SEL Awardee

Ana Cantu

Winston Intermediate School of Excellence
Edgewood Independent School District
San Antonio, TX
“As established by Edgewood Independent School District's Innovation Zone Framework, social emotional learning provides the opportunity to engage in the interrelatedness of the disciplines using a problem-based learning approach that prompts critical thinking and conflict resolution skills. As part of our curriculum design, a culturally responsive pedagogical approach is implemented to capitalize on the students' linguistic and cultural backgrounds through art. A key piece of our curriculum is Art that can at times be overlooked. Teachers often focus on purely academic tasks and forget that the arts are an integral component of creative thinking. Research supports that integrating the arts throughout the school day, and across all subject areas, has demonstrated that students' critical thinking skills and ability to see the world through a more holistic lens increases (Appel, 2006; Gullet, 2008; Robinson, 2013). When all classes embrace the arts, we provide students with a strong foundation upon which to express their learning in multiple ways. Students can use artistic expression in every content area to demonstrate their understanding in a very personal way. As Gullet (2008) states, "The arts play a variety of roles in PK-12 schools. Learning through the arts provides students the opportunity for constructing meaning of content related material through the use of the visual, dramatic, and musical arts.(p. 24)." ”
Tags: Boys and Young Men of Color, Elementary School, Girls & Young Women of Color, Teacher, Traditional Public School, Urban