on their strengths."

Again, amen!

Amy is only one contributor to the conversation about arts education and the common core on ARTSblog. I found fifteen posts in the past five days (National Arts in Education Week) that discuss many aspects of the impact each has on the other. Please look them over and check out the links each provides. Some are cautionary, but others provide concrete curriculum links that you can use in your classroom, whether you teach art or a core subject.

A great example: Lynne Munson, in her post How Vincent van Gogh Can Help You Teach to the Common Core Standards, says that "the CCSS present an exciting opportunity for elementary school teachers (who teach all subjects), grades 6-12 ELA teachers, and arts teachers to utilize the arts to teach the literacy skills outlined by the new standards." She links to The Arts and the Common Core Curriculum Mapping Project and its 179 arts activities.

You can also follow the related Twitter discussion. (And if you're a Twitter newbie, here's a great intro from Allison Boyer’s article on Blog World: A Beginner’s Guide to Twitter Basics)

If you fear, as I do, the loss of funding for arts education with a misguided implementation of the CCSS, you can demonstrate its necessity by developing a robust collaboration in your school. Here's to your efforts, and to your enjoyment of connecting and collaborating!

UPDATE: Please go to The Common Core - Fine Arts (AND Science, History, & Geography) Connection - Part 2 for more information.

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