The Manitoba curricular outcomes, in all subject areas, form the foundation for planning and instruction. The distinguishing features of “Learning with the Arts Programming” are the infusion of arts into the curriculum and regular opportunities to work with various artists to enhance their artistic skills and abilities. Throughout the course of the regular instructional day, students are engaged in learning experiences that enable them to access and demonstrate their learning in multiple ways. For example, students learning about habitats in grade four science may script and perform a play, design a diorama, illustrate a poster, use digital photograph, or write a report to express their understanding of the concept. Students have choices that provide them with the creative freedom to express their learning in relevant and meaningful ways.
In addition, students have regular access to an “artist in residence”. The artist acts as a mentor and supports the students and the teacher as they develop the technical arts skills enabling them to use their creativity across the curriculum. The artist serves as a creative catalyst that awakens the creative potential that resides in each of us.
Using this instructional strategy, students are engaged actively in authentic learning experiences that enable then to explore, create, inquire, collaborate, experiment, and reflect while deepening their understanding of their own learning process in multiple ways. There is a strong emphasis on the process of learning through this experiential methodology. In addition to more traditional methods, students share what they have learned through the disciplines of the visual, performing, and media arts. They are encouraged to find ways of learning to help them understand concepts, analyse experiences, and develop attitudes that value the rigour that the arts require.
“Talent” is not the issue in Arts-Infused Learning; rather the emphasis is on a learning process that encourages:
The prescribed Manitoba Curriculum serves as the foundation for our work in providing quality learning experiences for all students. The research illustrates clearly a positive correlation between involvement in the arts and increased student engagement and achievement. Through the infusion of arts into the curriculum and interactions with various artists, we believe that students have opportunities to achieve beyond the basic curricular expectations.