Western Michigan University

ED 430: Creativity in the Classroom

Allison Downey

"It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge."
- Albert Einstein

Course Website: http://homepages.wmich.edu/~adowney

Professor: Allison Downey
Phone: o- 387-1820 / h - 388-7323 (if necessary)
Email: allison.downey@wmich.edu
Office: 3422 Sangren
Office Hours: Tues. 2-4 p.m., and by appointment
Credits: 4 credit hours
Location and Time:
MW 2:00-3:50 pm in 2107 Sangren
MW 4:00-5:50 pm in 2107 Sangren
Course Pre-requisites: Completion of all other courses in minor.

Required Texts and Materials:

Cornett, Claudia (1999). Creating Meaning Through Literature and the Arts (2nd Edition). New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

Coursepack: Kent, C. & Steward, J. Learning by Heart: Teachings to Free the Creative Spirit. New York: Bantam Books (Available at the University Bookstore at the corner of Howard & Michigan Ave.)

ED 430 Coursepack: Readings - Available at the University Bookstore at the corner of Howard & Michigan Ave.

Journal - Students will also be required to purchase a hard cover, bound journal suitable for writing and mixed media sorts of artwork. This will be your creativity journal for reading-reaction essays, inspired musings, artistic expression and other activities completed throughout the semester. This is NOT the same thing as your regular notebook for taking notes in class. (Ensure that the journal is large enough to allow you to explore artistically.)

Optional: Tool kit: a baggie with a box of crayons, box of markers, box of colored pencils, scissors, glue stick, some plain white paper and various colors of construction paper.

Reserved readings will be available in the Education Library on the third floor of Sangren.

Recommended / Optional texts: (Available at WMU & University Bookstores)

1. Gelineau, Phyllis. Integrating the Arts Across the Elementary School Curriculum. Southern Connecticut State University, Wadsworth, a division of Thomson Learning

2. Jacobs, H.H. (Ed) (1989) Interdisciplinary curriculum: Design and Implementation. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

3. Burnaford, Aprill,Weiss (Editors). Renaissance in the Classroom: Arts Integration and Meaningful Learning. Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education, CAPE. Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers, c. 2001.

Course Description:
"A synthesis of the principles developed in the Integrative Creative Arts Minor as applied to teaching and learning at the elementary school level. Emphasis is placed on the integration of creative processes in elementary school curriculum and instruction, on the teacher as problem-solver and creative artist, and on the creation of structures that accommodate individualization of instruction and creative problem solving in children" (Undergraduate Catalog, 1999-2001, p. 183).

Course Objectives: Among the broad objectives/outcomes of the course are to develop increased self-awareness, comfort with a variety of creative expressions, increased appreciation for and understanding of various art forms, intellectual curiosity, aesthetic sensitivity, willingness to assume risk and find creative ways of posing and solving problems; growth in learner's abilities to assume the role of advocate for all children; to articulate and defend an expanded approach to literacy; to engage in practices that improve schooling, including developing interdisciplinary arts integrated curriculum (teaching with, about, in, and through the arts) that enhances learning of core curriculum and arts appreciation; to envision, structure and support diverse classroom cultures.

Program Goals Addressed in Course:

*Analyzes and evaluates one's own professional performance and implements changes which result in improved student learning.
*Models a high degree of skill in written and oral communication both for students and for colleagues.
*Exhibits poise and self-confidence.
*Shows flexibility, is reflective, and is open to suggestions, criticism, new ideas and new learning.

Professional Understanding:
*Works collaboratively and effectively with support personnel, community resource persons, colleagues, and parents.
*Identifies professional issues at the local, state, and national levels.
*Reflects about and demonstrates understanding of pedagogy and content areas central to teaching.
*Analyzes and uses various theories of learning, intelligence, development, and socialization.
*Examines, adapts, extends, and creates integrated curriculum relevant to content area knowledge and student learning needs.
*Uses computers and technology to assist students' learning.

Diversity and the School Environment:
*Creates cooperative, multicultural communities of learning within the classroom.
*Creates learning opportunities by analyzing and building on students' social, cultural, ethnic, and experiential backgrounds.
*Constructs activities that work to eliminate bias and injustice in social life and in schooling.
*Fosters cooperation among all learners.
*Analyzes, recognizes, and responds to the special needs of all learners.

