Differentiated Learning through Engagement with Artworks

By Maura Sellars.

Published by The International Journal of Humanities Education

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: June 18, 2015 $US5.00

This paper discusses one aspect of a course provided in an Australian university to prepare preservice primary school teachers to teach the performing and visual arts to school children aged 5-12 years in increasingly multicultural classrooms. This component of the course illustrates one means by which teachers can not only integrate visual and performing arts in their classrooms, but also use common understandings and experiences to bridge cultural differences, to promote student learning and understanding in the arts and to integrate the performing and visual arts. The example that is examined in detail and that provides a model for further curriculum planning is an integrated, differentiated program planned on the matrix that results by combining the two typologies of Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences Theory and The Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy . The example provided focuses on the Monet painting In the Norwegian and is designed for implementation with 5- and 6-year-old students. Whilst the preservice teachers in this course have, on occasion, initially suggested that this particular art work may not be an obvious choice for an arts study with young students, on closer examination they were unanimous in their agreement that the subject matter crosses the boundaries of time, language and culture. It therefore could be considered to be a perfect vehicle through which to support the development of age appropriate skills, techniques and concepts as described in the prescribed syllabus documents. Importantly, this perspective of planning for teaching and learning in the performing and visual arts is nonprescriptive. It can be implemented in various ways in different classrooms by different teachers and with diverse groups of students without compromising any of its potential.

Keywords: Art Appreciation, Differentiation, Multiple Intelligences, Integrated Planning

The International Journal of Humanities Education, Volume 13, Issue 3, September 2015, pp.9-15. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: June 18, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 270.646KB)).

Dr. Maura Sellars

Lecturer in Educational Studies, The Faculty of Education and Arts, School of Education, University of Newcastle, Mayfield, NSW, Australia