Integrating Arts to Enhance Teaching and Learning at Primary School
This dissertation was written as part of the MA in Art, Law and Economy at the International Hellenic University. Through this research I examined the possibilities of integrating art into the school curriculum, not only as a separate school subject but also as a tool to enhance already existing subjects such as language, history or mathematics. Is it possible to introduce artistic expression in the classroom in order to teach any school subject? Will it be viable? Will it complement the lesson and make children understand structures better or will it set obstacles in the learning process thus misleading children? Is there a suitable age for children, for example the earlier the better, or can it function regardless of age? Moreover, I examined if any type of artistic expression can enrich the teaching process. When teachers attempt to explain new elements, they quite often make use of several sources, such as music, painting, drama or pantomime, in order to make those new elements understandable. Not only that, but also bring joy and fun into the classroom. It is interesting to see if art can help teachers achieve their goals, in what way and to what extent. Is drama a powerful tool? Can a song touch pupils' soul? Does painting or any crafts work implement the teaching and learning process? Taking it one step further, I explored the areas in which arts can be integrated. Are all school subjects designed to accept such changes, or traditional teaching methods leave no margin for artistic expression? Young teachers nowadays attempt to bring new and fresh tools into the classroom. A very powerful tool can be that of any artistic expression, both for the teacher and for the learners. Is there a link between arts and teaching? What is the relation of them two? To these questions and to several more I attempted to answer, finding if not the ideal, at least a better way to enhance my lessons in the classroom and bring the most out of my students.