Warhol’s fractions: Teaching through the arts

A Maryland middle school integrates arts with the standard curricula, reports Edutopia on Bates Middle School in Annapolis.

For example, in a science classroom you might see students choreographing a dance using locomotor and nonlocomotor movements to demonstrate their understanding of rotation versus revolution of the planets (PDF). In a math class, you might see students learning fractions by examining composition in Warhol’s Campbell’s soup paintings. (See more arts-integrated lesson plans from Bates.)

“Engagement can also be leveraged to boost academic growth and improve discipline,” Edutopia argues.

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  1. This is stupid. “Sure, let’s spend three hours putting together a dance routine to badly express what we could have learned much better and more efficienctly in 15 mintues the old fashioned way!” (An old fashioned way that’s worked for 1000+ years)

    When serious academic work gets turned into Summer Camp, we all become dumber as a society. The same goes for those (beyond) stupid K-12 teacher inservices, where grown adults are doing stuff that middle school kids in summer camp would consider stupid…

    • Stupid? Not if your professional career consists of discovering new and novel ways of giving the appearance of educational progress.

      What if arts integration catches fire in the public education community and by pulling together behind one, seemingly worthwhile development the education reform movement’s slowed down? What’s the value of delaying the passage of a voucher bill or a law loosening the cap on charters? Is it stupid then?

      Broaden your horizons to include the views of those who depend for a living on the current structure of public education and those who are incapable of considering any possibilities save the current system. Are they concerned with the educational value of an idea or whether the idea might discomfit them?

  2. Jimmy, you may be able to describe the concept and ace the test, but you’ll have to go practice your steps if you want a passing grade…

  3. This is worse than ‘new math’ being taught to kids who have never learned to add and subtract.

    How can any ‘profession’ subject kids to this kind of unproven drivel? No child should be subjected to this kind of garbage.

    Does anyone remember that people used to wind up literate and numerate without even finishing high school? Thank god my grandchildren are in a non-public school that sticks with the proven techniques.

  4. Worse than frivolous, this is factually wrong. The motion of the planets around the sun is in no way circular, it is elliptical. Also, there is no distinction between revolution and rotation, at least not in my dictionary.

    Hard to blame the kids with this one, it’s just stupid.

  5. Well, this is it. When our grandkids ask us, “How did the USA go from being the most powerful country in the world when you were my age to a third world country now?” all we have to do is show them the Science lesson that got turned into a dance lesson PDF…

  6. The amount of retardation in that video is EPIC. Learning science through dance? Come on…