Warren Lane ES has integrated arts into their curriculum. The integration of arts has given our students exposure to different arts forms through the adoption of the Turnaround Arts Program.
The Turnaround Arts Program has brought the following programs and partnerships to Warren Lane ES
- Music Class (Instrumental) for all students, TK through 6th Grade
- PS Arts Dance Residency, TK through 6th Grade
- TEAL (Technology Enhanced Learning), TK through 6th Grade
- LA Opera: Voices for Tolerance and In-School Opera, 4th and 5th Grade
- Heidi Duckler Performing Arts: 3rd Grade
- Nickelodeon: 6th Grade
The Arts in Schools: Three Variations
The arts find their way in to elementary, middle, and high school classrooms every day in a variety of ways. The variations can be distilled into three main categories.
• Arts as Curriculum
• Arts-Enhanced Curriculum
• Arts-Integrated Curriculum
All three variations are important, needed, and valid. All benefit from being supported by arts experiences—where students attend performances and exhibits by professional artists to engage in authentic experiences that deepen and broaden their arts understandings.
While the three variations naturally link and support each other, there are reasons why teachers and schools target one or more approaches. Understanding the differences in the approaches can help teachers and schools make informed choices about the programs they offer.
Art as Curriculum
If a school has a music, art, drama, or dance teacher, their approach is most likely and primarily Arts as Curriculum. Students develop knowledge and skills in a particular art form. Often referred to as “arts learning” or “art for art’s sake,” the programs are guided by national, state, or local standards for each of the art forms. For example, in visual arts, students learn the content, processes, and techniques for two- or three-dimensional work. They learn how the visual arts developed and changed throughout history, and engage in creating and analyzing works created in a variety of media.
When the arts are used as a device or strategy to support other curriculum areas, but no objectives in the art form are explicit, then the approach is called Arts-Enhanced Curriculum. For example, students sing the ABCs as a means to other ends—remembering the letters and sequence of the alphabet. However, students are not usually expected to learn about melody, song structure, or develop specific singing skills.
Arts-Enhanced Curriculum acts as a “hook” to engage students in learning content. Additionally, teachers need little or no training in the art form. Arts-Enhanced Curriculum is often mistaken for Arts-Integrated Curriculum or a distinction is not made between the two.
In Arts-Integrated Curriculum, the arts become the approach to teaching and the vehicle for learning. Students meet dual learning objectives when they engage in the creative process to explore connections between an art form and another subject area to gain greater understanding in both. For example, students meet objectives in theater (characterization, stage composition, action, expression) and in social studies. The experience is mutually reinforcing—creating a dramatization provides an authentic context for students to learn more about the social studies content and as students delve deeper into the social studies content their growing understandings impact their dramatizations. For Arts-Integrated Curriculum to result in deep student understanding in both the art form and the other curriculum area, it requires that teachers engage in professional development to learn about arts standards and how to connect the arts to the curriculum they teach.
Many teachers, schools, and arts programs benefit from knowing the different ways the arts can be present in schools. Without making a distinction, opportunities can be missed, programs can lack clarity, or the arts can seem like something too unwieldy to incorporate. Making a distinction among the approaches can help narrow or focus objectives as well as help educators select the most appropriate approach based on their objectives. Ultimately, students are best served when all three variations—Arts as Curriculum, Arts-Enhanced Curriculum, and Arts-Integrated Curriculum—are part of their education.
Warren Lane ES has invested into ensuring that all students have access to technology. By 2017-2018, Warren Lane’s goal is to become a one-to-one Chromebook School.
Currently, Warren Lane has the following technology:
- Google Chromebooks (one-to one in 4th through 6th Grade)
- Classroom Computer Centers (Kinder through 3rd Grade)
- 2 Computer Labs with Smart Boards (Accessible for Kinder through 6th Grade)
The access to technology will assist all students to become college- and career-ready in the 21st century.