Kala Samanvayah – A Workshop Series on Art Integration in Education

Day 1: 4 February 2021

The unique seminar on art integrated learning organised by the Chinmaya Vishwavidyapeeth (CVV) and the Central Chinmaya Mission Trust (CCMT) Education Cell began at 2 pm on 04 February 2021. This programme was organised for school teachers to provide insight and upgradation exercise to enable them to integrate subjects in alignment with the requirements of the NEP 2020.

The programme began with a melodious invocation by Dr. Prabhavathy P. N. (Asst. Professor, School of Kalayoga). Dr. Radha Mohan (Professor and Head, School of Ethics, Governance, Culture and Social Systems) welcomed the gathering. She stressed the importance of art Integration using an example of a school in Coimbatore.

In his inaugural address, Prof. Nagaraj Neerchal, (Vice Chancellor, Chinmaya Vishwavidyapeeth) emphasized the need for the integration of arts with school subjects. Using a simple example of storytelling he integrated some concepts in Mathematics. He also reaffirmed that teaching must be synchronous with learning. Prof. Neerchal explained the significance of capacity building, resource building and community involvement. He ended his address by stating that this learning will provide an opportunity to amalgamate IKS and present the children with a comprehensive view.

Smt. Shanti Krishnamurthy (Director, CCMT Education Cell) briefed the gathering on the concept. Backed with over four decades of experience in the field of education, she skilfully dissected the NEP and presented its components as Blooms Taxonomy and the need to synthesize learning, incorporating 21st-century skills and adapting to the diversity in the classroom using the Multiple Intelligences.  She insisted that teaching must be taken to a different dimension using interconnectedness of art with other areas of learning.

Prof. Gauri Mahulikar (Dean of Faculty) spoke on Experiential Teaching and Learning. She began with the etymology of the word Kala Samanvayah enabling the crowd to comprehend the complex topic of fractal geometry! She concluded by saying that teachers must become torchbearers and must make children independent learners.

The vote of thanks was presented by Dr. Leela Ramamurthy (Academic Coordinator of the Integrated B. Ed Programme, CVV). She thanked all the people involved, both visible and behind the scenes, and also the participants who enthusiastically registered from different schools. The inaugural session was attended by over 300 participants which included principals of Chinmaya Vidyalayas who were invited as special guests for the same.

The session on art integration in math began with Smt. B. Kamatchi (Teacher, Chinmaya International Residential School (CIRS)) speaking about the teaching-learning procedure in primary classes using an array of suggestions like combining mental math with join the dots, mixing multiple skills, string art, multiplication circles, comparing the outcome of circles, magical numbers, spirolateral patterns, observing mirrored patterns, super magic squares, relating music notes and fractions, creating musical patterns using jalataranga, drama and number stories to remember concepts and number art.

The second session was a presentation by Smt. Nita P. Menon (Teacher, Chinmaya Vidyalaya Tripunithura) on the teaching-learning procedures in classes 6 and 7. The techniques presented included the use of culinary arts, role play, songs, acronyms, dance, crossword puzzles, sketching, setting up value shops, math marathon, virtual bank, crossroad models etc.

The third session was conducted by Smt. Bhuvaneshwari (Teacher, CIRS). She addressed the teaching of mathematics in classes eight, nine and ten. She suggested the integration of rangoli to understand quadrilaterals and polygons, Warli art, Mandala art, Mosaic art, Poster making, stained glass painting using geometrical figures, infographics, tessellations, Freston craft, dance choreography, origami etc.

Dr. Ajay Kumar (Assistant Professor, School of Ethics, Governance, Culture & Social Systems, CVV) conducted the fourth session focusing on using art in teaching mathematics in class eleven and twelve. He introduced the participants to music prosody and math. He simplified learning concepts by using real-life examples to imbibe concepts. He connected beats and rhythm with the Fibonacci series. Chhanda shastra was used to comprehend permutation and combinations. He used Pascal’s Triangle to not just understand mathematical concepts but linked them to IKS. The Binomial Theorem was simplified for children to understand and apply in everyday situations. He highlighted the need for real-life problems to be solved by adolescents.

Day one of the workshop series closed with Q&A and a summary of the sessions by Smt. Shanti Krishnamurthy.

Day 2: 05 March 2021

The second day was focussed on art integration in the teaching of languages and computer science. The programme began with a melodious invocation by Sreenidhi (third year B.Sc. Applied Psychology, CVV). Mr. G. Shekhar Reddy (Assistant Professor, School of Ethics, Governance, Culture and Social Systems, CVV) was the master of ceremonies.

