Artist Highlight – Chuck Galey
As a MAC teaching artist, what is your role in education?
I use the opportunity of developing arts integration lesson plans that introduce critical thinking with a visual art activity that enhances the learning process.
What does Arts-in-Education mean to you as an artist?
By utilizing the arts, teaching any subject reaches the students on a new level rather than just memorizing dates and equations. The students are able to artistically reach a critical thinking process that helps them utilize and retain the lesson for future use.
Why are MAC teaching artists/roster artists important to education?
Teaching Artists (TA) are important because these are lifelong professional artists that are able to teach the creative process and apply that process to learning any subject.
Describe the MAC SPED initiative made possible through a grant from the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts (KCPA).
KCPA provided funding so that TAs could work with inclusive and self-contained SPED classes. The concept was that, through the arts, SPED students could be taught in a creative way and that they would understand and retain information.
How will your role in this initiative enhance and/or improve the skills of children with special needs.
My role as a visual artist lets the students approach problems in a critical manner in a way that, perhaps, they haven’t been taught before. SPED students vary in so many ways, from severe Autistic to the physically handicapped. Each learns in different ways. The arts explores that.
How can teaching artists help children of all ages and mental and emotional levels experience Mississippi’s culture and heritage while also developing their learning and life skills?
By applying arts integration to different cultural and heritage lessons, students can learn the lessons on a basic level. Just by working through the lesson, the student has to use critical thinking through the arts to solve a problem or experience a cultural event.
How do you think MAEC can impact education through the arts?
Coordination with school principals and teachers is the key. The schools will have to buy-in to the idea that arts integration does enhance the educational process. This could possibly done with workshops for principals and school system superintendents to convince them to use the arts. Many are skeptical and are very old fashioned in their educational approaches. One only need to look at arts integrated school district’s soaring test scores for proof that arts integration is a legitimate way to enhance the learning process. By providing on-going workshops, including traveling workshops to schools, MAEC can impact education by using arts integration lesson plans to enhance the learning process. MAEC sponsored performances, screenings and exhibitions targeting area schools can also be utilized in tandem with the arts integration lesson plans.