Friday, June 11, 2010

Artful Learning

ART bears many definitions. When perusing the definitions here offered in the, New Oxford American Dictionary, 2nd Edition, it becomes clear how inclusive ART is, including the once used meaning of BE.
"art 1 |ärt|
1. the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power
• works produced by such skill and imagination
• creative activity resulting in the production of paintings, drawings, or sculpture
2 ( the arts) the various branches of creative activity, such as painting, sculpture, drawing, music, literature, and dance : the visual arts, the art of photography.
3 ( arts) subjects of study primarily concerned with the processes and products of human creativity and social life, such as languages, literature, and history
4 a skill at doing a specified thing, typically one acquired through practice : the art of conversation.

art 2
archaic or dialect 2nd person singular present of BE.

APOGEE Learning Enhancement Training Systems™ since its founding in 1983, has consistently integrated the academics and the arts. All teaching methodologies are inclusive of the arts. The patterns that exist between mathematics, language, music and the arts have prompted numerous studies to be commissioned to establish their interrelationship. The findings reported in, "Learning, Arts, and the Brain, The Dana Consortium Report on Arts and Cognition, Organized by Michael Gazzaniga, Ph.D." most certainly speak to the significance of the arts to learning, development and behavior. Presented here is a summary of what the group has learned.

"1. An interest in a performing art leads to a high state of motivation that produces the sustained attention necessary to improve performance and the training of attention that leads to improvement in other domains of cognition.

2. Genetic studies have begun to yield candidate genes that may help explain individual differences in interest in the arts.

3. Specific links exist between high levels of music training and the ability to manipulate information in both working and long-term memory; these links extend beyond the domain of music training.

4. In children, there appear to be specific links between the practice of music and skills in geometrical representation.

5. Correlations exist between music training and both reading acquisition and sequence learning. One of the central predictors of early literacy, phonological awareness, is correlated with both music training and the development of a specific brain pathway.

6. Training in acting appears to lead to memory improvement through the learning of general skills for manipulating semantic information.

7. Adult self-reported interest in aesthetics is related to a temperamental factor of openness, which in turn is influenced by dopamine-related genes.

8. Learning to dance by effective observation is closely related to learning by physical practice, both in the level of achievement and also the neural substrates that support the organization of complex actions. Effective observational learning may transfer to other cognitive skills."


Respectful of the preferred activity and learning style of the student and providing appropriate opportunities commensurate with age, grade, interest level, competency, and experience, each APOGEE session progresses, integrating the art, craft, music, dance, poetry, or sport activity with the particular academic task at hand. A spontaneous script, a brain-storming web, fostering mutual dialogue, brings a social studies, science, or language arts activity to new life. Mastery of any and all subject content is supported by assuring that all words, terms, instructions, directions, are fully understood, defined, and demonstrated.

The APOGEE student learns that (1) one is to know the meaning and the particular context of each word in an assignment, in an instruction, in what is read, heard or demonstrated. No word that is not fully understood is to be glossed over. Every word is to be 'cleared' for understanding, application and relevance. This is true of all endeavors in all subject areas, academic, craft, technology, and in all the arts. Unless the what, when, how, is clear, readiness for action and/or learning will be compromised. The achiever learns that (2) there is to be 'mass' to what is learned, how does this idea, concept, object, function, in the world of action, interaction, purpose? The achiever learns that (3) there is a 'gradient' to all learning. One needs to identify what the prerequisite skills are for each step, each requirement, each expectation. All concepts are presented with application to the student's everyday life and experience. All is indeed considered artful learning.

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