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Art Integration is for all children

information for parents and teachers


Art integration

There are a variety of benefits to art integration. One psychological study conducted by Myra A. Fernandes, Jeffrey D. Wammes, and Melissa E. Meade shows that when students drew pictures relating to the information they learned, they performed better. The study proved that students who drew the information remembered twice as much as those who wrote down the information. The study explains that drawing "improves memory by promoting the integration of elaborative*, pictorial*, and motor codes*, facilitating creation of a context-rich representation," (Fernandes, Wammes, Meade, 2018).

Furthermore, according to The New York Times, a trial conducted by Dr. Haridman had paralleled results, showing that art integration is beneficial to retaining information. In the study, "Dr. Hardiman and her colleagues described the results of a randomized controlled trial looking at fifth-graders who were taught science content, some using techniques from arts education, and others with more conventional instruction. The researchers again saw an effect on the students with more limited reading skills; they remembered more science if they had learned with the integrated arts methods." (


*See definitions of starred words below


Reimagine Learning

As noted on live, "in a survey of more than 81,000 students across the United States, 75% of students said they did not like school due to the boredom." However, learning can be fun! When students are taught through a hands-on approach, such as art integration, "their lethargy is combated by engagement, and they retain more information". According to, when students are "not actively engaged in what is being taught, they only retain 20% of the information. Although, when they are engaged, students remember 70% of the information." 

Learning does not have to entail hours of note-taking and flashcard making. When we reimagine learning as something that can be hands-on and engaging, it can be exciting for students.

Think Big

Art integration is more than the occasional classroom art project. Art can be incorporated into every aspect of education. For example

  • Joshua Chrosniak, an art teacher in Northeast Ohio, used Origami to teach children about endangered animals.

  • Lori Brenneise, an elementary school teacher, used art to teach students how to use their imagination in their writing.

  • Dan Ryder, an education director, used cartoon making to help students become better story tellers. 

  • Nimah Gobir, a writer and producer for MindShift at KQED, promoted the technique of sketchnoting* to deepen learning and retention by engaging multiple parts of the brain simultaneously.


There are no boundaries to art integration, so THINK BIG!


Note: Encoding is the initial learning of information​

  • Elaborative Code (a.k.a elaborative encoding): "Elaborative encoding uses information that is already known and relates it to the new information being experienced...Studies have shown that the long-term retention of information is greatly improved through the use of elaborative encoding." (

  • Pictorial Codes (a.k.a visual encoding): "the process of encoding images and visual sensory information. The creation of mental pictures is one way people use visual encoding." (

  • Motor Codes: motor skills are "specifically encoded in the functional organization of the primary motor cortex" ( The "Primary motor cortex encodes the force of a movement." (

  • Sketchnoting: A type of note taking that requires sketching, in order to "tap into parts of your brain that would lie dormant if you only use words to explore ideas." (

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