ARTinED: Art in education

ARTinED: a new approach to education using the arts has designed an innovative methodology to add creativity in to primary schools through the arts and bring creativity through artistic expression in to every curricular subject.
The arts play a fundamental role to support a student’s creative abilities, self-expression and learning abilities. They are a necessary tool especially when not thought as separate subjects but integrated throughout the curriculum. For example, dance, music, drama, creative writing and poetry, visual arts used into the teaching of maths, science, and languages at primary education level

Learning paths dance 1 DSC_0329
The two workshop scenarios presented below give example of how integrate dance into teaching maths and creativity writing into natural science

There are more scenarios in English, Spanish, Italian, Romanian, Swedish and Turkish language that give examples to primary school teachers to use this approach or even better to use them as inspiration to develop their own workshops at the link below.

Teaching Point(s):

Division, shapes and counting rhythms/beats
Learning Outcomes :
Learning mathematical division
Practising counting
Practising concentration
Learning how to hear and count rhythms
Practising to work and collaborate in groups
Practising to be creative and openly expressive
Learning paths dance 2 DSC_0309.jpgbbb

The Teaching Procedure :
The teacher asks the students to divide themselves into 4 groups; of equal numbers. Then the students divide each group into half.
The teacher explains the counting of a song, using the most common example of a 4/4 beat. The student’s practice holding count to the beat and figuring out how many “8s” they can collect during the playing of one tune, (in dance we use the counting 1-8, to make it easier to know what movement to do on a certain count).
The teacher then asks each group to make a choreography of four “8s” and to start that choreography after two “8s”. The choreography should have a clear shape of a triangle, square or rectangle (how the dancers stand) and it should be expressing numbers in shapes (inspiration). The choreography can have other elements than the examples given here but should be connected with the subject of maths.
The student’s choreographies are then shown to each other in the classroom, or to other invited classes. The choreographies can also be videoed for documentation.

Teaching Point(s)

Flowers life cycle and the concept of heliotropism applied to solar energy
Sunflowers and solar energy
Learning Outcomes

• Increasing interest and participation in science
• Increasing students understanding of scientific concepts
• Learning new words and improving the scientific vocabulary
• Reinforcing learning process in natural science
• Understanding flower lifecycle
• Identifying the parts of a plant: seed, roots, stem, leaves
• Understanding the importance of the sun on the life of plants
• Developing an understanding of ecological principles
• Discovering how mirroring nature inspires new technologies
• Learning to express feelings and emotions
• Improving communication and collaborative learning

Learning Path Science 2
Learning Path Science
The Procedure
Step 1
The teachers introduce students to the topic and learning objectives of this activity.

Step 2
The teacher shares background information about what plants need for growth and shows the students the selected resources using a computer and/or some pictures. Then the teacher reads aloud a poem about sunflowers and introduces the concept of plant heliotropism and its application to solar energy using some videos.

Step 3
The students divided into groups of four or five and the teacher using a torch (as sun) ask them to move like sunflowers for 2 or 3 minutes. Brainstorming activity will helps to promote thinking skills. Students will be encouraged to use their imagination and express their feelings about what they have learnt about sunflowers and their life cycle. The teacher will ask them to create a poem or a short essay about the different stages of the sunflower lifecycle.

Step 4
To create the poem or the short essay the teacher may ask the first child of a group to make up one sentence and the second child has to repeat the same sentence adding something more and so on till the last child of the group. Each group will create a collective poem or short story.
At the end of the session all the poems and the stories can be written in a notebook or performed and commented on by the children and then videoed by the teacher.
Resources for this activity: suggested poems and videos :
• Bring Me the Sunflower by Eugenio Montale
• Ah Sunflower! by William Blake
Sun tracker idea video:


  1. Maria-Schejbal

    11 December 2014

    Hello Cinzia, I am getting back to your learning path now, since our colleague from Grodzki Theatre – Piotr Kostuchowski has recently published an article with a meaningful title: “Art and Education–The Inseparable Sisters”. I find it highly relevant to “ARTinED” project, this is why I would like to share a link to this text with you and with the other members of ARTES community:

    The article begins with an important remark about the role of a teacher in the learning process:
    “If we assume that the essence of school is the interaction between the teacher and the student, then it must be specified what kind of person the teacher is to be. The teacher is what mainly influences the school’s effects, and the nature of that interaction influences the style and the way of teaching”.

    I find this issue particularly interesting, when we analyze different possibilities of using art in education. Does a teacher have to be an artist himself/herself to use artistic means of expression? And what specific features does he or she have to be equipped with to successfully engage pupils in artistic activities and help them to achieve concrete learning outcomes?

