those spaces in between life, thinking, the physical world, and humanity
A Research-Based Approach to Arts Integration
At Bates Middle School in Annapolis, Maryland, arts integration has helped raise student achievement. Job-embedded professional development, differentiated arts instruction, and critical-thinking skills integrated into the curricula have been key to their success.
By Vanessa Vega
Arts integration has been shown by several rigorous studies to increase student engagement and achievement among youth from both low and high socioeconomic backgrounds (Catterall, Dumais, & Hampden-Thompson, 2012; Upitis & Smithrim, 2003, cited in Upitis 2011; Walker, McFadden, Tabone, & Finkelstein, 2011). Arts integration was introduced at Wiley H. Bates Middle School, in Annapolis, Maryland, as part of their school improvement plan in 2008 after the district applied for and was awarded a four-year grant under the Arts in Education Model Development and Dissemination (AEMDD) Grant Program.
Since arts integration was first implemented at Bates, the percentage of students achieving or surpassing standards for reading has grown from 73 percent in 2009 to 81 percent in 2012, and from 62 percent to 77 percent for math during the same period, while disciplinary problems decreased 23 percent from 2009 to 2011. According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) data, math and reading scores among students in grades 6-8 have shown a long trend of improvement across the state of Maryland. However, the percentage of students proficient or advanced at Bates has grown nearly 12 times faster than the state in reading, and four times faster in math. Science achievement among eighth graders also has outpaced the state from 2009 to 2011. Teachers and staff report that arts integration has been one of the key reasons for the school’s improvement. Several research-based practices contribute to the success of arts integration at Bates Middle School:
Arts activities that leverage memory and address students’ learning needs
Job-embedded professional development and common planning tim