Definitions in Arts Integration

Missouri's Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has not yet adopted a statewide definition for Arts Integration and STEAM. Consequently, you can find teachers, schools and groups, all who identify themselves as arts integrators and/or involved in STEAM - each with their own unique perspective and relative strengths. With such a wide variety in the practice and use of terms, MAAE is devoting resources toward achieving consensus.

Through collaboration with arts educators, teaching artists, arts organizations, non-arts educators, STEM teachers, curriculum specialists, and others, MAAE's goal is to more clearly define the field of Arts Integration in Missouri, and collaboratively work to achieve

  • universal administrator support

  • greater consistency in training

  • support structures and

  • increased opportunities for delivery of integrated instruction.

Arts Integration Defined

(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.

adapted from the Kennedy Center Definition for Arts Integration.

Defining STEAM

The use of the acronym STEAM has come into great prominence. The "A" in STEAM frequently refers to the arts. (Although, it may be important to note that in some communities the "A" refers to agriculture.) MAAE is currently at work with our partners within the various arts disciplines, colleagues engaged in STEM learning initiatives, and those who identify as STEAM teachers, programs and schools to bring greater definition to the work and encourage more teachers and schools to more holistically integrate the arts into all learning.