By David Sherman
ARTS INTEGRATION with David Sherman
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As an artist-educator, I believe the most important and challenging aspect of teaching students is engaging their interests. As more and more children are being brought up on iPads and Dora the Explorer, they have concluded that learning must always be a familiar, enjoyable and interactive experience. But with budget cuts on the rise and the ongoing race to meet state requirements, it seems that schools have more to keep up with than the interests of students. As such, I begin my artist residency by taking what students already love, recognize and understand about movies, music, television and technology, and employ them to learn about math, science, social studies and language arts. It is their own knowledge combined with the versatility of multimedia that allows us to take subjects as unfamiliar as World War II propaganda and connect them to something as well-known as Super Bowl advertising. In the end, our residencies result in the creation of new multimedia works that reflect the studentsʼ understanding of the art form and the subject matter. These works are then shared with the public who too gain knowledge and understanding, as well as provide feedback to the students. I believe this process is most important as it allows us to assess and validate the studentsʼ work in the classroom.