Workshop 3 Addressing the Diverse Needs of Students
Activities and Discussion (45 minutes) Homework
Part I. Learning Styles and Teaching Methods (25 minutes)
Read the following passage about learning styles:
Students take in and process information in different ways: by seeing and hearing, reflecting and acting, reasoning logically and intuitively, analyzing and visualizing steadily and sporadically. Teaching methods also vary. Some teachers lecture, others demonstrate or lead students to self-discovery; some focus on principles and others on applications; some emphasize memory and others understanding.
The idea is not to teach each student exclusively according to his or her preferences, but rather to strive for a balance of instructional methods. If the balance is achieved, students will be taught partly in a manner they prefer, which leads to an increased comfort level and willingness to learn, and partly in a less preferred manner, which provides practice and feedback in ways of thinking and solving problems which they may not initially be comfortable with but which they will have to use to be fully effective professionals.
From ?Learning Styles? by Richard M. Felder,
Use the Learning Styles and the Arts Worksheet (below) to chart connections between your arts curriculum and students' different learning styles.
The worksheet has some boxes already filled in. These represent some of the most obvious fits between art forms and learning styles. Go down the list for your art form, and identify places in your curriculum where you address the less obvious learning styles — or where you might try to do so.Print version
* Developed from “Learning Styles and Strategies” by Richard M. Felder and Barbara A. Soloman, http://www.ncsu.edu/felder-public/ILSdir/styles.htm
As a group, discuss which learning styles people think are easiest to address, and which are hardest to address. See if by sharing strategies across art forms, participants can gain a larger repertoire for addressing challenging learning styles.
Part II. Accomodating Students With Special Needs (20 minutes)
Read and discuss the following passages about the arts and disabilities:
Marcel Proust wrote: “Only through art can we emerge from ourselves and know what another person sees. ” When we see art as the universal language that has the ability to unite all people, we understand the importance it has in the lives of people with disabilities. For a person who cannot speak, a dance performance may clearly communicate even the most complicated message. For a person with a mental disability who cannot communicate effectively through words, a painting rich with color and life may say more than verbal sentences ever could. And, for a person who has limited mobility, a song sung with emotion and spirit may elicit movement toward a state of clarity and joy. By engaging in the arts, people with disabilities are able to contribute to our workplaces and communities, help extinguish old stereotypes regarding disability, and create a global culture truly representative of all people.
From Access and Opportunities: A Guide to Disability Awareness ? Value of the Arts to People with Disabilities, VSA arts
All students deserve access to the rich education and understanding that the arts provide, regardless of their background, talents, or disabilities. In particular, students with disabilities, who are often excluded from arts programs, can derive great benefit from them for the same reasons that studying the arts benefits students who are not disabled. As in any area of the curriculum, providing a sound education in the arts depends in great measure on creating access to opportunities and resources.
From National Standards for Arts Education. Copyright © 1994 by Music Educators National Conference (MENC). Used by permission. The complete National Arts Standards and additional materials relating to the Standards are available from MENC ? The National Association for Music Education, 1806 Robert Fulton Drive, Reston, VA 20191.
Use the Special Needs and the Arts Worksheet (below) to discuss how your arts program provides access and opportunities for students with special challenges.
* Developed from “Access and Opportunities: A Guide to Disability Awareness,” VSA arts, PDF http://www.vsarts.org/documents/resources/general/DAG.pdf
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