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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Arts-Infused Learning in Middle Level Classrooms


To address arts education disparities in middle level schools, this paper explores evidence that infusing the visual and performing arts into language arts, math, science, and history/social studies courses is a pedagogical approach that meets the developmental needs of early adolescents and fosters a relevant, challenging, integrative, and exploratory curriculum for all learners. The strategy, often identified as integrated or interdisciplinary arts education, is examined through the literature and a case study of five middle level classrooms. Findings from this study, derived from participant (teachers and administrators) interviews and classroom observations, provide the compelling argument to support implementation of arts integration pedagogy in middle level schools. Moreover, positive outcomes for diverse learners suggest that this study has direct implications for educational practice and policy. Arts-infused learning can shift the current educational paradigm and foster positive change in middle level classrooms.

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