Artful Learning


Fairview Elementary has chosen to adopt the Artful Learning Model developed by the Leonard Bernstein Center and is currently in the first year of implementation. This model of learning utilizes the arts to engage students with all academic subjects. They have raised enough money for this year's costs but, in order to complete the implementation process, they will need additional funding and support.

Artful Learning Sequence

The centerpiece of the Artful Learning Model is the Sequence. The four components of the Sequence work together to aid students in understanding, applying, and retaining the curriculum.

Students are introduced to a new concept through a Masterwork. Such Masterworks draw from the fields of music, art, drama, literature, science, and math. The varying methods used enable teachers to connect with students of all learning styles (auditory, kinesthetic, and visual). This stage serves to pique the students' interest and curiosity while getting them actively engaged in the new concept.

The Inquire stage works to answer the questions brought up by the Experience. Students research and further explore the concept.

Students demonstrate their newfound knowledge through an Original Creation. This artistic product, conceived of and carried out by the students, requires a strong understanding of the new concept.

In this final stage, students ask Deepening Questions about the process of learning the new concept. They utilize narratives, maps, and metaphors to describe the process. During the creation of these pieces, the students forge connections between the new concept and what they already knew. They are asked to think about how they could use this new knowledge, which leads to the identification of important skills they have developed. Finally, the students set goals to become more self-directed in their learning.

Student Assessment

Schools that adopt the Artful Learning Model cover all required aspects of the curriculum and more. Students are still assessed with the same district and state measures as other public schools. In addition, student's are given an artistic evaluation of what they have learned. Their portfolios, personal progress, and self-assessments are employed in developing a comprehensive assessment of each student.


In 1999, The President's Commission on the Arts and the Humanities teamed up with the Arts Education Partnership to publish what has been considered the most comprehensive study on the inclusion of the Arts in education. The publication, Champions of Change: The Impact of the Arts on Learning, revealed that students with a high level of engagement with the Arts outperformed their peers on achievement and behavior measures. The gap in the measures was more remarkable in lower socioeconomic groups. This publication concluded that the Arts strengthen critical thinking skills and is a positive influence on learning in other areas.

In general, research on Arts education reveals the Arts boost communication skills, forge connections between academic subjects, increase brain growth, and enhance skills needed in the workforce.


Artful Learning teachers receive up to date training. The implementation of the Model centers on a three-year training period for the teachers. After this period is over, they will have gained all of the experience and knowledge they will need to continue the Model without any further expense.


Leonard Bernstein - Artful Learning
Fairview Elementary