A school improvement model that stimulates and deepens academic
learning through the Arts.
The Artful Learning interdisciplinary approach is designed to
help students develop the capabilities that educators, parents and
business leaders desire: analytical thinking across disciplines
collaborative skills objective judgment higher academic achievement
a commitment to excellence technological competence productive
citizens and workers appreciation for diversity global perspective
adaptable learners creative and innovative solution-driven
Artful Learning is a transformational school improvement model
that empowers educators to use the arts and the artistic process to
awaken and sustain the love of learning for all students.
Artful Learning is a K-12 comprehensive school improvement model
specially designed to engage students at a deeper level of inquiry
and understanding than can be achieved with standard educational
approaches. By providing educators with a unique framework to
present academic content, Artful Learning links the arts and the
artistic process to the daily classroom learning experience.
Artful Learning employs an interdisciplinary approach that is
anchored by a central Concept while posing a Significant Question
that allow educators to teach a broad spectrum of rigorous academic
content. Studying through the lens of the arts generates a
measurably deeper level of comprehension and retention in
L E O N A R D B E R N S T E I N C E N T E R
The Leonard Bernstein Center mission is to strengthen education
on a global level by preparing educators to use the arts and the
artistic process to reinforce teaching and learning across all
Conductor, composer and educator Leonard Bernstein believed that
the process of experiencing the arts could provide a fundamental
way to instill a lifelong love of learning in children.
Through intensive collaboration and field research with leading
educators, researchers and practitioners - Artful Learning has
developed Bernsteins vision into a powerful and transformative
Artful Learning, Inc.Leonard Bernstein Center121 West 27th
StreetSuite 1104New York, NY
Research SupportedSchools effectively implementing Artful
Learning demonstrate a pattern of increased growth in state
achievement measures, school level data relative to their districts
and an increase in student motivation to learn. Educators endorse
the Artful Learning professional development as effective with
measurably improved outcomes in their students.
Artful Learning has proven to be a highly successful education
model across demographics from the impoverished to the affluent -
closing the achievement gap and increasing student engagement
Facilitates a three-year professional development and training
series for teachers and the school leadership team
Uses the arts and the artistic process to increase student
engagement and improve academic achievement
Provides a framework for exploring and delivering curriculum
that revitalizes teaching, learning and leadership
Adaptable to any educational system for seamless integration to
align with the school improvement plan
Allows educators to develop dierentiated instruction that meets
the needs of all learners
Advantages of the Artful Learning Model
Professional DevelopmentArtful Learning provides educators and
administrators with extensive, research-proven professional
development on how to utilize the methodology over a three-year
implementation process. Leonard Bernstein Center Trainers help
schools build a sustainable and thriving learning community.
A Framework for LearningArtful Learning uses a distinctive
four-phase sequence for curriculum planning, delivery and
assessment as well as identified strategies for school improvement.
The framework may be applied to any existing curricula by
incorporating the arts and the artistic process across all academic
experienceUses a Masterwork linked with a Concept and
Significant Question as catalysts to engage students
inquire Leads students through research and inquiry-based
activities to new hypotheses
createBrings students' original ideas to product and
reflectGuides students through documenting and interpreting
Artful Learning SequenceExperience | Inquire | Create |
Social StudiesLanguage Arts
English Language LearnersSpecial Needs Learners
District & State MandatesMusic
All learning content, modalities and initiatives are reviewed by
teachers. Interdisciplinary connections are made between all
subjects of focus. A rigorous Unit of Study is developed to follow
the Artful Learning Sequence.
Outcome: Students actively investigate their learning through
this concept-based, interdisciplinary Unit of Study utilizing the
Arts and the artistic process to express their understanding of all
Benefits: Increased student engagement Students display
understanding at a higher cognitive level through metaphorical
thinking Improved student academic performance Transformed school
culture & community
Artful Learning Sequence How It Works
Subject Areas of FocusTeachers design concept-basedUnits of
Study that incorporate interdisciplinary subjects to explore the
Concept and Significant Question from a variety of entry points.
Rigorous study for both content and artistic fluency are assessed.
This unit contains the following academic areas of emphasis.
Social Studies Geography Language Arts Mathematics Science Music
Theatre Visual Arts
What is a Concept?
Artful LearningUnit of Study Sample
Masterwork : Declaration of Independence - John Trumbull
Concept : Relationships
Significant Question : How does independence and interdependence
experience Students experience and respond to a Masterwork
through sight, sound and movement. Ideas, emotions and
understandings are awakened by the Masterwork, which serves as a
catalyst for immediate engagement. Students leave the Masterwork
phase curious and wanting to know more.
inquireStudents begin a substantive investigation triggered by
questions raised in the Masterwork experience. A Concept is
identified. A Significant Question guides the inquiry and students
employ a variety of research techniques utilizing the
interdisciplinary content to learn more. As students inquire, new
understandings develop and connections are made.
Any human achievement that has exertedinfluence over time and
regarded to be the best example of the genre. It embodies a
significant innovation, theory or insight and has the intrinsic
power to engage across disciplines and cultures.
What is a Masterwork?
What is a Significant Question?An overarching question that
frames theinquiry by challenging assumptions. This point of
reference generates researchable investigations to produce diverse
An organizing idea or mental construct that is timeless and
universal - powerfully linking various topics while crossing
multiple disciplines of study.
Students pictured are using music, visual arts, dance and
theatre Arts-Based Skills and Strategies with the Subject Areas of
Focus through Inquiry Centers to represent and convey understanding
of their learning.
A bold or innovative product created by the student to express
understanding of the Concept and Significant Question in a new or
distinctive way. The act of creating challenges students to use
higher order thinking - requiring the ability to apply and
synthesize the knowledge they have learned.
What is an Original Creation?
Students worked as individuals to create a singular mosaic tile
through the visual arts to illustrate Independence and
Relationships. The entire class worked together to create a
tapestry from the individual tiles to realize their understanding
of Interdependence and Relationships.
L E O N A R D B E R N S T E I N C E N T E R
createStudents design and complete an Original Creation - a
tangible, artistic manifestation that demonstrates their
understanding of this new knowledge. Thinking moves from divergent
to convergent as students focus on what is best to represent the
academic content learned. They construct a prototype and create the
final product - continually evaluating and revising until the
Original Creation is ready for presentation.
reflectStudents cogitate on their journey through the Unit of
Study and ask Deepening Questions about what has been learned. They
document this process through detailed narratives, maps and
metaphors. Students look ahead and consider how they can use what
they have learned in practical application, identify the valuable
skills acquired and what their next steps will be.
Independence and Relationships
Interdependence and Relationships
Original Creations can be realized through traditional or
non-traditional arts media, technology and a myriad of other forms.
Subject Areas of Focus can be transformed through sounds,
materials, words or movements to communicate a point of view.