The A.R.T. of Teaching
A.R.T.S. Express Conference challenges Utah teachers to integrate arts into teaching
The annual A.R.T.S. Express conference, hosted by the BYU A.R.T.S. Partnership, an initiative of the McKay School of Education, helps current and future elementary teachers integrate creative processes of the arts into their curriculum to improve student performance in subjects such as math and reading.
This year’s keynote speaker, Claudia Cornett, focused her address on the importance of teachers integrating art into their curriculum. “The arts give life to learning,” Cornett said. “Teachers need to give life to those arts. The standards don’t have to be about standardization.”
Attendees participated in breakout sessions in which they explored the creative processes of dance, music, visual arts and drama. Kelly Gill, a 2nd grade teacher at Sprucewood Elementary in Sandy, Utah, said the conference was a great reminder of the importance of providing children with opportunities to create. “The most important aspect of teaching is to generate creative problem solvers,” Gill said. “This conference has reminded me how creativity leads to problem solving.”
The A.R.T.S Express conference was also a valuable experience for those preparing to become teachers. Mette Peterson, a junior in the elementary education program, said she enjoyed the training even though she is not yet a teacher.
“I know that I’ll remember what I learned later when I’m actually in a classroom,” said Peterson. “When I’m writing lesson plans for other classes in the future, I’ll be able to include some of the things I learned here . . . and my lesson plans will be more interesting and more engaging.”
Teachers left the conference with a renewed enthusiasm for arts integration, and Cornett issued a final message and a challenge. “I hope that if I left the audience with one thing it was they have a responsibility as educators to do some uncomfortable things–to speak up, to be bold, to do what’s right,” Cornett said. “If teacher’s won’t do that for kids, who will?”
In addition to year-round programs to help Utah educators to increase the integration of the arts in local schools, the A.R.T.S. Partnership will host the A.R.T.S. Express conference again next summer. The partnership’s mission is to “ensure that all children benefit from an education that provides for academic excellence, social confidence, and personal expression through experience with the arts.”
To view pictures and video of the event click here.
More information about the BYU A.R.T.S. Partnership can be found below and at their website.
- Started in 2005, the BYU A.R.T.S. Partnership is a collaborative effort of The McKay School of Education, The College of Fine Arts and Communications, and The BYU Public School Partnership.
- During the first five years of the partnership 56,560 elementary school children received arts instruction, 1,809 teachers received training and 47min/week (avg.) of arts instruction were added in participating classrooms.
- Private donors, BYU, and local public schools sponsor the BYU A.R.T.S. Partnership.
July 10, 2012