ArtSpace Charter School aligns itself with the considerable body of educational theory and research supporting an “arts-integrated” model for the education of children. Artistic enterprise requires a tremendous amount of effort, focus, preparation and courage, whether the practitioner is a seasoned professional or a kindergartener. Therefore, we believe the arts are uniquely capable of providing our students, parents, and teachers with a variety of opportunities for growth. This model ensures that participants develop a variety of skills while accumulating a wide base of knowledge. It is a cooperative, organic and wholly engaging method.
We believe art is more than just a tool for education. In all its forms, art inspires individuals to think critically about their own culture and environment. It encourages the thoughtful expression of an individual’s principles and ideas. Furthermore, the arts provide a unique lens for understanding past and present cultures. It is the creative impulse that uniquely responds to the difficult and sometimes capricious challenges presented by an ever-changing world. Finally, art is the ultimate evaluative force, for it is art’s critical capacity that allows us to define, refute and redefine such lofty ideals as “truth,” “morality” and “beauty.”
Because of its wide-ranging applications, art inherently belongs in any serious exploration of the North Carolina Standard Course of Study. This graduated curriculum sets a foundation for topical concentrations at each grade level. At ArtSpace, we explore this content through a variety of hands-on, practical (and often artistic) applications. By and large, we believe the content of the Standard Course proceeds at a developmentally sound, practical pace as long as the content is presented and explored in a wholly engaging manner. While every lesson cannot be expected to be “arts-based,” teachers work hard to integrate the arts whenever possible.
The teachers at ArtSpace bring a wide variety of intellectual experiences and theoretical preferences to their classrooms. Indeed, a student who spends their entire K-8 education at ArtSpace is likely to be exposed to a wide range of educational methodologies including that which could be defined as “Montessori,” “Waldorf,” “Whole-child” and even “Traditional.” We believe that exposure to such a multitude of approaches ensures that students will succeed no matter where they may continue their education beyond ACS.
ArtSpace teachers also bring a wide range of artistic abilities to our classrooms. We encourage teachers to utilize their special skills, but we expect our classrooms to reflect all of the arts, not just those in which a teacher might be specially trained. In addition, we actively seek to bring into the school community members and professional artists from around the world who are willing to share their special talents. Through the years we have been privileged to experience a variety of artistic presentations at ArtSpace. Though our talents and experiences are vastly different, one thing is consistent: At ArtSpace, we believe that the practical and wholly integrated application of the arts within a positive, caring learning environment is the best way to educate children.