Teacher Practice:
*Creates a dynamic classroom environment that promotes student learning.
*Uses group processes to accomplish classroom goals.
*Engages skillfully and thoughtfully in discussion, dialogue, questioning, and conferencing with individual students.
*Fosters student decision-making, independence and self-direction.
*Integrates reading, writing, and spoken communication as modes of learning.
*Provides creative and critical thinking opportunities.
*Presents information using a variety of instructional techniques.
*Analyzes, selects, and organizes appropriate learning materials, resources, and technology to meet objectives and goals.
*Studies and implements positive principles of classroom management.

Understanding Learners:
*Studies and utilizes a developmental, student-centered approach that nurtures the whole person in cognitive, affective, and psychomotor areas.
*Analyzes, respects, identifies, and utilizes student interests and learning styles in planning programs.
*Analyzes, respects, identifies, and utilizes student knowledge and past experiences in learning activities.
*Shows sensitivity to interpersonal relationships among students and promotes positive self-concepts.
*Incorporates active and creative learning experiences.

Authentic Assessment:
*Sets appropriate goals and utilizes various methods of assessment.
*Analyzes and establishes educational goals and student objectives which are appropriate for the developmental levels and needs of students.
*Evaluates programs and progress with authentic and varied assessment tools.
*Examines and maintains records of student behavior and achievement for evaluating and reporting student progress.

Students will be expected to:
Develop increased skills in applying creative approaches to solving technical and practical artistic problems, independently and within groups; using the arts to present and communicate content, feelings, and ideas; and applying those skills to create aesthetic objects and/or projects. Collaborate with peers and demonstrate understanding of key concepts through discussion and successful completion of all assignments.

Modes of Instruction:
A variety of instructional modes will be used. Projects will be assigned to stimulate reading, research, creation, performance, assessment, and reflection. Awareness exercises, ensemble activities, etc., will be used to involve class members in shared task experiences. Large group presentations will vary, including lecture, demonstration, audiovisual media, and student performances.

Assignments and Projects:
(more detail about assignments will be posted on website as links on the table of contents page)

Creativity Unit:
Creativity Journal: 15%
If we want to be creative teachers, we need to be creative beings. The journal is meant to be a chance to develop and stretch your creativity to impact your personal growth and your future teaching. It will hold your drawings, writings, and creative musings… Journal entries are based on Kent and Steward's Learning By Heart: Teachings to Free the Creative Spirit. Your journal entries will serve as the basis for creating your final creative product, so be make sure to respond thoroughly to the considerations below:

Individual Creative Culmination: 5%

Groupings: There will be 3 main grouping strategies for learning, processing, and sharing material. These groups will be assigned during the first few weeks of class. Each student will be an expert on a particular core subject for a particular grade level, and will bring this expertise to the study of one art form for integration into the curriculum.

Grade Level/ Home Groups = a team of grade level teachers- should be @ 4 students for each grade level, each student is an expert on one of the core subject areas. There are 7 Home Groups of 4-5 students each. Home groups will create their final project, a grade-appropriate arts integrated unit plan, together.

Expert Groups = Core subject area groups. A student from every grade group is represented here, so K-6 is represented. There are 4 Expert Groups (Math, Science, Language Arts, Social Studies) of 8 students each.

Art Groups = Each group focuses on one of the 5 art disciplines: art, music, drama, dance, literature. Each of the grades are represented (1 may be missing) and all of the expert groups (core subjects) are represented There are 5 groups of 6-7 students in each. Students in each Art Group will collaborate on a presentation about the art on a designated day.

