Thursday, June 23, 2011

Direct Instruction + Art = Engaged Students

In the last blog, I talked about how one of the arts, drama,  can enliven any classroom and significantly contribute to student interest, engagement and learning.

As I said then, the use of drama, in public schools anyway, is likely to diminish because of drama and the arts being eliminated as a core subject in most schools.  The loss of the arts is due in part to a pronounced bias in institutional education for classes which emphasize convergent, linear thinking in keeping with the industrial model of education they are working from.  As Sir Ken Robinson will describe in this next video, and as Daniel Pink talks about in his books, sought-after jobs of the future will require innovative, divergent, creative thinking.  

As you watch this next video, please keep 2 things in mind.  As Sir Ken continues with his perspectives on educational systems, listen to what he is saying, but also notice how much more engaging and vivid the talk is because someone from RSA* has added the element of ART.  Creative teachers know the value of the addition of art to the learning process.  A picture really is worth a thousand words - especially in education.  Art can take various forms - pictures and drawings, as the artist in this video will demonstrate. But even such things as mind-mapping, Venn diagrams and graphic organizers, can be artistic and engage the right side of the brain, thus engaging the student observer much more completely than direct instruction (i.e. lectures), can ever do.    

*For more information on the animation and RSA,  the originators of the artwork, see the people at Cognitive Media.  For more information on Ken Robinson, click on any of the several links around this blog for books, media, and more. 

Ron Zell

No comments: