The Whiteboard

The Truth about Creative Arts

Infusing the arts into every subject area and across all age groups benefits students and inspires teachers.

In today’s classroom, being creative is often deemed unnecessary, an extra, or a waste of time. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Including creativity in teaching practices can help our students explore God’s character, connect with their emotions, and employ higher-level thinking in the classroom.  

When teachers provide opportunities for students to explore who they are as artistic creators, we actually help them become more familiar with this aspect of God’s character. As reflections of the ultimate Creator, our students are designed to express their learning in creative ways. In fact, humans are the only living creatures who can appreciate and create art because we were uniquely created in the image of God. 

As reflections of the ultimate Creator, our students are designed to express their learning in creative ways.

Creative arts can also serve as a powerful resource for the many students who need social-emotional support. According to a 2018 Phi Delta Kappan article, an established connection between the arts and social-emotional learning exists. The authors found that incorporating the arts in the classroom can help students explore and express their emotions as well as interact with their peers in beneficial ways, leading to better student self-awareness, self-expression, and self-regulation. 

Additionally, the arts can encourage higher-level thinking in the classroom. At the turn of the century, Bloom’s Taxonomy was revised when “Create” was placed on top of Bloom’s pyramid. Teachers can encourage these advanced critical thinking skills by requiring students to illustrate or give shape to abstract concepts and demonstrate their understanding through their creative expressions. 

So, when was the last time your students were challenged to create in the classroom? 

If it has been a while and a jumpstart is needed, the following chart suggests a few ways to infuse the arts (visual arts, music, movement/dance, and acting) across subjects and grade levels.  

We can use these examples as a starting point to get our creative juices flowing—the possibilities are endless. Our students will benefit, and we might find ourselves feeling more inspired to teach as well.  

Lorelei Coddington is an associate professor in the School of Education at Biola University. She actively engages in K-12 education, supporting teachers across a range of curricular content.


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