Arts Integration and Middle School Reform

Posted by on February 3, 2006

[posted from Public Education Network newsblast]


This article from the Middle School Journal (May 2005) begins: “Imagine a middle school where teachers and administrators spiritedly collaborate, where parents and community members enthusiastically participate, and where young adolescents eagerly engage in the learning and discovery of meaningful content, look forward to attending school, have opportunities to excel, and show encouraging academic growth.” Wouldn’t we all like to imagine that? The authors describe how a small urban school district pursued this dream through a program of standards-based thematic units that integrated core content and the Arts. They detail their step-by-step process and conclude: “As our pilot year unfolded, both students and staff sustained enthusiasm, (and) parents reported increased student interest in attending school. Even growth in student socialization skills was evident. These outcomes resulted from capable leadership; applying educational research to creative planning; committed collegial relationships and teaming; and wholehearted parent and community participation.”

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