Fifth International School On Mind, Brain And Education

2010, August 1-6

Learning, Arts,
and the Brain

Directors: Antonio M. Battro and Kurt W. Fischer
Program officer: María Lourdes Majdalani

Abstract: Susan Magsamen
John Hopkins University - School of Education. USA

Can You Really Learn Through The Arts? Learning 21st Century skills through poly-sensory experiences and Arts
Over the last ten years research in psychology, cognitive science and neuroscience have come together, providing compelling data and information about how we learn and how this knowledge can be used at home, in school and in the classroom to enhance and enrich learning.
This presentation shares examples of poly-sensory and arts integration activities and materials that incorporate some of this science of learning research incorporating practical applications. These activities were designed to provide children with a wide range of experiences that incorporate different senses, skills and art/play forms and domains. Activity areas range from outdoor exploration to open-ended art projects, cooking, bedtime rituals and make believe play. All of the activities can be easily adapted for children 3-8 years old and used by parents, educators and child service providers.
The major projects to be discussed include The Classic Treasury of Childhood Wonders, an interactive book developed with the National Geographic Society and the Ultimate Block Party, an interactive public education outreach initiative in Central Park designed to share the intrinsic value the arts/play in developing important lifelong skills.
Drs. Kathy Hirsh-Pasek and Roberta M Golinkoff, professors of child development, and with the assistance of graduate student Jess Reed, have created a developmental model outlining six critical skills for children. Entitled the 6Cs, this tool has been used to provide skills assessment and overview for each hands-on experience presented in The Classic Treasury and the Ultimate Block Party through a series of symbols. The 6Cs skills are: collaboration, communication, content, critical thinking, creative innovation and confidence. Parents, educators and child- care providers can use this simple guide to help reinforce essential skills. The 6Cs provide a tiered mastery scale for each skill assisting children reach different levels of proficiency and expertise. This presentation will explain the importance of each of the 6C skills for helping to develop lifelong learners through arts integration examples and practical uses – empowering learning through the arts.