BOOK REVIEW- Bridging the Curriculum through Art: Interdisciplinary Connections

April 8, 2010
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Bridging the Curriculum through Art: Interdisciplinary Connections was created by a group of educators, artists and museum educators as a tool for incorporating art into other academic disciplines.



Bridging the Curriculum through Art: Interdisciplinary Connections was created by a group of educators, artists and museum educators as a tool for incorporating art into other academic disciplines. The only way to make these hybrid lessons viable is to begin with content standards that are mandated at the state or national level and explain the requirements and goals that must be met. Each standard has specific instructions for training in each subject area, as well as directives and information regarding how these lessons may be applied to real-life applications.

This book works with National Content Standards first as a building block for lessons that satisfy two or more academic areas. In this way, the study of art can be validated through content, context, methods of creation or process. The National Content Standards information leads into designing lessons with a planning format that includes descriptions of each category as they fit into the plan, followed by a sample for assessing the lesson. The book moves on to specific academic areas and suggested lessons that would begin the conversation on interdisciplinary connections. A chapter on "Promoting Your Art Program" follows, and a references section is included at the end of the book.

The chapter on National Content Standards offers a brief overview of standards for each subject area. National Content Standards are the basis for curriculum development, although individual state standards must be used when writing lessons as well. Lessons are created around the content area and include definitions of what should be learned in each standard.

Every teacher needs to know how to teach in a few different areas, so the next chapter shows how to create "Art-Based Lessons" that can move across one discipline into another. In this chapter, a template with definitions of each element of the lesson, including a tool for assessment, makes it easy to write effective lessons.

Other chapters include "Art and: Language Arts, Math, Performing Arts, Science, and Social Studies." Each chapter has a unique strategy for incorporating art into the curricula, and each includes suggested works of art and artists, as well as activities for the implementation of the lesson. Some of the chapters offer a brief history of the methods or process of art that correlates with the subject area.

The last chapter, "Promoting Your Art Program," shows way to become an advocate for the arts through the development of advertising, exhibits, newsletters, articles, and bringing the family and school into the process of art education.

The authors, Nancy Walkup and Pam Stephens, are collaborators on several art education ventures. Both are dedicated art educators who are celebrated for excellence in education within the industry, as well as in their prospective communities. Together, they worked as project coordinators on Transforming Education through the Arts Challenge, a national school reform initiative through the University of North Texas. Both are authors of books, articles and teacher resource materials; lecturers; and presenters of professional development for schools and museums.

Bridging the Curriculum through Art: Interdisciplinary Connections is a valuable tool for writing lesson plans, with many references for books, audio/visual products, and websites that offer links for additional support with lessons.


Title: Bridging the Curriculum through Art: Interdisciplinary Connections, 2nd Edition
Authors: Nancy Walkup and Pam Stephens
Length: 144 pages
Price: $24.95


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