Leadership magazine May/June 2018 V47 No. 5 | Page 34

This ends another successful Technology Enhanced Arts Learning (TEAL) profes- sional development session. The TEAL project is a partnership between the L.A. County Arts Commission and the Los An- geles County Office of Education, and was made possible through the generous sup- port of the Los Angeles County Quality and Productivity Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts. The project is committed to providing all students with access to arts education, pro- moting arts integration as one means to ac- complish this vital educational goal. Now a new group of educators has been introduced to a powerful tool that can facilitate lively, engaging and meaningful learning: arts in- tegration. There is a lot more to learn, but it doesn’t end here. To build their skills, teachers are reminded to connect through the TEAL online professional learning community and encouraged to tap the many online resources available through the TEAL website, other regional arts organizations, the John F. Kennedy Center, and especially to explore Imagine – brainstorm gather information for possible solutions Define the Problem, Ask the Question Plan – select a solution and create a “blueprint” Improve – reflect, get input, revise Create – Make it! Do it! and collaborate with each other and their school’s art specialist, should they be lucky enough to have one, as they begin their arts integration journey. Arts integration is defined by the Ken- nedy Center as an approach to teaching in which students construct and demonstrate understanding through an art form. Stu- dents engage in a creative process that con- nects an art form and another subject area and meets evolving objectives in both. Other definitions convey similar notions that learning in art is balanced with learn- ing in another area of the core curriculum, meaning the alliance of visual art, dance, music, theatre and media arts with math, science, language, social studies, even physi- cal education to facilitate learning in both (or more) subject areas. Educating students in the arts through single-subject application – visual art, dance, music, theatre, media arts classes – and also through integration with other content areas opens doors to learning for students who have previously lacked access for a variety of reasons, language barriers and behavioral issues being two of the most noted. For all students, including the arts in education as more than an add-on is associated with increased student engagement, initiative, problem solving and persistence. Lisa Marin is consultant II for distance and online learning at the Los Angeles County Office of Education. 34 Leadership