Written by: Samantha Robinson
Lecturers and Music Education students from USC’s Department of Music and Fine Arts as well as teachers from the Maracas SDA Primary school and representatives from other Early Childhood and elementary education institutions across Trinidad were on January 23 engaged in a day of training sessions to actualize a programme called the Integrated Arts and Technology Project, a collaborative initiative between the Ministry of Education and the United States Embassy. The day’s sessions involved teaching demonstrations on Infant I, Standard I and Standard IV classes from the Maracas SDA Primary School as well as a training workshop in the afternoon period.
The initiative, which was launched nearly one year ago, is aimed at developing a symbiotic relationship between the arts, technology and the core curricular subjects, with an aim to improve student engagement and achievement.
The implementation of this project is currently underway in both secondary and primary schools across Trinidad and Tobago. Fulbright scholar, Mrs. Deborah Sunya Moore, a percussionist
Participants of the training workshop facilitated by Mrs. Deborah Sunya Moore
According to Mrs. Moore, the program has been successful thus far. Speaking on the benefits of integrating music/art with English language to help in teaching and learning, Moore noted that the integration will help students make connections; add to the student’s enjoyment of class; activate kids emotionally and kinaesthetically; and allow students to open up their creativity and imagination, allowing them to feel, experience and understand the reading material. “It’s not just about writing,” she says. “The child can now sing, draw or act out what is taking place.”
Faculty in the Department of Music and Fine Arts will be heavily involved in facilitating the training of primary and secondary school teachers over the coming months to ensure that educators are well equipped to begin integrating the arts into the curriculum.
Samantha Robinson is a 2nd Year Primary Education Major at the University of the Southern Caribbean