A pilot program known as Moving Through Math is combining the disciplines of math and art in the Enid Public Schools in Oklahoma
A visiting arts educator, Marcia Daft, is working with teachers and administrators as part of the program, which fosters arts integration, improving student engagement in other subjects and encouraging creativity and problem solving ability. Partners in Education brought the program to Enid, a collaboration of EPS, the Enid Arts Council, and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
“The purpose of this partnership is to bring artists and art educators to Enid to train our teachers on arts integration in their daily work in the classroom,” said Christy Northcutt, Enid Arts Council education chair.
Daft travels around the country showing teachers how to integrate arts into math lessons. She has been a teacher for 25 years and is a professional musician.
“It’s that blended background I have that enables me to create arts-integrated lessons,” Daft said, “because I know how to pull the analysis and conceptual thinking of mathematics and integrate it with the creative forms of music, dance and drama.”
The focus is for teachers to shift from memorizing facts to encouraging conceptual thinking. “The math program makes a conscious decision to prioritize conceptual thinking over memorization,” Daft said.