Arts Group Presentations: 20%

On an assigned day each arts group (drama, dance, music, art, literature) will teach the class (at least 60 min.) about their assigned art form. The specifics of the assignment are as follows:

  1. Each art group member will create, provide, and present their "grade level group" with a 1-2 page overview synthesizing the material in the assigned chapters in the text, Creating Meaning , their additional research, and suggestions for applying the material to their grade level's curriculum. Use whatever aids necessary to ensure that your presentation considers Gardner's Multiple Intelligences Theory.
  2. Each art group member will present (solo or in small groups) a performance (puppet show, storytelling…) or an arts-based activity from a lesson plan they designed that is geared for their assigned grade level and enhances learning of curriculum of their assigned core subject area.
  3. Each activity / performance will be accompanied by a lesson plan describing how you would use that activity in the classroom.
  4. Each person must take an equal role in presenting and leading the class and you will be evaluated by your group members for your preparation and by your classmates about your presentation.

Interdisciplinary Arts Integration Units:
Final Project: Group Interdisciplinary Thematic Arts Integration Units: 25%
You will be working in groups to create an arts-based interdisciplinary unit geared to your assigned grade level incorporating:

a) generative themes and critical questions
b) Framework for unit plan including graphic organizer / concept maps
c) at least 3 lessons from each discipline that integrate the arts and includes assessment strategies and arts partnership opportunities
d) the national standards for arts education and
e) the Michigan standards for the selected content areas
f) synthesized background material about the theme
g) a cover newsletter to parents justifying the unit and the integration of arts, and why this theme/unit is appropriate developmentally and curricularly for their child (your grade level)

You will be given some time in class to meet with your groups, but additional time outside of class may be necessary. Each group will present their units to the class and later at the Creative Arts Symposium on Friday, April 16th. You will be evaluated by your group members for your preparation. You will be prepared to create your Interdisciplinary Arts Integration Units through a variety of experiences and assignments over the course of the semester:

You will be working in groups as assigned grade level teachers within the first several weeks of the semester. Each student will be assigned a grade (K-6) and core subject area: (Math, Social Studies, Language Arts, Science) to research. Throughout the course of the semester, you will apply the arts integration strategies to this grade level for assignments and projects. You will be expected to become "experts" on the curriculum guidelines and the National and State Benchmarks and Standards for your assigned grade & subject area to serve as a foundation for arts integration.

You will develop this understanding from:

a. A study of the teaching materials (textbooks, teacher aids…)
b. District-wide curriculum for KPS (held at Main St. Prof. Development)
c. Classroom visit to observe the students - Woods Lake Elementary
i. Interviewing the Teachers
ii. Interviewing the Students
d. Research about child development at your assigned grade level


Monday, February 16th: Overview of curriculum for assigned grade level and subject area (1-2 pgs. typed) 1 copy for me and each member of your group.
Monday, February 23rd:
List of questions for Woods Lake teachers & Students
Wednesday, March 10th: Synthesized research material about assigned core subject curriculum, standards & child development for your assigned grade level.
Monday, March 15th: theme choice & justification of validity of theme
Monday, March 22nd: Concept map , graphic organizer and unit framework
Monday, March 29th: lesson Plan (rough drafts) for units: K-2
Wednesday, March 31st: Lesson Plans (rough draft) for units: 3-6
Wednesday, April 7th: Rough Draft of unit / Present lessons to class
Monday, April 12th: Interdisciplinary Arts Integration Unit Plans
Friday, April 16th: Present in Integrated Creative Arts Symposium

Reflection Papers / Evaluations: 20% (all combined)
(12 pt. Font, Times-Roman. Stapled)
An opportunity to develop your skills as a reflective teacher: to more formally reflect on the connections between our reading, activities, assignments, pedagogy, and your own teaching and experiences. Reflection papers serve a dual purpose of encouraging thoughtful analyses of the readings and experiences in the class as well as reaching beyond this course as a parent newsletter or a piece for your portfolio.
See the Reflection Paper Checklist posted on the website document for more specific guidelines.

