Today's post is by Kristin Walrod, a writer and creative writing teacher through Columbia Gorge Arts in Education (CGAIE). She is also an Arts Integration Facilitator for The Right Brain Initiative.
The right brain is the creative side, right? As parents and teachers we have seen creativity and the arts get pushed to the sidelines in our schools in favor of reading, writing, math, and packaged curriculum designed to improve test scores. Often, elementary school teachers have trouble finding time for art in their classrooms. In addition to lack of time, many new teachers grew up without art instruction themselves, making them less likely to feel confident incorporating the teaching, creating, or appreciation of art in their own classroom activities.
Launched in 2008, The Right Brain Initiative (managed by the Regional Arts & Culture Council) doesn’t believe that schools should be in an either/or situation with the arts. In fact they believe that in many cases the arts are uniquely helpful in teaching crucial skills our kids will need to face their future. These 21st century skills—critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, communication, and what Right Brain refers to as the “Fifth C” (a mesh of civic-mindedness, community and compassion)—are the focus of Right Brain residencies.