Keynote Presentation -- Arts in Application: Exploring STEM with Wolf Trap

Rachel Knudson makes high level shapes with children in classroom

Keynote Description:

Be inspired by the natural connection between math and dance to ignite your imagination! Learning begins with the body and gravity. From birth, children learn about their environment through movement: they communicate with gestures, gather tactile information through their hands and feet, map pathways in space, and engage in social interactions that develop rhythmic patterns and the ability to sequence play. Through self-directed action plans, children develop a sense of direction, spatial orientation, and timing. Motor, social, and cognitive development occurs during sensory-motor explorations that lay the foundations for lifelong learning. Learning experiences that build on children's current level of cognitive function acknowledge the crucial role active learning plays not only in development but also in retention. By acting directly on the physical world, children "embody" content and possess a visceral memory that enhances what is learned mentally.

Using Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligences and Bloom's Taxonomy of Knowledge, participants, led by Wolf Trap Master Teaching Artist Rachel Knudson, will discover how multidimensional teaching supports differentiated instruction and how dance, as an art form, naturally provides opportunities for creative expression, which is important in increasing motivation, responsibility, and emotional engagement. Additionally, participants will examine research with Wolf Trap Senior Director, Education Akua Kouyate-Tate on the Wolf Trap model of arts integration in early childhood that confirms its positive impact on teacher practice and students' math knowldge.

This keynote was developed by Wolf Trap Master Teaching Artist Rachel Knudson and Wolf Trap Senior Director, Education Akua Kouyate-Tate, and the PowerPoint presentation is available for download at the link below.