Arts Integration in Education

Arts Integration Defined

(Adapted from the Kennedy Center Definition for Arts Integration. Revised by MAAE BoD 1/16/16.)

Arts integration is an approach to teaching in which students construct and demonstrate understanding through one or more art forms. Key partners in the delivery system for arts integration include the coordinated involvement of certified arts educators, certified non-arts educators, and professional and/or teaching artists, supported by school administrators. Students engage in a creative process which connects art forms and other subject areas and meets evolving objectives in both.

Arts integration, STEM and STEAM share a common ideology. Students benefit when the arts are an integral part of instruction. Research shows that students are best served by a collaborative approach to teaching and learning. These approaches leverage the specialized training and expertise of educators from a variety of disciplines, with more relevant, holistic learning for the student.

Benefits: When comparing an arts integrated experience to the times when they were working solely within their dedicated arts class setting, practitioners shared that their students:

  • have increased levels of self-confidence

  • improved skill levels

  • renewed enthusiasm for both arts and non-arts subjects and

  • broader and deeper understanding of the arts, and the role it plays in their lives.

  • improved student achievement

  • increased student retention

  • increased student confidence

  • improved communication skills

  • social-emotional benefits

  • improved attendance

  • built relationships

  • improved school/classroom climate

  • have a renewed sense of joy in learning for both teachers and students.

"Arts Rich Learning for Gifted Educators and their students." (52:05) Learn ways you can easily incorporate the arts in your teaching and learning. Explore ways of enhancing lessons with the arts, and learn about both in-person and virtual learning opportunities from Missouri's arts institutions. Prepared for the Gifted Association of Missouri virtual conference held 10.14-15.2023. Missouri Alliance for Arts Education executive director, Phyllis Pasley and Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Arts Education Director, Roger Kelley presenters.

MAAE’s goal is to collaborate with arts educators, teaching artists, arts organizations, non-arts educators, STEM teachers, curriculum specialists, and others, to achieve:

  • universal administrator support

  • greater consistency in training

  • support structures and

  • increased opportunities for delivery of integrated instruction.

Practitioners report that arts integration allowed their students to:

  • construct and deepen understanding

  • use an art form and another subject to demonstrate learning

  • enjoy positive social emotional learning benefits

  • maintain a focus on learning content reflected in the Missouri Learning standards for both fine arts and non-arts subjects