Arts integration program combines creativity with core curriculum in schools

Several districts in western Oregon are implementing art in the classroom to create a more exciting educational experience for students.

Posted: Apr. 19, 2018 4:34 AM
Updated: Apr. 19, 2018 6:50 AM

EUGENE, Ore -- This weekend, the Lane Arts Council is holding its second annual Arts Integration Conference. It is designed with a focus on incorporating arts into core curriculum. It is an opportunity designed to give teachers a chance to connect with each other, learn new skills, and obtain tools they can take back to their classrooms to begin utilizing an ArtCore program right away.

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The foundational idea behind art integration is creating a more exciting educational environment and experience for students and give them new tools they can better use to learn. 

In this modern style of learing, art is combined with subjects such as math, science, english, social studies, health, and physical education. Arts education program coordinator, Eric Braman, said the ArtCore program gives students a stronger personal connection to the subject matter they are learning, as well as more actively engaging in their daily lessons.

Teachers also receive specific training to help them implement art into their lesson plans. "With our core program, we have a professional teaching artist that works in that school for a full year and that professional teaching artist works directly with teachers to help them build curriculum that brings art into their classroom," said Braman.

In western Oregon, ArtCore programs have already been established in the Bethel School District, 4J School District, Springfield School District, and Junction City School District. These schools include Kelly Middle School, Hamlin Middle School, Cascade Middle School, Network Charter School, and Oaklea Middle School. Braman said, "It broadens the learning experience of the students for sure. But, now the students specifically in our ArtCore Program, which is what the Arts Integration Conference is based off of, are in their third year of working with this, so 6th, 7th, and 8th grade they've been doing this and now it's a part of their expectation of the classroom."

Braman also told KEZI 9 News this program has a tendency to encourage students to want to come to school everyday. "Attendance has increased. We've seen a decrease in conduct in general. Students have mentioned that the reason they come to school is because they know that it's a day that art is happening. I think that that's a huge testament," he said.

To learn more about the ArtCore Program, click here. The Arts Integration Conference is Saturday, April 21 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information about the conference, including how to attend, click here. 

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