Posted in GAP News, Mississippi Art News

ARTSEDGE: Arts in the 21st Century Classroom

This fall we will feature weekly lessons from ArtsEdge, the Kennedy Center’s educational media site. This week’s feature is a Fact Sheet covers 5 easy ways to integrate arts into your daily lesson plans while developing 21st century skills for your students. Check out some of their other Fact Sheets on their How To section.

Skills for the Future! The 21st century skills our students need—technology, communication, global awareness, critical thinking, problem-solving—can be readily integrated into arts lessons, and vice versa.

  1. Get real. Working artists of all kinds use computer technology and collaboration. Our students can do the same, using graphics programs to illustrate their works, creating digital videos, or sharing ideas about dance online.
  2. Work in the cloud. Use Web 2.0 options like classroom wikis and shared documents in your arts teaching to encourage collaboration and technology literacy.
  3. Bring the world into the classroom. The Internet is an amazing source of performance and graphic arts information. Illustrate lessons and lectures with examples of art from around the world to increase global awareness.
  4. Stay open. Assign open-ended projects that encourage problem-solving, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking. Art projects are perfect for this. Let students figure out how to paint a mural about electricity, choreograph a dance about chemical bonds, or stage an operetta of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  5. Embrace interdisciplinary approaches. Jobs from the 20th century often involved doing the same thing all day, each worker doing a separate piece of the job alone. Today, collaboration and interdisciplinary work are the norm. They should be in the classroom, too. Art instruction belongs in the main classroom with reading, writing, and arithmetic to increase creativity throughout the entire school day.

Arts are Essential!

Current brain research confirms that rich context and multisensory instruction make even simple facts easier to learn and remember. When we’re trying to teach creativity, problem solving, and collaboration, we can’t expect to succeed with multiple choice quizzes. The arts are more essential than ever in education.

via ARTSEDGE: Arts in the 21st Century Classroom.



The mission of the Greenville Arts Council is to promote the rich cultural heritage of the region and stimulate and encourage cultural activities, arts appreciation, arts education, and the creative works of artists. Some of the responsibilities that help define the Greenville Arts Council as the primary promoter of the arts in our area include offering art classes to children and adults, organizing community events, presenting an ongoing series of free exhibits featuring visual artists from the area and the state, and coordinating educational programs which teach arts-integration in local schools. The Greenville Arts Partnership between the Greenville Arts Council, the Greenville Public School District and our three community arts partners, Delta Center Stage, Delta Symphony Association and the Delta Children’s Museum, is focused on full arts integration in the GPSD elementary schools. Plentiful research documents the value of the teaching in and through the arts to help students understand core academic concepts on a deep level. The partnership was the first in the state of Mississippi accepted into the Kennedy Center Partners in Education Program in 2003, joining over 100 other partnerships between school districts and arts organizations across the country. The partnership provides professional development for teachers, arts experiences for students and resource and referral on arts integration issues. Professional development has been provided in two ways, through workshops with Teaching Artists from the Kennedy Touring Roster and grade-level and/or discipline-specific professional development with our local staff. We present a series of model demonstration lessons to teachers in grades K to 6, demonstrating connections between Partnership free arts programming and required state frameworks. The partner arts groups present a series of live performances allowing each elementary child in the GPSD to attend at least once each year. The groups work with the Arts Council staff to develop accompanying curriculum-based educational material for distribution to teachers prior to each performance. Over the years, we have succeeded in providing basic arts integration training district-wide as well as in-depth professional development to allow groups of teachers to increase their level of mastery.