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Title: Curriculum integration in arts education: Connecting multiple art forms through the idea of ‘space’
Authors: Bautista, Alfredo
Tan, Liang See
Letchmi Devi Ponnusamy
Yau, Xenia
Keywords: Curriculum integration
Integrated arts
Arts education
Classroom practice
Teacher learning
Issue Date: 2016
Citation: Bautista, A., Tan, L. S., Ponnusamy, L. D., & Yau, X. (2016). Curriculum integration in arts education: Connecting multiple art forms through the idea of ‘space’. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 48(5), 610-629.
Abstract: Arts integration research has focused on documenting how the teaching of specific art forms can be integrated with “core” academic subject matters (e.g., science, mathematics, literacy). However, the question of how the teaching of multiple art forms themselves can be integrated in schools remains to be explored by educational researchers. This paper draws on data collected at a secondary school in Singapore. The case study analyses how three art teachers, by using the idea of “space” as organizing theme, implemented a module of instruction that connected concepts and processes from a variety of art forms (including dance, music, drama, and visual arts). We present evidence from curriculum materials, lesson plans, studentteacher classroom interactions, and students’ productions. Students were able to reflect upon the importance of space within the arts, analyse the points of convergence and divergence among several art forms, experiment with space and create their own interdisciplinary performances. Our ultimate aim is to provide insights that might inspire art teachers in designing instructional units focused on “big ideas”. We suggest that allowing more curricular freedom and providing teachers with adequate structures for interdisciplinary collaboration are key to achieving meaningful levels of integration.
Description: This is the final draft, after peer-review, of a manuscript published in Journal of Curriculum Studies. The published version is available online at
ISSN: 0022-0272 (print)
1366-5839 (online)
Other Identifiers: 10.1080/00220272.2015.1089940
Appears in Collections:Journal Articles

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