Aesthetics and learning are the perfect partnership because aesthetic activities improve the ability to remember. You would expect, then, that they would be used routinely in education, yet less than half of our nation's schools have arts programs as part of their curriculum.
Art, music, drama, and dance programs are being cut from schools nationwide - which is why it is absolutely critical that we as teachers provide these experiences for children ourselves - in our own classrooms.
"The brain is an aesthetic instrument", says neuro cognitive specialist Dr. Fritz Mengert, "and classrooms should be filled with all sorts of art, music, dance, and drama opportunities."
With his help, teachers learn how to teach using protocols consistent with the way the brain operates. This means that in every classroom at every grade level, children are singing, dancing, creating art, and participating in a variety of drama activities.
As an aesthetic instrument, the brain seeks beauty and finds it in art, music, dance, and drama.
The lymbic system of the brain houses both emotion and memory which means that the two are so closely related that one cannot exist without the other. Therefore, emotion is memory, and memory is emotion.
As teachers, we need to look closely at this relationship and explore ways in which we can make learning more emotional for our students. One way to do this is through the arts.
"The relationship between emotions and aesthetics is one to one," says Mengert. "Feeling the world through music, art, dance, and drama is a trait that has been consistent with human life for thousands of years."
Actively participating in arts activities is fun for kids, and when they are having a good time, their brains release endorphines, powerful chemicals which make it easier for them to learn. These chemicals remain in the bloodstream for about an hour, which is why Dr. Mengert suggests doing aesthetic activities first thing in the morning, just before prime learning time.
They should also be used as energizers at the end of learning cycles.
To the right you will find links to a variety of classroom activities for aesthetics and learning in the areas of music, drama, dance, and art, all student tested and approved by yours truly.
They are fun for us, and we hope you will enjoy them, too, and that you will share your ideas in the spaces provided.
LET THE FORCE BE WITH YOU