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Using Brain-Compatible Strategies to Integrate the Arts

May 2013 | 280 pages | Corwin
Research shows that activities associated with the arts can enhance creativity, problem-solving, memory systems, motor coordination, and analytical skills. Best-selling author David A. Sousa and veteran arts educator Thomas J. Pilecki demonstrate how arts education is integral to the development of the brain and to students' overall academic achievement. This book provides:

" Classroom-tested strategies and techniques for both integrating the arts in STEM instruction

" Data from schools that have already integrated the arts into STEM subjects, plus anecdotes and student success stories

" How-to's for organizing curriculum and instructional strategies to allow for the integration of STEM subjects and the arts

" Strategies for getting the entire staff and community involved in STEAM initiatives

About the Authors
1. Why STEM Should Become STEAM
2. What Science Says About the Arts and Creativity
3. Frequently Asked Questions About Integrating the Arts and STEM
4. Implementing Arts Integration in the Primary Grades (K-4)
5. Implementing Arts Integration in the Intermediate Grades (5-8)
6. Implementing Arts Integration in the High School Grades (9-12)
7. STEAM Lesson Plan Appetizers in Science, Technology, and Engineering
8. STEAM Lesson Plan Appetizers in Mathematics
9. Putting It All Together

"This book should be a required reading for all teachers! This book is completely informative with a practical and authentic approach to changing STEM to STEAM as Arts Integration. The authors, David A. Sousa and Tomas J. Pilecki were brilliant in their analyses of why, what, and how Arts Integrations works without a doubt. I would highly recommend this book to my peers and administration because I found deep connections of arts integration which fostered interdisciplinary connections throughout the curriculum. Students would learn and remember what they learned because critical thinking rounded the learning experience for the whole child in a holistic direction."

Melanie Sitzer Hedges, Art Teacher
West Gate Elementary School, West Palm Beach, FL

"David Sousa's new book is more than hot; it is STEAMing! It is crammed full of suggestions to integrate arts into every STEM curricula at all grade levels to increase student learning. The research-based suggestions for strategies to engage students and deepen the level of thinking are abundantly supported with ideas for PLCs and a plethora of resources. Every teacher who is ready to update their pedagogy and make their teaching red hot needs this is the book!"

Renee Peoples, Teacher and Math Coach
Swain West Elementary, West Bryson City, NC

"STEM without creativity in application is stagnant. Brain research shows that we must rethink methodology in STEM education if we are to produce not only talented professionals, but also enriched members of society. From STEM to STEAM is a start in that direction."

Debra K. Las, Science Teacher
Rochester Public Schools, MN

"From STEM to STEAM is a game changer for educators who are serious about bringing excellence back into the classroom. It crosses ages, stages and curriculum development through research and practical application."

Darleen Horton, Environmental Magnet School Coordinator
Cane Run Elementary, Louisville, KY

“Imagine classrooms of children imitating the “ways of knowing” experienced by DaVinci or Michelangelo. In From STEM to STEAM, authors Sousa and Pilecki not only persuade us to integrate ARTS into the K-12 curriculum, they also remind us of the value of a classical education- an education that reveals how all knowledge is interrelated. In this timely book, the authors entice K-12 educators to transform their classrooms into centers of arts and science inquiry; and, in a rather credible manner, provide step-by-step guidelines for engaging K-12 learners in a rich interdisciplinary curriculum of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics."

Susan Lee Pasquarelli, Professor of Literacy Education
Roger Williams University, Bristol, RI

“If STEAM is something you are not familiar with, this book is a must-read. This book has given me information on the research and proved why STEAM was important; it is also something I can now add to grant applications for supporting documentation. I gave the activities to our staff of Science Educators and they loved not only how each activity was explained, but the breakdown of all the objectives for the activity. In my 15 years in Education, I have never read a book that made sense of why STEAM is so critical to our society.

I truly believe that this book will help my Education staff make stronger more substantial programming throughout our museum. I am recommending this book to every Science Center I know. This book provides an innovative approach to a crucial subject that our country needs to buy into for a prosperous future.”

Kate Arrizza, Chief Operating Officer
South Florida Science Museum, West Palm Beach, FL

“I found Sousa's and Pilecki's book to be a practical how-to on integrating the arts, both visual and performance, into the current trend in education to accentuate the teaching of science, technology and mathematics. All in all, this practical book melds the arts with the sciences and that might just make more educators look at the teaching and implementing of arts programs with a more favorable eye."

Sister Carol Cimino, SSJ
Saint Joseph of Rochester, Rochester, NY

”David Sousa and Tom Pilecki paint a compelling picture of how integration of the arts into education not only improves academic performance by our students, but also strengthens the nation’s workforce and better positions the U.S. in the global economy. Built on a rich foundation of research, the authors link the big ideas of education reform to classroom-tested teaching strategies. As America grapples with how to educate young people in the third millennium, From STEM to STEAM is a must read for educators, policy makers, and community leaders alike.”

Randy Cohen, Vice President of Research and Policy
Americans for the Arts, Washington, DC

"The book discusses one of the most critical issues in education today – using creativity and inquiry to inspire and engage students. STEAM is by its nature collaborative and creative – blending the arts and sciences – which is exactly what 21st century students are being expected to do. The authors present a thoughtful, real-life approach to concepts, lessons and activities that can be used in and out of the formal classroom environment. A must-read for any educator or youth development professional."

Judy Nee, Executive Vice President/General Manager
AlphaBEST Education, Inc.

"This book is a must read for educators, policy makers, and industry leaders addressing how to develop an innovative workforce for the future. Sousa and Pilecki have successfully outlined a pragmatic approach to empower teachers with the ability to integrate the arts into science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) discipline areas. This sets the stage for a national conversation to move from STEM to STEAM."

Edward L. Abeyta, Director of K-16 Programs
University of California, San Diego Extension, La Jolla, CA
Key features
  • Presents compelling evidence from research studies in cognitive and social neuroscience that demonstrate how activities associated with the arts enhance creativity, problem-solving, memory systems, motor coordination, and analytical skills, which are all critical elements to achieving the STEM objectives.
  • Contains classroom-tested strategies and techniques for both integrating the arts in STEM instruction and for applying STEM concepts to instruction in the arts.
  • Features data from schools that have already integrated arts-related skills into STEM subjects, along with anecdotes and personal student success stories.
  • Explains how teachers can organize their curriculum and instructional strategies to allow for the integration of STEM subjects and the arts.
  • Offers strategies for getting the entire staff and community involved in STEAM initiatives.
  • Includes a list of additional resources available to teachers in support of the STEM subjects, the arts, arts integration, and STEAM.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1: Why STEM Should Become STEAM

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