This post on Edutopia beautifully summarizes some crucial truths about teaching and learning:
“Big Things Transformational Teachers Do”
What strikes me in the context of arts integration is that teaching artists and teachers who faithfully follow that approach to teaching meet every aspect of this author’s description of transformational teachers.
Where teaching artists most often struggle is in learning and practicing what the author calls “the science of teaching.” Sometimes they see that aspect as drudgery or as limiting their creativity. Those of us who have dived into the deep end of that pool, however, find that it amplifies and enriches our creative fires, freeing us up to take students to dizzying heights because we are not afraid of crashing.
That structure, that knowledge of developmental stages and differentiated approaches to student engagement, is a gift we give to ourselves. It allows us to consciously design our lessons as creative acts. Teachers share a crucial common trait with artists: we are storytellers. And every good story has a powerful beginning, compelling events, and a satisfying conclusion.
Teachers and teaching artists are on a converging course that will indeed transform education. If the politicians will get out of the way and let them do it.