You are absolutely correct. Much like meeting kids on common ground to make
learning meaningful and a real-life experience, collaborating with other
faculty members needs to have a similar basis. Here in Texas we have a new
test that will be administered in the spring. It is a test that supposedly
will measure depth of learning rather than how much a kid can memorize. To
make a good score on the test, students need to be able to make connections.
What a perfect setting for the arts.
By looking at the objectives for the TAKS (Texas Assessment of Knowledge and
Skills), arts teachers will readily see that arts objectives are quite
similar. This is the common ground, real-life connection that classroom
teachers need. The arts can be the bridge to real learning.
My sixth graders were having difficulty with circumference, diameter, and
radius concepts. Delving into the stain glass windows of Notre Dame gave a
visual, real-life way to remember the concepts. We then created a radial
design. These kids now have a connection that they'll remember. It's much
easier to remember a formula when it is visually represented.
It has been my experience that after generalist teachers see the positive
impact that learning through the arts provides, that they are the ones who
then approach me about collaboration.
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