Arts in the Basic Curriculum at the Brooks Museum of Art: Teaching Children Art Fundamentals

By Janna Robertson, Myung-Sook Koh and Sunwoo Shin.

Published by The International Journal of the Inclusive Museum

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The Memphis Brooks Museum of Art has had a collaborative arts infusion program with Memphis City Schools. Since its inception in 1979, ABC has grown from a program conducted by volunteers who served 120 students to a partnership that currently serves over 1600 fourth – grade students each year. ABC is a sequentially structured classroom and museum program with the goal of integrating art into various aspects of school curriculum, giving both students and teachers diverse opportunities for a variety of learning opportunities through exploratory museum learning and various hands-on-art activities. A variety of learning strategies are incorporated by museum personnel and public school teachers to enhance students’ creative thinking skills, problem-solving abilities, and to improve students’ writing.
The ABC program is made up of five sequential steps: an introduction to art concepts in the classroom, three visits to Brooks Museum that focus on various aspects of the permanent collection and special exhibitions, and finally, a follow-up classroom session for review and evaluation. The program will be described and examples of the collections and educational experiences for the student will be shared. Examples of teachers material and student work will be available online.
An analysis of the achievement scores of students that participated in the program and a control group were compared. Results demonstrated a modest impact of the program on achievement scores. Teachers that had been involved with the program were surveyed. Teacher’s perceptions of the program were very positive and the teachers demonstrated increased art infusion into the 4th grade curriculum.

Keywords: Art Museum, Art Education, School Children, Program Evaluation

International Journal of the Inclusive Museum, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp.19-28. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.170MB).

Dr. Janna Robertson

Associate Professor, Instruction and Curriculum Leadership , College of Education, The University of Memphis, Memphis, Memphis, TN, USA

Janna Siegel Robertson, Ph.D. has worked in the field of education for over 25 years. She received her doctorate in Educational Psychology with an emphasis in Special Education from UCLA. Currently, she has over 30 publications in peer reviewed journals or book chapters. Dr. Robertson has conducted over a hundred presentations for local, state, regional, national, and international audiences. Dr. Robertson has been the education evaluator for the Arts in the Basic curriculum Program since 2001. Her research focuses are in the areas of special education, instructional technology, program evaluation, at-risk students, and urban populations.

Dr. Myung-Sook Koh

Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, MI, USA

Dr. Myung-sook Koh is a teacher educator at Eastern Michigan University. She has been in the field of education more than 16 years. She has been actively involved in scholastic activities with providing numerous conference presentations, workshops, and publications. Her research focuses are in teacher preparation for mild disabilities, autism, classroom and behavior management, urban education, etc.

Dr. Sunwoo Shin

Human Development and Child Studies at Oakland University, Oakland University, Rochester, MI, USA

Dr. Sunwoo Shin received his doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Special Education from the University of Memphis. He has contributed his scholarship with numerous presentations, workshops, and publications in the field of general and special education.


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