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Journal for Learning Through the Arts, v12 n1 2016

Recent education policy designed to promote arts education tends to focus on how such curriculum supports "skills for innovation" required for success in the global economy. Emphasis on the transfer of arts-based learning to professional innovation and achievement, a dynamic that is difficult to determine, can undermine the value of teaching the arts for their own sake. Three professors at the State University of New York at New Paltz discuss curriculum they developed to take advantage of museum learning opportunities that promote critical thinking, foster innovation, support course content, and increase students' sense of citizenship and belonging. Jennifer Waldo, a professor of Biology, Dennis Doherty, a professor of English and Creative Writing, and Sarah Wyman, a professor of 20th century Comparative Literature, use their campus museum as an applied learning environment where they facilitate interdisciplinary, experiential educational activities that develop student agency and encourage imaginative inquiry. The professors comment on their curriculum, their cross-disciplinary conversations, student reactions, and indicators of transfer. In addition, they present a strategy for assessing student-learning outcomes within a context that values the visual arts as fundamental to liberal arts and sciences education.

Descriptors: Art Education, Museums, State Universities, College Curriculum, Critical Thinking, Innovation, Interdisciplinary Approach, Experiential Learning, Learning Activities, Student Reaction, Transfer of Training, Citizenship, Course Content, Curriculum Development, Biology, English, Creative Writing, Twentieth Century Literature, Integrated Curriculum, College Students, Scoring Rubrics, Student Evaluation

Center for Learning in the Arts, Sciences and Sustainability. University of California Irvine, School of Biological Sciences III, Office 2656, Irvine, CA 92697. Tel: 949-824-4317; Fax: 949-824-2965; Web site:

Autor: Wyman, Sarah Mead; Waldo, Jennifer Turner; Doherty, Dennis


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