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How the Arts Can Save Education

Transforming Teaching, Learning, and Instruction

Erica Rosenfeld Halverson Ellen Weinstein

168 pages
Teachers College Press

This book provides a blueprint for using the arts—performing, visual, and multimedia—to rethink what good learning, teaching, and curriculum can be. The author presents a bold plan for saving education with an arts-based approach to teaching that focuses on risk-taking as the most important aspect of a successful classroom. Halverson offers new models for learning that embrace the social, cultural, and historical assets that kids bring to the classroom, with guidance for designing engaging learning experiences for all grades and subject areas. Featuring many evocative examples from Whoopensocker, the author’s in-school artist-in-residence program, this resource illustrates how classroom practices and school structures can be reorganized for more inclusive success. Readers will learn how to reframe learning as acts of metacognitive representation, identity, and collaboration. And lots and lots of joy.

Book Features:

  • A guide for using theater, music, visual arts, dance, and digital media to transform the process of teaching and learning.
  • Guidance for building learning environments with art at the core, as opposed to adding art to curricula built around standardized tests.
  • Specific examples designed to inspire students’ creativity through writing, improvisation, and performance.
  • Exemplars culled from the author’s 25-year history of making art with young people.
  • Accessible language appropriate for nonacademics and nonexperts.
Author Bio

Erica Rosenfeld Halverson is a professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. In 2020, she received the Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award. Visit Erica’s website at ericahalverson.com.