Spotlight: The Kennedy Center’s Changing Education Through the Arts

Child doing an artistic painting on a wall
Image via Getty Images


“Numerous studies point to the value of arts education in improving student outcomes, yet teachers may not have the resources, access or experience to implement arts integration across the curriculum.

“Partnering with educators is fundamental to arts-based learning. The Kennedy Center’s Changing Education Through the Arts (CETA) program empowers teachers within the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area with skills and confidence to use these tools in the classroom, giving both teachers and students an added level to connect academically and kinetically. In a wider lens, we aim to create school cultures that support intensive, sustained teacher learning and collaboration. Through our wider education work, we also place an importance on sharing knowledge with other organizations interested in developing similar programs.

“The CETA program has grown out of decades of successful experience providing professional learning for teachers in arts integration with beginnings in 1976. The official CETA program was established in 1999 as the Center began to focus some of its efforts on reaching all teachers within a school with intensive learning.

Over the years, the CETA program has gradually expanded. In 2021, 52 teachers across six partnership schools in the Washington metropolitan area engaged in 91 sessions: planning, workshops and coaching sessions.”

— Jeanette McCune, director of school and community programs at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts


See the following tips below from our companion feature, “Arts and Education: Impact on Learning” on how parents can integrate art into learning at home:

Studying Strategies With Art


Parents can help their children study for a test or memorize content — or make another day of virtual learning a bit more interactive. Mariale Hardiman, professor and director of the Neuro-Education Initiative at Johns Hopkins University School of Education, offers the following tips:

Make learning visible. Encourage children to draw or doodle. A simple word can imply the action is less focused on the product and more focused on the process of visualizing an idea or a concept.

Create a graphic organizer. Also known as a concept map, this graphic uses images or words to make content more visual. Be careful about judging the visual product the child produces. Focus on the process by asking questions about what the drawing means to them. What’s the feeling they get when they look at what they drew?

Make up simple rhyming phrases. A tried-and-true way to recall info — for children and adults — is to make it rhyme.

Use a familiar tune. Take academic material and weave it into the phrasing of a well-loved song.


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