The Arts (ARTX)

ARTX 500   Arts Education for Early Learning and Emergent Literacy 3 credits

Although funding and consideration for art classes has waned in recent years, you can still incorporate artistic strategies into the topics you teach. When used correctly, arts-based educational strategies can enhance and deepen learning and help students see the art in everything around them. In this course, you will cultivate arts-based educational strategies that foster creative thinking skills and nurture the growth of children’s literacy skills and cognitive development. You will learn what the arts are; why they are important; how they contribute to students’ social–emotional, cognitive, creative, and psychomotor learning; and how they can be a part of everyday literacy instruction. Regardless of what subject you teach, incorporating sounds, images, movements, and stories can help students engage in the topic and retain information in a more meaningful way. With the easy-to-use pedagogical models from this course, you will be able to intentionally plan arts activities and lessons to deliver classroom content in an effective, powerful way. This course is offered through Advancement Courses.

ARTX 501   Be Versatile with Verse: Poetry in the Classroom 3 credits

Even though we may not realize it, our lives are infused with poetry. Adults sing rhythmic lullabies to babies; children learn nursery rhymes and key concepts like the months of the year by chanting (“Thirty days have September, April, June, and November!”); and teenagers rock to the beat of their favorite songs’ rhythm and lyrics. Poetry has the power to inspire, transform, enlighten, and stir our emotions. From simple limericks to complex elegies, poetry can enrich English Language Arts instruction by exposing students to its unique literary features and demystifying the practice of interpreting abstract or symbolic verse. In this course, you will develop robust strategies for incorporating poetry into your teaching practice. You will learn how to help students understand the conventions of poetry, interpret different styles of poetry, creatively express their responses to poems, and write original poetry. In addition, you’ll learn to create a classroom environment where all students are comfortable sharing their own poetry and their personal responses others’ works. Using the tools from this course, you will be able to fortify your English Language Arts curriculum and help students discover a lifelong appreciation for this unique literary form. This course is offered through Advancement Courses.

ARTX 502   Crafting Student Assessment in the Arts 3 credits

Applying traditional assessment to arts instruction poses many challenges because what matters in the arts classroom (instilling a love of art, creativity, experimentation, etc.) can’t always be measured. The nature and diversity of art-based disciplines in schools means that assessments like multiple-choice tests and essays often can’t adequately assess student learning. So how can you determine if students are meeting your learning objectives in a way that also supports student growth? In this course, you will evaluate the importance of authentic formative and summative assessment strategies for your arts classroom. You’ll examine assessment in the context of the National Core Arts Standards and explore several different techniques for evaluating students’ performance according to your learning objectives. In addition, you’ll learn how to use effective formative assessment and feedback to drive instruction and facilitate student progress. Using the strategies from this course, you’ll be able ensure that your students take away from your curriculum what you intended and develop a long-lasting and meaningful appreciation of the arts. This course is offered through Advancement Courses.

ARTX 503   Fostering Artistic Literacy Using the National Core Arts Standards 3 credits

Although arts-based curricula are first to be eliminated when school districts face budget cuts, according to the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards, researchers “consistently identify the arts as core subjects—i.e., subjects that all students need to study;” thus, every school has a “responsibility to ensure that all of its students master a core curriculum that includes the arts.” Moreover, electives have been shown to keep students interested in school, as they break the monotony of the school day, help students develop key twenty-first century skills, and prepare them for college and careers. As traditional core subjects (e.g., math, ELA) have undergone shifts in standards so American students become more competitive in a global market, so have arts standards. In this course, you will identify what is important for students to know and be able to do in the artistic disciplines of music, theatre, visual arts, dance, and media arts. You will also unpack the Core Arts Standards Conceptual Framework, which includes the philosophical foundations of the new art standards, lifelong goals, enduring understandings, essential questions, and model cornerstone assessments you can integrate into your arts curriculum. By the end of the course, you will be able to design high-quality art instruction and assessments that emphasize the collaborative nature of artistic production and support students in honing their artistic literacy, critical thinking, creativity, and communication skills. This course is offered through Advancement Courses.

ARTX 504   Integrating Music Across the Content Areas 3 credits

Make your curriculum sing by integrating music into your classroom. Many teachers and parents mourn the fact that the arts are disappearing from schools’ curricula, but the reality is that music still has a place in every classroom—including yours! Music stimulates your students’ capacity for attention, memory, and motivation (among other things), and with the right tools, you can harness these benefits to promote your students’ learning. In this course, you will discover the many ways that you can incorporate music into your curriculum, regardless of what subject you teach. You will explore a myriad of ideas, lesson plans, and resources that will enhance your teaching through the use of music. In addition, you’ll cultivate techniques for connecting music to language arts, history, and STEM subjects, and see how music can encourage your students’ cultural awareness and social–emotional learning. By the end of this course, you will have a toolkit of strategies that will light up your students’ brains, spark their interest, and create an environment of empathy, passion, and connectedness in your classroom. This course is offered through Advancement Courses.

