Learning In and Through the Arts

Doing art stretches your brain in ways different from math or science. When we understand how students learn to do art, we’ll better understand how they learn best in other disciplines, too. What the arts and the other subjects share is that they all benefit when students learn how to be creative. My research shows that the creative process is very similar across fields, and learning to be creative is similar across fields.

There’s a lot of exciting new research on how people learn to engage in the arts. That’s why I decided to edit a special issue, of a scientific journal, on the topic of “Learning in and Through the Arts” with my co-editor Erica Halverson. This journal, The Journal of the Learning Sciences, only publishes one special issue each year, so this is a big honor and it’s a recognition of the importance of the arts to the study of learning.

Erica and I are hosting a webinar to talk about the special issue. It takes place on June 16th, 1pm to 2:30pm U.S. eastern time. Here’s the link to register to participate. There are five papers, and many of the authors will be participating in the webinar:

  • “Strategic shifts: How studio teachers use direction and support to build learner agency in the figured world of art” (Kim Sheridan and colleagues)
  • “Learning within and beyond the body: The production of mobile architectures in a ballet variations class” (Ty Hollett and colleagues)
  • “Embodied physics: Utilizing dance resources for learning and engagement in STEM” (Folashade Solomon and colleagues)
  • “Group creativity in adolescence” (Palmyre Pierroux and colleagues)
  • “Creative expansion of knowledge-creating learning” (Pirita Seitamaa-Hakkarainen)

2 thoughts on “Learning In and Through the Arts

  1. This announcement and initiative is profoundly important. One of the biggest revelations is the notion that all experience in any and all of the arts have, at least, major components that they all have in common – creativity and aesthetic experience (the experience of beauty). So, not only is creativity revelatory in all school subjects, but also significantly, as an essential component in almost every experience in dance, drama, music and visual arts, singularly or in any combination. The major education literature in any and all of Arts reveals that they all have more in common than in any separate or specific characteristic. This notion has profound pedagogical implications for all arts teaching, especially at the early elementary level and for the associated teacher education provision.

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