Reflection Paper Include:

1. Creativity Reflection:

Part I: 1 pg. typed re: What was your journey from the process to the product, i.e. what does your product represent?
DUE: February 9th

Part II: How can you as a teacher use the research and theories of creativity in
terms of your own process, your students' experience, and/or arts
integration? (consider section "Take Action 6" on p.31.)
DUE: February 11th

2. Experience the Arts Reflection:
Required to attend at least 1 (one) arts event or experience: art institute, event or performance (music, dance or theatre). This is a chance for you, as a teacher and community member, to expand your repertoire of artistic experiences. It is expected that you will spend at least one hour participating in this experience, and that you will pick an event that will challenge you as an individual as well as give you ideas for integrating the arts into your classroom. A write-up will also be required for each experience. Cannot be combined with assignments from any other classes. Guidelines are posted on the website.
DUE: by Wednesday, March 17th

3. Arts Integration Philosophy Statement: Statement of your understanding of and approach to arts integration. You must support your assertions with research (class readings ) and personal experience. This paper should synthesize and address the main topics of this course: learning theories (Gardner, Maslow,…), supporting diversity in the classroom / multiculturalism (consider how and why might you use the arts to address diversity in the classroom), creativity theories, interdisciplinary curriculum, the need for arts integration… This document may be included in your portfolio as a representation of your Integrated Creative Arts minor, or be designed for an audience of your choice: parents, employer, fellow teachers, elementary students, or for a website you develop in the future.
DUE: April 5th

4. Self Evaluation: Candid, reflective assessment of your work and your growth in this course. Specific guidelines will be provided.
DUE: April 14th

Individual Mini-Lesson Activity: Optional
An opportunity to lead the class in an activity / warm-up at the beginning of class on a particular day. These activities should focus on community-building and/or serve as a motivator for a particular lesson. Hand in 2 copies to me of an activity outline to be further explained in class and email me a copy to post on the web for students to access. Activities should be a minimum of 5 minutes and a maximum of 10 minutes. Mini-lesson samples available at your request.

Class Participation / Homework Assignments: 15%
Class participation is about your professional conduct. I view professional conduct as being on time for class, staying for the duration, coming prepared to fully participate, actively participating in discussion and activities, handing in assignments in a timely fashion, and communicating with me. I've planned activities that depend on you to be present and prepared. Quizzes may be included (with notice) to assess comprehension of the reading.
Your grade for class participation will reflect your physical and mental preparedness for class, your contributions to group work, your attitude towards others, and your own level of commitment to the process. Below is further clarification of class expectations:

Preparation: This is a "hands-on" class, and therefore students must be physically and mentally ready to work each day. Homework assignments will be directly linked to class activities, and are to be completed on time. You should bring all needed materials to each class meeting. Class Attire: In order to fully engage in most classes, you will need to be free to move. Please wear clothing and shoes that allows you to freely and comfortably move in the space (i.e. pumps, heals, clogs, and short skirts may inhibit your ability to participate)
Presence and Punctuality: As a class we work as an ensemble; every person is integral to the work, and absences or tardiness affects not only your work, but the work of others. Please be present and on time,
Personal Investment and Effort: The greater your effort, the greater your strides. Your level of commitment and a personal connection to the material will directly affect your learning and therefore, your grade.
Willingness to take risks: You are expected to challenge yourself within this class and push beyond your self-determined limits. However, you must be responsible in assessing what is an appropriate risk to take. Your safety, and the safety of others is paramount!
Sensitivity to Others: Because collaboration and emotional accessibility are integral to his course, a classroom that is physically, emotionally, and intellectually safe is critical. You are expected to respect and support others in their efforts within this class.
Cooperation in Group Work: Most of the classroom activities are collaboratively based. You are expected to cooperate in groups - pulling your own weight, as well as allowing room for others to contribute.

You are expected to be in class on time and prepared to actively engage in the day's activities. You are allowed 2 absences. Any additional absences will result in the lowering of your grade by one half letter grade per absence, i.e. a third absence will bring your final grade of "A" to a "B/A". Although I appreciate knowing you will not be able to attend class, for most absences it is not necessary that you contact me (unless you have a presentation or partner work) and it will not excuse you from missing class. In the event of an absence, please contact a classmate to take notes, record assignments, and pick up handouts for you. Three "lates" will equal one absence. If you have any questions regarding the material, please feel free to speak with me.

Late work is unprofessional and is discouraged. Being absent does not excuse you from an assignment. Preparing to be teachers, we need to learn to plan ahead. If you know you are going to be absent, please turn in any assignments before the class you are going to miss, have a fellow class member turn it in for you, e-mail your assignment to me, or put it in my box the day it is due. Work that is turned in after the due date will be reduced in points each day it is late, and will not be accepted after one week.