ARTX 505   Managing the Art Classroom 3 credits

What art teacher doesn’t crave a controlled learning environment where students are respectful of each other, task oriented, and willing to take risks and make mistakes? However, creating an environment like this can be challenging. In a high-energy art classroom where students are busy creating, many art teachers struggle with striking a balance between chaos and a sense of flow. In this course, you will build strategies for effectively managing your art classroom, regardless of the size of your class or the energy level of your students. You will learn how to motivate, inspire, and create with your students, while also teaching them respect for materials, the space, and their classmates. This course gives you the time and tools you need to establish procedures, routines, and rules for optimal engagement; maximize learning time; and cultivate positive relationships with your students. With the techniques you gain in this course, you will be able to design your art classroom to be a safe space that fosters self-expression, creativity, and whimsy. This course is offered through Advancement Courses.

ARTX 506   Teaching Classical Music: History and Appreciation 3 credits

Classical music is a genre often unfamiliar to children, but one that has the potential to teach positive academic and emotional skills to students. In this course, the teacher will learn about the evolution of classical music, from the Baroque Period of the 17th century to the Impressionistic Period of the 19th century. The teacher will learn how to teach about the key composers, instruments, compositional styles, and historical context of each period. After taking this course, the teacher will be equipped with historical information that traces the development of classical music to enhance his or her students’ knowledge of and appreciation for this important genre of music. This course also provides the teacher with audio recordings of important works of classical music that can be an important resource in the classroom. This course is offered through Advancement Courses.

ARTX 507   Teaching Jazz: History and Appreciation 3 credits

Many believe that jazz is the most important original American contribution to the world of creative arts. It is deeply intertwined with American history and the artistic, social, and political movements led by African-Americans in the 20th century. Jazz changed the way the world looked at music, introducing musical techniques never heard before. In this course, you will review the development of jazz music and its various styles, its historical context, and the leading figures who popularized jazz and made it a worldwide musical treasure. You’ll develop strategies for instilling in your students a musical appreciation for jazz by teaching the elements of jazz (improvisation, rhythm, etc.) and by listening to original performances by musicians such as Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, and Duke Ellington. In addition, you’ll explore resources for showing your students how social and cultural issues contributed to the development of jazz and how it intersected with key events in our country’s history. Using the knowledge and techniques from this course, you will be able to teach your students not only about the history and finer points of jazz, but also how it helped shape and contribute to American culture and the musical world. This course is offered through Advancement Courses.

ARTX 508   The A in STEAM Stands for Art  3 credits

The U.S. Department of Education reports that the number of STEM and STEAM jobs in the United States will increase by 14% from 2010 to 2020. In the last several years, STEM schools have cropped up across the country, but their curricula often lack meaningful instruction in creative arts. Art, creativity, and design are poised to transform the 21st-century economy just as science and technology did in the last century, so it is essential to equip our students with these important skills. The inclusion of the arts in STEM makes education more engaging for students, as they are able to learn in an open-ended way and apply their knowledge to the real world. In this course, you will develop strategies for integrating arts into STEM lessons; designing, implementing, and managing STEAM projects; incorporating the four Cs (collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, and communication) into instruction; and assessing students in a way that supports the development of key 21st-century skills that students need in today’s classrooms and tomorrow’s careers. Using the methods from this course, you will be prepared to weave the arts into your entire curriculum to inspire your students’ creativity and digital literacy. This course is offered through Advancement Courses.

ARTX 509   The Learning Science of Music 3 credits

“Music makes you smarter.” Any music teacher is happy to share this truism with students, but learning science actually lends proof to the statement. Research shows strong links between music and essential brain processes and skills such as language acquisition and social– emotional learning. Music can benefit learners in any subject area—if teachers know how to integrate it appropriately. In this course, you will explore the most current research on the science behind learning music and its impact on the brain. Whether you teach music or another subject area, you will learn how formal music training enhances the learning process and how it can have positive effects on students’ psychological and emotional health. You’ll also see how you can use music to reach at-risk students, as music can have healing and therapeutic effects for children of all ages. Using the tools and strategies from this course, you will be equipped to incorporate music into any academic discipline for the benefit of all students, and also be able to advocate for more formal music training in your school as a whole. This course is offered through Advancement Courses.