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July 7, 2020

V5: Integrating the Arts with the 7 Essential Life Skills

It is important in any facilitated Mind in the Making (MITM) learning environment that each individual can reflect on their own experiences and practices and share what they have discovered about how children prosper and learn best. It’s also important to discover how they intend to use MITM in their role as parents, caregivers, or educators. This was apparent in group V-Five.

V-Five consisted of community members who were exclusively apart of the arts community. There were members of the Florida Alliance for Arts Education, art business owners, art educators, and art leaders. They represented organizations such as the Van Wezel, Embracing Our Differences, The Circus Arts Conservatory, CreArte Latino Cultural Center, and Pine View School.

Throughout the four weeks of meeting virtually, the group shared reflections, WOOP goal setting, and new perspectives on familiar topics.

Focus and self-control, perspective taking, communicating, making connections, critical thinking, taking on challenges, and self-directed, engaged learning, were integrated with the arts. There were many “aha” moments from participants. Noteworthy discussion points included how “Mind in the Making reminds us of the value of positive relationships,” that “children need positive experiences and relationships with adults that boost their self-confidence,” and “the importance of giving children time and space for reflection.”

Throughout the workshop, we discussed how, through the arts, children develop skills like resilience, grit, and a growth mindset to help them do well academically and in life. The arts, similar to MITM, allow children to reach their fullest potential through support from caring adults, prompting the ability to learn through trial and error and engaging in critical thinking and creativity for reflection and processing. I was reminded during this training of how valuable sharing the arts can be with children.

This point was further emphasized as participants shared how, as artists, they integrate the arts with the 7 Essential Life Skills presented in the MITM training. The potential to help improve a student’s success through the arts was discussed in many ways, and it was clear by the end of the workshop that these artists knew how to integrate the arts while promoting skills to help every child succeed.

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