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Amanda Kronenberger
May 6, 2014
EDCI301 Personal Statement

Arts integration is an approach to teaching in which various forms of the arts are
incorporated into curriculum. Arts integration lesson plans incorporate art such as drama, dance,
music and the visual arts. With this, students are able to demonstrate their knowledge through
creating an art form. Art allows students to think creatively and use their own ideas to learn
concepts. In doing this, students will not feel forced into learning something and the end result
will be far more rewarding for them. Arts can be integrated into any subject area and prove to be
extremely beneficial for students.
I think that art is anything that a person produces that requires any kind of creativity and
imagination. Anything can be considered art; it just depends on the person you ask. Usually art is
created for others or oneself to enjoy. For example, paintings, sculptures and plays are typical
examples of art. However, I believe that it can be a variety of things, most of which many people
would not think to consider art. Imagine our lives without movies or books, or even our favorite
food creations. To me, all of these things are art and they are part of our everyday lives. This is
why it is so important that art is integrated into curriculum, in order to spark the creativity and
imagination in young minds. While I believe I do not produce the most visually appealing works
or art, I consider myself to be creative in many ways. For example, I love creating art by cutting
and pasting things together or by recycling old things and making them into a new piece of art.
Additionally, I feel I use my creativity in making lesson plans because I brainstorm ideas of how
to engage students. I use creativity even when I do not realize it, in doing things such as picking
out an outfit in the morning. Most people, like myself, dont even realize how creative they are
or how often they use their creativity.
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I believe that students need an outlet, something that goes beyond straightforward
answers. Art allows students to think creatively and use their own ideas to understand concepts.
In our economy today, creativity is so important, even more important than basic skills and
knowledge of their fields. Creativity will allow people to go above and beyond and make serious
changes for the better in our workforce. The study of drama, dance, music and visual arts gives
students the opportunity to learn things they couldnt convey with words or numbers like they
would in most lesson plans. Knowledge in the arts results in obtaining innovative problem-
solving skills that students can apply to various subject areas and enhances their success in
learning. According to the Presidents Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, Present
Obama, firmly believes that arts education builds innovative thinkers who will become our
nations leaders in government, business, and the nonprofit sectors. For todays students to be the
innovators and economic leaders of the future, they will need to have experiences as musicians
and dancers, painters and sculptors, poets and playwrights in short, they will need to be
creative innovators who will build our nations economy for the future. (Dwyer, M. C., Knight
Foundation., & United States , 1-3) This shows how valuable arts integration is for the success of
not only students future, but also the future of the United States. Children now are going to
grow up and become our nations leaders.
Arts integration is proven to lead to the overall academic success of students. Compared
to schools without arts integration, schools that do offer it show students with both higher math
and reading scores on standardized test scores. Studies done by the National Endowment for the
Arts prove this, as well as many other advantages of integration, to be true. The students of arts-
focused schools usually have higher than test scores than students enrolled in other schools in
their district or state. Additionally, studies show that students with low to average academic
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performance is more successful on standardized testing when enrolled in schools that are arts-
focused. (Burnaford, 87-88) Hence, it is apparent that the advantages of arts integration carry
over to many areas of academic success. In a time where such an emphasis is placed on
standardized tests, these findings prove to be especially important. However, I feel these
standardized tests are not enough to measure the success of a student and these is too much
emphasis placed on them, so it is importance to discuss the many other benefits of arts
integration on students.
Enactment is an example of a form of arts integration that I find very beneficial. There
are three kinds of enactment, which are informal drama, story or interpretive dance and formal or
scripter drama. There are numerous benefits that enactment has on students. It is a useful
resource for higher-order thinking, problem solving, feeling and reflection. Children are able to
express their knowledge through a form of oral communication. There are so numerous aspects
that go into children role-playing that make it so beneficial to incorporate into curriculum. It can
help usually shy children step out of their comfort zone to take on the persona of the character.
This can also give a student a sense of belonging in the classroom. When a child enacts
something, they are able to assume these roles, feel emotions, use their bodies and make
decisions. (Isenberg, 180) I feel this allows students to really express themselves and explore
different ideas. By them taking on the role of another person, they feel more able to and
comfortable behaving more against what they believe to be the norm and thus are able to express
themselves more freely. When children use their imaginations they really put themselves in
someone elses shoes. This is so valuable because for a student to thrive in a classroom, they
have to be comfortable. If they are not comfortable, they are going to hold back. I am going to
have every student in my classroom feel comfortable so they can ask questions and share ideas
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with the class, which is very important to a childs education.
It is unfortunate to note that many schools do not offer a curriculum in which the arts are
integrated. It is pushed aside in many cases and is not valued enough with so much emphasis and
pressure put on teachers for their students to produce high test scores. Realizing the importance
of the arts, I plan to use arts-integrated lessons whenever possible in my classroom. I realize it
may be difficult with the expectations of the Common Core State Standards, but the students
deserve to have a teacher who will do whatever it takes to ensure they are receiving proper arts
education. In the fall of 2013, I had the experience of working in a third grade classroom at Rosa
Parks Elementary School in Hyattsville, Maryland. I was fortunate enough to be in the classroom
for one for the two times a week the music teacher came in to teach a lesson. I was with the class
once a week for three and a half hours, where I was able to really connect with the students and
understand their learning styles. It seemed as though this was the only time of the day where the
students were exciting to learn and participate. During their math lessons, the teacher would have
to beg the students to participate, however, during music, the students were bouncing up and
down in their seats with their hands waving in the air hoping to get chosen to answer questions.
This in itself shows the enthusiasm the children had for learning about music. While this was just
an art-lesson, and not an arts-integrated lesson, it still showed me how much the students enjoyed
learning about art. This makes me think that if music, or other forms of arts, were integrated into
other subjects, such as math, would the children be just as enthusiastic? I would assume the
answer is yes, and that this would result in students being much more successful.
I feel that I have the knowledge necessary to integrate arts into all subject areas in my
future classrooms. By integrating dance, music, drama and visual arts in subjects such as math,
social studies, science and language arts, I will be teaching two subjects in one lesson. I will use
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art as a means to engage all of the students in the classroom, especially those who have a harder
time speaking up and participating. Students learn in a variety of different ways, so it is
important to use a variety of different approaches. Introducing students to art will allow them to
explore and discover if they have a passion for it. It will also allow students to approach subjects
they may not usually find an interest in in a different way and discover they actually enjoy it. I
will use various mediums in the visual arts to allow students to explore their own creative style. I
will have the students use enactments and perform plays. Additionally, I will introduce dance to
students in lessons such as science to help them better understand information. These are just a
few examples of the many possibilities of integrating art into curriculum. These approaches will
make learning enjoyable for students thus make them want to learn, which is the most important
thing. The more students want to learn, the more successful they will be.

Works Cited
Burnaford, G. E. (2001). Renaissance in the classroom: Arts integration and meaningful
learning. Mahwah, N.J: L. Erlbaum Associates.

Dwyer, M. C., Knight Foundation., & United States. (2011). Reinvesting in arts education:
Winning America's future through creative schools. Washington, D.C: President's
Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. Retrieved from
http://permanent.access.gpo.gov/gpo23762/PCAH_Reinvesting_4web.pdf

Jalongo, M. R., & Stamp, L. N. (2006). Engaging children in music, movement, and dance. In
Isenberg, J.P., & Jalongo, M. R., (Eds.) Creative thinking and arts-based learning:
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Preschool through fourth grade (pp. 133- 174). Upper Saddle River, N.J: Pearson
Merrill/Prentice Hall.