Teachers of the Institute of Art located in Wyomissing recently learned how to integrate art into their classroom instructions.

Dr. Patricia Pinciotti, professor of Early Childhood and elementary education at East Stroudsburg University and Mark McKenna, production artist director at Touchstone Theatre, visited the school to conduct a three day teachers workshop titled, "Art as a Way of Learning," from May 31 - June 2.

The workshop is based on the book "Art as a Way of Learningˆ®: Explorations in Teaching," which Pinciotti co-wrote.

This workshop helps classroom teachers (math, science, history, etc.) or teachers in the field of art education learn to develop skills on how to incorporate art into their class.

A core concept of the program is that "art as a language empowers children to construct, communicate, and express understanding and personal meaning."

The program was developed by teachers, art specialists, and college faculty members.

A wide variety of teachers from the Institute of the Arts including dance, music, and theatre, attended the workshop.

Drama teacher Beverly Houck said the Institute of the Arts has been enlightening students for about 70 years. "By taking this workshop the teachers are learning the most modern way of classroom instruction. We teach children from age two to 18. We want to be as excellent as we can possible be."

Art has been found to be important to every day learning. "Moving, telling and retelling stories are a natural language. Reading is not a natural language. It is a part of life by using the natural languages," said Houck.

Another idea Pinciotti stressed during the program is building multiple ways children view the world. "Children have six times more brain activity than adults. Multiple ways of looking at something is the best way to learn not just one way. This is what art does."

One way art can be incorporated is in science. Pinciotti stated that, "For example we want students to have multiple images of a tree, not just one."

Pinciotti said that children will find that art is not just limited to painting and drawing. "Art involves social, physical, and verbal skills."

For more information on the program contact Susan Rohn at: srohn@institute-of-arts.org or 610-376-1576.

The Institute of the Arts is located at 1100 Belmont Avenue, Wyomissing.

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