In his literature review article, “Enhancing Student Learning through Arts Integration: Implications for the Profession,” Dr. David Gullatt discusses how the creative arts can be implemented into K-12 education with the goal of developing ‘whole students’ that are literate beyond the limitations of the core curricula. To illustrate his point, Dr. Gullatt cites research from the past ten years to highlight instances where arts education has been successfully integrated into school programs and how they have benefited both students and teachers alike.
In our current economic environment, this article is a call to action for stopping the budget cuts that are stripping arts programs while augmenting math and science education in our schools. Dr. Gullatt begins with a history of arts education in the schools to provide a framework for understanding the important role they have played in cultivating abstract and cognitively powerful thinkers. He then goes on to compare the United States against the international community.
He highlights in particular countries such as the Netherlands and Japan that have a long tradition of successful arts education that create long lasting creative cultures whereas in America many artists are ‘left unidentified. ’ Gullatt goes on to describe the eight ways that art programs have been presented to American schools and how these can be expanded upon and improved by adopting four outcome principles for arts education that reach across disciplines in the classroom.
Central to Dr. Gullatt’s project is the employment of qualified teachers and a dedicated school administration that is committed to the arts. Following his advice, students and teachers will be able to creatively construct deep meanings of the world around them and will be better equipped to apply their education to a wide variety of projects outside the realm of school.