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Art to Heart

Teaching as Art

You don’t have to be a great painter or dancer or an accomplished singer or actor to teach young children art. But according to two teachers of teachers interviewed for Art to Heart, you do have to be open to the creativity in children—and in yourself.

Program 7 of Art to Heart follows along as Dr. George Szekely, professor of art education at the University of Kentucky, takes a group of education majors into a Lexington elementary school. They work with the students to create “The Best Circus Ever,” the kind of hands-on, fun, and imagination-oriented activity that Szekely believes should be happening more often in schools. Szekely says he would recommend that teacher education include classes in storytelling, clowning, juggling, and other areas that would inspire teachers to embrace learning as a joyous and enjoyable process.

Louise Pascale, a professor at Lesley University, where the Creative Arts and Learning Program focuses on integrating the arts into education, agrees that teachers must first recognize their own creativity before they can teach it. “If teachers aren’t doing art, music, and creative dramatics, the kids aren’t going to do them.” And art shouldn’t just be found in the art or music classroom, she says. “It’s my belief that throughout school, starting in preschool, if teachers believe and see their own creativity, then they share that with the kids, then they have that every day. So it reaches every learner.”

Watch our interview with Pascale to hear more (Windows Media® format).

Find Out More

  • George Szekely is the author of numerous books and articles on teaching art. His books include Encouraging Creativity in Art Lessons, From Play to Art, The Art of Teaching Art, and How Children Make Art. Visit to learn more about his works and his philosophy of teaching teachers.
  • More information about the Creative Arts in Learning Program, including a 10-minute online video, is available at the Lesley University web site.

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