Arts integration provides multiple ways for students to make sense of what they learn (construct understanding) and make their learning visible (demonstrate understanding). It goes beyond the initial step of helping students learn and recall information to challenging students to take the information and facts they have learned and do something with them to build deeper understanding.
"In the arts students have central and active roles as meaning makers. This role demands that they not only acquire knowledge but they develop the capacity to reflect on what they are learning and to use it as they interpret and create works of art.”
There is a growing body of research in the field of arts integration. Multiple studies have shown that various models of arts integration improve students’ long-term retention of content. In the schools and classrooms where the arts are being used to teach the curriculum, students are more likely to remember what they learned weeks and months later. Arts integration also benefits students’ non-academic skills. Executive functioning skills (the skills used for goal directed behavior, such as inhibitory control, working memory, and flexible thinking) have been shown to be positively impacted by engaging in the arts(3). Additionally, arts integration methods have been shown to be linked to improvements in student engagement and student social-emotional skills.