“Screen Zombies.” This is a name I’ve coined for the many students who sit in front of me (in person or on a screen). No longer are they lively and engaged, eager to learn and tout how much they know. As a result of schools becoming “overacademized” and Core Curriculum reigning as the main priority, they are increasingly bored, disinterested, educational automatons. Alternatively, they are depressed and stressed, as demonstrated by teen suicide rates skyrocketing. They turn to the only thing that gives them a rush- but ultimately can lead to their demise- their electronic devices.
There are 8 primary things lacking- undervalued and underfunded- in today’s school curriculum:
- Visual and Performing Arts
- Second Language Learning
- Personal Voices & Self-Expression
- Life Skills
- Physical Education & Recess
- Hands-on Activities & Play
- Social-Emotional Learning
Today’s high school students need to somebody to bring back their sparkle. School needs to be fun again. Kids of all age need to play, and express themselves creatively. They need the chance to explore their inner selves, passions, desires, aptitudes, and bring out the best of theirselves to the world.
ARTSY ENGLISH, a unique academic enrichment program designed to help school-aged students learn English as a new language through the visual & performing arts and life skills activities, seeks to fill in these 8 gaps.
HOW DOES ARTSY ENGLISH SEEK TO FILL IN THESE 8 GAPS?
It promotes academically:
- Communicative Competence and Literacy Skills in English
- Student-centered and collaborative learning
- Contextualizing and illustrating the English concept that is being taught, by “showing, not telling.”
- Accesses multiple intelligences (Gardner) and various learning styles simultaneously
- Greater motivation to learn a second language
- Cross-cultural learning, exposure, and appreciation
- Greater engagement
It promotes creatively and artistically:
- Creative problem solving
- “Art Imitates Life:” imitating and enhancing students’ authentic realities
- Being “open to interpretation” and able to generate endless ideas/language.
- Learning through play and fantasy- important at all ages!
- Skills in various visual arts, music, drama, kinesthetic activities, cooking, and life
It promotes socially/emotionally:
- Nurtures the mind, body, and soul
- Understanding, development, and honoring of one’s self, strengths, skills & interests
- Creative/individual expression and learner autonomy
- Engaging in the process instead of just the outcome- promotes internal motivation
- Reducing stress, anxiety, and boredom
- Gaining confidence and developing social emotional skills
- Exploring feelings in a safe way
- Expressing self identity and culture in an accepting environment
Amy Quinde is the owner and founder of Head & Heart International, a unique educational consulting & curriculum company with an overarching goal of preparing students successfully and authentically for their future. They aim to enhance students’ social-emotional, life, & language skills through creative and purpose development endeavors with a cross-cultural emphasis. In doing so, they strive to fill the many gaps left by our traditional education system. Head & Heart International currently offers enrichment curriculum programming for K-12 schools as well as consulting services focused on career and college readiness for high school students and their families.