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Curriculum for behavioral needs

  • 1.  Curriculum for behavioral needs

    Posted 12-17-2018 09:19
    Hi all!

    I am always psyched to hear how other folks are using the arts and creative outlets to meet the substantial behavioral and mental health needs in our communities. In my opinion, it is here where the achievement gap and the greatest needs arise. So how do we make the creative curriculum and social emotional needs connect and the highest priority?

    Bobby Riley
    Integrated Arts Academy

  • 2.  RE: Curriculum for behavioral needs

    Posted 01-09-2019 12:02
    ​Hi, Bobby,

    Over the years, I've witnessed many programs designed to engage students through the arts to curb disruptive (and sometimes destructive) behaviors.  One "specials" teacher I worked with in DC kept a box of "stuff" by her desk--paper, cardboard, drawing materials, extra materials from other projects-- and when a student needed some 1-on-1 time, she would ask the classroom teacher if the child could spend time with her during her planning period.  They would sit together and create something from the box of stuff, talking all the while about the project and the behaviors that happened in class.  She combined that 1-on-1 engagement with creating art and deeply discussing expectations and choices in the classroom.
    Could she have spent time just discussing?  Of course.  However, she knew that giving a child a chance to express emotions and creativity opened up pathways to better communication and therefore better behaviors.
    A teacher at an alternative school in Georgia partnered with a community organization during classroom time to create a mosaic on a bridge in the town about the importance of the river, pride in the town, and how different groups of people can work together.  The students were labeled as "troublemakers" in the area, but once they had a chance to create something with intergenerational groups of citizens, the real communication began to happen.  It was as if the creation of art became the town's restorative practice.

    Nancy Meyer
    Innovative Teaching and Learning Manager
    Stamford CT