Five Ways to Integrate: Using Strategies from Contemporary Art

Title: Five Ways to Integrate: Using Strategies from Contemporary Art

Author: Julia Marshall

Year: 2010

Journal: Art Education

Volume: 63

Issue: 3

Pages: 13-19

Audience(s): Educators, Artists

Content: Art, Education, Academic Curriculum, Contemporary Art

Creating and evaluating art goes beyond investigating the artistic methods used. Art is intimately connected with other disciplines and through some of the strategies presented by Marshall this connection is brought to the forefront. Art is a vehicle that allows concepts to cut across standard disciplinary boundaries and invites conversation about science, the environment, mathematics, history, and so forth. The five strategies Marshall describes to achieve this goal of integration are depiction, extension/projection, reformatting, mimicry, and metaphor.

One strategy that struck me in particular was the practice of reformatting. Through reformatting, a concept is viewed from another vantage point and then conveyed in a visual format. An example presented by Marshall is charting one’s emotional world as a geographical map. The geographical map within itself presents several questions such as, where is north and west? Are there bodies of water? What is the terrain like on the map? What is the scale and size of the map? These questions could allow students to think as a cartographer, geographer, or historian. Examining one’s emotional world allows students to think like a psychologist or a philosopher. Reformatting challenges the way in which we normally view a particular idea or concept and encourages students to be inquisitive about the world around them and to not be hesitant about viewing it through different lenses and perspectives. The process of reformatting may elicit new and imaginative ideas that are more powerful when intimately connected with art than if the ideas were to stand-alone. The process of art making affords students with the opportunity to fuse their own experiences and learning together.

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