All work and no play and vice versa are not right for a 21st-century learner, on the contrary, an integrated approach is a key to transform the schools. As also stated in the draft of NEP 2020 the aim of education is not only cognitive development but also building character and creating holistic and well-rounded individuals equipped with 21st-century skills. For a cross-curricular pedagogical approach, Art Integration should be embedded in classroom transactions not only for creating joyful classrooms but also to strengthen the linkages between education and culture. Structuring a school around the arts can help students excel academically and develop social and emotional skills. Research shows that it is an approach that can boost students’ learning and well-being. Keeping up with the ethos of NCLB and multiple intelligence, it allows the children to learn about how the process of something is just as important, if not more important than the product. It helps in creating well-balanced critical thinkers that are required for our future. The teachers need to work hand-in-hand with art teachers to devise lessons that integrate art into every element of the school day. Art should be incorporated with activities and projects across the curriculum. For a simple project on climate change, for example, the artistic process to teach Science, English and Social Science content, also helps in building social and emotional skills. It includes creativity, communication and resilience. The minor setbacks, if the project has any will teach them to become more resilient by persisting and iterating in his/her creative process. The students can be involved in giving feedback, be it negative or positive and allow them to think how this feedback can be incorporated in their planning. Students can be encouraged to use these methods, not only in the creation of their artwork but in their interactions with teachers and peers. The approach will not only make learning fun, multi-disciplinary, connected and creative, but also give students a way to think about the world differently, to make connections, and to contemplate their place within it. The habits that they’ll use no matter what they go on to do. Art is at the very core of our identity as humans. It is a mode of expression that transforms thought and emotions into a unique form of communication. Art Integration is an approach to teaching where students construct and demonstrate understanding through an art form. In today’s world, the schools need to adopt and integrate Art in all the subject content.
Submitted by Poonam Kumar Mendiratta Principal, The Manthan School