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Right Brained Teaching for Creative Classrooms . ABMP School Issues Forum Austin, 2012 . Session Goals: Define art-based learning Discuss benefits of bringing art-based learning into classrooms Identify one art-based learning activity to use next week .

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right brained teaching for creative classrooms
Right Brained Teaching for Creative Classrooms

ABMP School Issues Forum

Austin, 2012


Session Goals:

  • Define art-based learning
  • Discuss benefits of bringing art-based learning into classrooms
  • Identify one art-based learning activity to use next week

Art-based learning uses learner art-making as a means for promoting learning in non-arts subjects.


Art-Based Learning Models

  • Local community centers
  • Whole school projects
  • Classroom instruction
  • Teacher development
  • Special learner populations
  • Business management
  • Business teams

Research Results

  • Improved relationships and cooperation
  • Increased learner participation and engagement
  • Improved teacher quality of instruction
  • Increased self-esteem and willingness to try new things
  • Improved creativity, problem solving, and complex thinking
  • Increased self-assessment, organization, and planning skills
  • Improved higher-order thinking skills

Higher-Order Thinking Skills

  • Critical thinking
  • Creative thinking

ABMP Instructors on the Front Lines

Teaching Critical and Creative Thinking Skills to Massage Students

Thinking tools are learned (or innate) approaches to thinking that are necessary for higher-order thinking.



Generating Ideas

Asking Questions


Solving Problems

Transforming and Synthesizing


Transforming and Synthesizing Defined:

  • The process of internalizing new information by linking it to prior experience and knowledge, translating it into your own language, and then presenting the knowledge in a different way.

Art-Based Learning Examples

  • Visual Dialogues
  • Writing Activities
  • Dance and Embodiment
  • Theatre Activities
  • Music Activities
  • Installations

Visual Dialogues

  • Collages
  • Photography
  • Painting
  • Posters
  • Art Objects

Be true to you. In the words of Allen Ginsberg: “Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness.”

poster project and shows
Poster Project and Shows

Project Goals

Effective Posters

Focus on a single message

Act as a source of information

Let graphics tell most of the story

Serve as effective conversation starters

  • Organize time
  • Think creatively
  • Communicate a clear message
poster projects and shows
Poster Projects and Shows
  • Massage for Special Populations
  • Massage for Condition Management
  • Massage and the Environment
  • Massage Making a Difference

Pick a Theme

poster project and shows1
Poster Project and Shows


Judging Criteria

Your poster will be judged on originality, clarity, relevance, clarity of the poster’s message, and use of graphics.

  • Posters must be 18 X 24 inches in size
  • Provide a 150-250 word typed description expressing the inspiration behind the poster.
psychology of touch project
Psychology of Touch Project

Project Goals


Create an art object that represents your touch history and current relationship to touch

Prepare 200-300 word typed description of your inspiration for the project

  • Recognize the role of touch in life
  • Identify touch histories
  • Recognize that clients have touch histories

Writing Projects

  • Free Writing
  • Journaling
  • Poetry
  • E-books
free writing
Free Writing



Give students a topic

Example: Think about how your body feels now that you have received a massage – write about these feelings and any thoughts that come up.

Direct students to write non-stop for 10-15 minutes

Share some of their thoughts in a group discussion

  • Wake up thinking
  • Warm up before an exam
  • Develop comfort with writing
  • Bypass an inner critic
  • Discover new ideas
  • Capture feelings in a moment


Movement Activities

Embodied Art

What types of movement, dance, or embodied art projects do you currently use in your massage classrooms?

Your Turn!



  • Rhythm
  • Sound
  • Song

Theatre-Based Activities

  • Skits
  • Role-playing
  • Reenactment
  • Videos
what do you think about the six views activity where might it be useful in your curriculum
What do you think about the Six Views activity? Where might it be useful in your curriculum?

Your Turn!

your turn

Do you have issues with learners excluding others? How do you address the issue now? Do you see the Animal Game as a useful way to frame topics of exclusion?

Your Turn!

human installations
Human Installations



Give learners warning at the beginning of the class

Leave the room – allow students 15-20 minutes

Take pictures

  • Gives closure
  • Body learning
  • Collective experience
  • Requires teamwork
  • Creates lasting impression of learning
You have 15 minutes to dialogue and plan an installation that captures something that you learned here today.

Your Turn!


Around the Room

What is the most important thing you’ll take home with you as a result of our sessions today?