    These questions often come back in our discussions and I believe that they might be inspiring for all those dealing with art and education.


  2. Cinzia

    12 December 2014

    Dear Maria,

    thank you for your question, in fact sometimes teachers can refrain themselves from using art at school because they do not feel comfortable with that, but it is enough to give it a try and they change easily attitude.

    After having tested the ARTinED Methodology in several schools and also during two in-service training courses (one in Spain and one in Italy) I can say that the teachers have not to be artists to use art forms to promote learning and concentration in the class.

    Your question was the first one of the evaluation questionnaire distributed to the participants of the ARTinED training course. The results of the evaluation indicate that during the pre-evaluation of the ARTinED in-service training courses most of the teachers answered that artistic background was needed it in order to use art in education while in the post -evaluation the teachers had a complete different attitude and were convinced that the methodology they had tested could help them to improve their daily job with the children also if they were not expert in any forms of art (50% scored 5 -5 was the highest score- in this question, 405 scored 4, 10% scored 3 and no one score 2 or 1

    Most of the teachers involved in the training courses were very happy to experiment themselves some art forms as you can see from the pictures at the link:


  3. Teresa

    12 December 2014

    In her “Creating meaning through literature and the arts”, Cornett writes: “Classroom teachers do not need to sing well, play an instrument, or read music to start music integration. What is needed is commitment to the philosophy of arts integration and a willingness to learn. Put music into perspective. It is a way of knowing – an intelligence every person possesses. Students will not mind if the teacher does not have a fine singing voice if genuine enthusiasm is expressed. Making the effort to sing with students builds relationship and community – staples for discipline. Since classroom teachers are not perceived as specialists, students accept amateur efforts as natural and normal… With experience and commitment to music integration, all teachers can learn to sing without embarrassment, without being limited by the Western notion that only the talented should sing out. Remember Thoreau’s point that the forest would be a very quiet place if only the talented birds sang.”

  4. Maria-Schejbal

    14 December 2014

    It sounds good, but still I think that there are more layers of meaning to be discovered and discussed, when we talk about two “inseparable sisters” – art and education in connection with the role of educator/facilitator. I would not discredit talents and artisitic predispositions too easily. I believe that it is simply better for a musical person to use music in her/his classes than for someone who is an alien in the world of music. In other words, it is always good to think seriously what we ourselves are really good in/capable for, instead of using any method considered as good practice. A matter of choice.

  5. Piotr

    15 January 2015

    Teaching is a combination of scientific knowledge and art. Every teacher shapes and “sculpts” personality of his/her pupil. The teacher deals with the most complex, delicate and in the same time the most creative material. This means that every teacher, regardless of the subject he/she teaches, is an artist. The ancient Greeks would agree with such a statement, since they themselves created the concept of art as craft – “techne”.

    I would propose such a thesis: the teachers, because of their profession, have potential capacity for using art in their work. However, only a knowledge of the rules specific for individual art disciplines and ability to create art works in a given field ensure efficiency of actions. Does every teacher have such competencies? No. Can majority of teachers gain them? Yes. Everyone is sensitive to beauty and everyone is capable to create, of course to some degree. The fruits of work of every teacher are the most important and meaningful. How beautiful are the works created? How much goodness has been sown in pupils` hearts? Do they value the truth as something essential? Are they hungry for knowledge? Personal involvement of the teacher and his/her way of experiencing art are crucial, since their will to discover and create the beauty result in educational and aesthetic effects. The will and the act can change the world.

    I would say that this is my point of view. However, it might be worth quoting an anecdote here. David Hilbert, a genius mathematician, once said during his lecture: Everybody has some horizons. But when the horizon becomes more and more narrow, it finally turns into a point. Then, we say: This is my point of view. I am glad to take part in this important discussion, since it allows to view the problem from a broad perspective. It broadens horizons.

  6. Cinzia

    15 January 2015

    Hi Piotr,

    thank you for sharing with us your ideas, I have read with lot of interest your comments and I’m very glad to add that during the ARTinED In-service training courses both in Madrid and in Italy the teachers coming from different European countries and without gender distinction have demonstrated to have not only an artistic heart but also lot of passion and artistic capabilities.
    Most of the teachers have discovered these capabilities during the training and went back with lot of positive emotions, joy and inspiration . But also with a new attitude to spent more time on social-emotional, behavioral activities that help to engage students in deeper learning.

    I would invite you to have a look to the use case scenarios prepared and texted by the participants to the training courses—2-.pdf

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