A second-grader at Quatama Elementary in Hillsboro, Oregon, lights the sculpture she created when a visual arts residency was integrated with the study of electrical circuits. Photo by Janis Hill
In this week's podcast, Marna Stalcup takes us into the thinking behind The Right Brain Initiative, an innovative educational program from Portland, Oregon's Regional Arts & Culture Council. The goal of The Right Brain Initiative is to ensure that all children in the Portland metropolitan area have equal access to the arts. But the program does more than promote arts education in the traditional sense of the term: it aims to integrate arts into the way core curriculum is taught.
As its manifesto states, "Brains come with two sides for a reason." The initiative aims to engage students' creative right brains while they learn traditionally analytic, left-brain subjects. To this end, the program brings artists into classrooms to collaborate with teachers. In the process, teachers are trained to educate through the arts while artists are trained to teach their disciplines to students. As a result, students are exposed to innovative, creative, and unexpected ways to approach subjects such as writing, mathematics, and science.
In this excerpt from the podcast, Stalcup gives us examples of The Right Brain Initiative at work. [2:50]