* Note: Cell phones and pagers are to be turned off during class. Please no gum chewing or food in class.

Particular Needs: Please let me know if there is anything I should be aware of regarding a particular need you might have, such as an early pregnancy, or a sensory or hidden disability that may influence your work, or affect your personal safety within this course. The goal is to make this course as inclusive as possible, but I need your help and communication to keep me informed.

All assignments should be done neatly and correctly. I expect you to type assignments (except for journal entries) in 12-point Times New Roman font, double-spaced, stapled if multiple pages. Any ideas you borrow should be correctly cited in APA format. Please proofread your work, as spelling and grammar do matter!

Grading System:

Grade Significance

Grade ................Significance............... Honor Points.............. Course Percentages
A ................Outstanding, Extraordinary.................4.0 ............................94-100
BA .......................................................................3.5 .............................88-93
B ..................Very Good, High Pass .....................3.0 .............................83-87
CB ........................................................................2.5 ............................78-82
C ...................Satisfactory, Adequate.....................2.0 ..............................73-77
DC .......................................................................1.5 .............................67-72
D ..............................Poor ...................................1.0 .............................66 and below
E ..............................Failing ................................. 0.0

Western Michigan University Diversity Statements:

College Students with Disabilities: Any student with a documented disability (e.g., physical, learning, psychiatric, vision, hearing, etc.) who needs to arrange reasonable accommodations must contact the professor and the appropriate Disability Services office (387-4411 or 387-2116) at the beginning of the semester.
College of Education Diversity Statement: The College of Education maintains a strong and sustained commitment to the diverse and unique nature of all learners and high expectations for their ability to learn and to apply their learning in meaningful ways.
Human Rights Statement: It is a fundamental policy of Western Michigan University not to discriminate on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, color, race, age, religion, national origin, height, weight, marital status, or handicap in its educational programs, admissions, employment, promotions, salaries and social activities. Through its example and teaching, Western strives to foster in its students, faculty and staff respect for basic human rights. In its external relationships, the University is supportive of those activities that seek constructive change in the development of human rights in their country and abroad.
You are responsible for making yourself aware of and understanding the policies and procedures in the Undergraduate Catalog (pp. 268-269) that pertain to academic integrity. These policies include cheating, fabrication, falsification and forgery, multiple submission, plagiarism, complicity and computer misuse. If there is reason to believe you have been involved in academic dishonesty, you will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct. You will be given the opportunity to review the charge(s). If you believe you are not responsible, you will have the opportunity for a hearing. You should consult with me if you are uncertain about an issue of academic honesty prior to the submission of an assignment.

Academic Honesty Policy

It is assumed that all students will always behave with the highest regard for the honesty of their work in this course. Your work in this course should be your own or the result of an honest and appropriate collaboration with your classmates. Any sources you use, including internet sources, should be fully and clearly documented. Because this is a course in creative arts integration, it is expected that you will sharpen your skills in developing curriculum. While you are free to incorporate ideas found on the internet, and while in your professional lives as teachers you have the freedom to pull lesson plans from the web, in this course all lesson plans assigned and submitted should be your work entirely. You may not submit lesson plans from the internet or any other source unless specified by me. If you do include ideas from another source, you are required to cite your source. See me if you have any questions.

This course will follow WMU academic integrity policies. The Office of Student Conduct (3712 Faunce Student Services Building) can answer frequently asked questions about academic honesty.

The WMU Faculty Senate urges all syllabi to include the following statement:

You are responsible for making yourself aware of and understanding the policies and procedures in the Undergraduate Catalogue (pp. 271-272) or the Graduate Catalogue (pp. 24-26) that pertain to Academic Integrity. These policies include cheating, fabrication, falsification and forgery, multiple submission, plagiarism, complicity and computer misuse. If there is reason to believe you have been involved in academic dishonesty, you will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct. You will be given the opportunity to review the charge(s). If you believe you are not responsible, you will have the opportunity for a hearing. You should consult with me if you are uncertain about an issue of academic honesty prior to the submission of an assignment or test.

ED 430 Home Page