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Design Thinking at GCC

Artful Connections

Illuminating the Learning Experience

"Creative thinking - is not a mystical talent. Is is a skill that can be practiced and nurtured."

- Edward de Bono

Current Project Stage: Implement

Creativity is a necessary tool for the 21st century. Studies show that student engagement in art boosts achievement in other academic subjects, decreases truancy rates, and improves student emotional wellbeing. Unfortunately, the students who need the benefits of art education the most are the least likely to have access to such programs. These students come from low-income families and attend urban public schools, where budgets are tight and art education is not a top priority.

The pathway toward a more in depth quality education can be found through art integration. Art integration is the approach to teaching and learning that uses the fine and performing arts as primary pathways to learning. For example, art can be practiced in combination with other subjects such as math, science, language arts,  history, and/or social studies. In this way art serves as a purposeful exercise to enhance and deepen students understanding while improving student communication and problem solving skills. Integrating art into the classroom engages students by empowering them to use their innate creativity to overcome challenges, both academically and in future endeavors.

For this project I have created a sample lesson plan for grades 2 - 3, which connects the language arts to visual arts. After reading the book A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon to student(s) , a series of questions will be asked to prompt discussion. Students will then engage in an art project related to the discussion and create their own miniature book(s) using illustrations to portray who they are and what they like. Students will then share their creations with the class. This lesson can be altered to meet any discipline and all learning levels.

Next Step: Test in classroom

Design Studio: Glendale Community College

Student Designer: Yahaira Malkenhorst

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