Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
MINISTRY OF EDUCATION
Education Towers, No. 5 St. Vincent Street, Port of Spain, Trinidad
News Release November 15, 2019
Ministry of Education and US Embassy promote Integrated Arts to enhance Learning
Primary and Secondary schools of the Caroni Education District converged at the National Energy Skills Centre, Couva for the Integrated Arts and Technology Showcase hosted by the Ministry of Education and the United States Embassy on November 14, 2019. This Showcase is part of a larger project that aims to implement activities that contribute to increased student engagement, learning and achievement. It is aligned to the Ministry’s STREAM Education Programme, which utilizes Science, Technology, Research, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics in an interdisciplinary and applied approach.
The Integrated Arts and Technology Project which was launched in 2017 has brought teachers together from the Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) and Core Curriculum areas to leverage strategies to improve students’ performance through enhanced content delivery of traditional subject areas like English Language Arts, Mathematics and Science. Through the support of the US Embassy, Fulbright specialists and teaching artists Deborah Sunya Moore and Kimberli Boyd, from the United States, have been working with over 150 teachers throughout Trinidad and Tobago to transfer techniques that utilise dance and music in curricula delivery.
Director of Curriculum, Ministry of Education, John Roopchan endorsed the integrated arts approach to education. He stated, “While this particular programme appeals especially to the kinaesthetic learner it boosts the general engagement among all students. It is a critical methodology for the education sector as we continue to review and implement best practices for the delivery of the curricula. The integration of music and dance to teach theories in math, science and language facilitates a de-centralizing of subjects to demonstrate how the various subjects interact with and relate to one another.”
Deputy Chief of Mission, United States Embassy, David N. Richelsoph noted, “We began this project because we realized that the education…must meet the demands of a fast-developing world where today’s technology is tomorrow’s artifact. We identified a need to engage teachers and students in more creative strategies in the teaching of Science, Technology, Research, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics. With an integrated arts and technology curriculum, students can benefit cognitively, emotionally, and behaviourally.”
The Showcase also included an interactive Exhibition that engaged students in other STREAM activities. Aside from learning dances that delivered the theories of the digestive system and mathematical angles, students had an immersive experience in robotics, augmented reality and coding, while building life-skills in collaboration, knowledge construction, self-regulation, problem-solving, and innovation. Exhibit partners included COSTTAAT, NIHERST, DIY Place and Restore a Sense of I Can.