- A Connecticut magnet school has partnered with China’s Ministry of Education to offer a cross-cultural arts program designed to build international ties, reports District Administration.
- The Area Cooperative Educational Services Educational Center for the Arts (ACES ECA) magnet school allows about 300 students from 27 area high schools to work with four highly-qualified English-speaking students from China in the afternoons to focus on art forms such as theater, dancing, music, creative writing and visual arts.
- ACES eventually plans to expand the international exchange program to include students from Spain, Germany, Japan and Australia.
An exploration of the artistic aspects of a culture offers a window into its soul. By learning more about the music, dance, stories and artistic creations of a people, we learn more about what the people of that culture value. Do they prefer soft lines and colors or bold? Are they more drawn to realism or impressions? Do they value order or wild emotion?
These aspects of art can also introduce students to different time periods of our own culture, as well. The art, drama and music of our past weave a tapestry of the struggles, victories and values of our country across the spectrum of our national timeline.
Integrating art into other subjects can also make learning come alive in other areas of instruction. Students can study geometry by exploring the angles of a work of art by Russian artist Wassily Kandinsky. They can explore the use of fractions in a musical score. They can create their own pictures and poems to retell the story of a great piece of literature. A study of the arts can also simply teach students that creativity can be applied to finding solutions in their daily lives. At a time when budget cuts often reduce the teaching of arts as a subject, teachers and administrators may need to find creative solutions of their own to integrating arts into core academic courses.