Be honest – when was the last time you felt like a “change agent”? Was it when you walked into your room today with a cup of coffee and tripped over the ethernet cable only to spill said coffee all over your sweater? How about when you managed to scarf down ALL of the cookies that were in that holiday container in your mailbox. Or maybe, just maybe, it was when a parent beeped at you out in the car loop and told you to “get out of the way!”. Yeah. I feel like a change agent all the time. Or not.
But here’s what’s really neat about arts integration – you get the opportunity to be a change agent every day. What exactly do I mean by a change agent? Well, Michael Fuller does and excellent job with his article on the subject (this is a must read by the way). Simply put, though, a change agent is anyone who moves away from the norm to change the outcome by changing the input. If you do things in a new way, you’ll get a new result.
With arts integration, we are changing everything all the time. Even the same lesson will change every time you do it because of the human component. Every human brings with them a different natural art ability. When you combine that with their previous knowledge and experiences, an arts integration lesson gets really interesting really quick. And I’m all about interesting.
We need to shake things up in education. Rather than waiting on Superman, or waiting on administration, or waiting for government, parents, blah blah blah, we need to take charge. We need to be the change agents we seek, as referenced over at the 21st Century Collaborative. Use arts integration as the really powerful tool that it is to help you change your students, your school and your community and let’s talk about what that looks like!