"Xiao's Flute", Watercolor and ink, 2010 

The arts provide a universal language that transcends race, culture and time. The visual arts give students a way to communicate without speaking and writing while offering alternative ways to present content material. The arts activate multiple intelligences to help students learn in different ways, promote active learning, create opportunities for self-expression using the mind and body and develops higher-order thinking skills of analysis, synthesis, evaluation, and problem solving (Schmidt 2004, pg. 190). And to think that there are people in education that do not see the value of art education or involving the visual arts into their curriculum? 

Teaching art is very rewarding. I consider teaching to be one of the most unselfish things I have done in life, and I do it everyday. The experiences the children get in the art room encourage them to communicate, collaborate and become more self aware of their abilities to succeed confidently. My goal is to have them leave my classroom knowing that they can do anything they put their mind and hands to and to have them fully engaged in wanting to learn more.

Communication is needed for a healthy, cohesive, collaborative learning environment. Learning effective ways of communicating is necessary for having valued relationships with others, being able to express your needs and ideas and to be able to contribute to society. Art is communication. It is an individual using the elements and principles of art to communicate an idea or an emotion. Art is the creation of an idea of beauty or of something that holds significance to the creator. Art is also a skill that is learned by study, practice and observation. The Harkness Methods of teaching collaborates with Teaching for Artistic Behavior teaching methods in the High School art curriculum.

 Teaching for Artistic Behaviors choice-based, art center-based education not only embraces the idea of communication between the students, but it is a representation of what I believed is an ideal way to facilitate effective learning through art. Teaching for Artistic Behaviors choice-based, art center-based curriculum is based on using art centers collaboratively to create awareness for the student to best understand their own artistic process. The beautiful part about TAB art education is that the student is allowed to work through a collaborative process not only in the medium they choose but also through the act of collaborating with their peers in the process of creation.