05.09.2020

Exploring iLEAD Lancaster Culture: What’s the ‘A’ in ‘iLEAD’?

iLEAD Lancaster

Editor’s Note: This is one in a series of articles on the pillars of iLEAD’s educational philosophy and approach. 

“The arts…are all keys that unlock profound human understanding and accomplishment.” – William Bennett

This week, we’re exploring the fourth pillar of the iLEAD acronym: the letter A, which stands for arts. We believe creating and exploring the world through the artistic experience enhances all subject areas for our learners.

We know the arts helps kids unlock their creativity and explore their imagination, but what else is happening when the arts are integrated into the curriculum?

  • Kids develop problem-solving skills.
  • Studies have connected kids’ involvement in the arts with gains in math, reading, cognitive ability, critical thinking, and verbal skills.
  • Art presents challenges to overcome at every age level.
  • Arts-based curriculum can help break down complicated subjects, making them easier to grasp. 

A focus on one subject can have dramatic influence on other areas of learning. A 2006 study by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum found links between studying the arts and increased literacy skills. Another by the Arts Education Partnership revealed that students who study music have increased achievement and proficiency in math. Reading and cognitive development were found to increase, as well. 

Additionally, arts integration plants the seeds for social benefits. A report by the National Endowment for the Arts revealed that students with a low socioeconomic status that have a history of involvement in the arts have better long-term academic, occupational, and social outcomes than their peers.

The benefits of integrating art into learning are practically limitless.

At iLEAD Lancaster, learners find a variety of ways to explore the arts. For some, it’s through performing arts, such as theater and music. Others devote themselves to visual arts, from painting to the skills they learn in their Makery. 

Lastly, beyond how arts integration leads to academic and social benefits, let us not overlook one of the other monumental benefits: Exploring art and using imagination empowers learners to create something that makes the world a richer, brighter, more diverse place. 

And that is a great thing. 

Next week, join us as we dive into the final pillar of the iLEAD acronym: Design Thinking.

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