Art Integration in Language Teaching

The first session for primary classes was handled by Dr. Sandhya Shankar (Assistant Professor, School of Linguistics and Literary Studies). She has begun her talk by defining ‘art’. Her talk covered three aspects: What is art, why is art important and how to integrate art in teaching English. She emphasized the importance of LSRW skills in learning English. She displayed a list of activities to integrate art into a language class, as suggested by NCERT and presented a demonstrative lesson plan for one of the lessons.

The second session was handled by Ms. Namita Anand (Teacher, CIRS) for classes six and seven. She mentioned the importance of joyful learning of concepts and appreciation and understanding of art forms. She also explained the involvement of the left and right hemispheres of the brain in acquiring language and art.  She also emphasized the use of comic strips in a language class with numerous examples as well as role-play.

Art integration in English for classes eight, nine and ten was handled by Ms. Viajayalakshmi (Principal, Chinmaya Vidyalaya, Virugambakkam). She began by questioning why art should be integrated into teaching and then went on to explain the reasons why such as bilateral coordination, better focus, catering to various learning styles, enhancement of problem-solving skills, flexible thinking, as a de-stressor, for developing individual thinking, making learning fun and so on. Her presentation included the use of visual arts (drawing and painting) in language, the importance of visual arts, group work and collaborative learning. She went into details about the ease of use of a computer application called ‘Peecha Kucha’ for presentations.

Art integration in teaching English to classes eleven and twelve was handled by Ms. Prathiba (Principal, Chinmaya Vidyalaya, Vaduthala). She elaborated on the importance of art in education highlighting that art education is a process that encourages sensory explorations, and a platform to work with ideas and materials to create expression.

Art Integration in the Teaching of Computer Science 

Ms. Divya (Teacher, CIRS) spoke on art integration in education for classes six and seven while Ms. Manjula Kumari (Computer Science teacher at CIRS) spoke for classes eight nine and ten. In their respective sessions, they stressed the importance of integrating arts in computer science and shared various examples of doing so.

Art Integration in computer science for classes eleven and twelve was handled by Ms. Saranya (Computer Science teacher at CIRS). Her session included the preparation of a PowerPoint presentation on types of network, communication channel, the concept of cloud computing and cloud service.

Day 2 ended with a summary by Mrs. Shanthi Krishnamurthy and concluding remarks by Dr. Leela Ramamurhty and Dr. Radha Mohan.

Day 3: 06 February 2021

The third day began with a melodious invocation by Mr. Ramesh Kulkarni (CIRS, Coimbatore). Dr. Sandhya Shankar (Assistant Professor, School of Linguistics and Literary Studies, CVV) anchored the session.

Art integration in Physics

Ms. Lekha Rajeev (Chinmaya Vidyalaya, Tripunithura) presented art integration in the teaching of Physics to classes eight, nine and ten. She began with Newton’s Laws of Motion using numerous activities like enacting, drawing cartoons, sketching, storyboard and discussion in groups for integrating the concept. She also demonstrated how Newton’s Laws of Motion can be taught through dance and mime. She went on to cover activities like roleplay, model making, field visits and so on.

Art in Physics for XI and XII standards was handled by Mr. Ganesh Easwaran (CIRS, Coimbatore). He demonstrated the use of paper planes, straws, role-playing and son. He used a computer application called Algodoo to create simulations.

Art integration in chemistry was handled by Ms. Sowmya S. Nair (Teacher, Chinmaya Vidyalaya, Kattakada, Thiruvanthapuram). She presented the Periodic table using a song based on ‘Shankarabaranam Raga’. She demonstrated activities like using the Rubik’s Cube, dance, model making, scrap book making, boat songs and folk songs from Kerala, the jaltarang and so on.

Art integration in chemistry for classes XI and XII was handled by Ms. Geeta Devi Varma (Principal, Chinmaya Vidyalaya, Kottayam). Some of the activities she demonstrated are mind mapping, 3D sculpting using material like clay, balloons, beads, bangles, threads etc., craft, pictorial activities, use of technology, Just A Minute-JAM (on any topic), creative writing (prose, poetry, drama), autobiography, debates, role play and music.

Art integration in Social Sciences 

Ms. Ahsa Rani (Teacher, Chinmaya Vidyalaya, Kattakada, Thiruvananthapuram) presented the importance of visual arts in teaching social science. She presented the use of a story board, role play, caricature, mock elections, collage, picture dictionary, model making, charts, dance, micrography, visual timeline, display board, mime, skits and the use of music.

Art integration in Economics

Mr. C. Chandran (Principal, Chinmaya Vidyalaya, Kanjangad) demonstrated the use of waste materials, slide shows, PPT, videography, photography, painting, collage, puppets, infographics and cartoons in integrating art in the teaching of social science.

The vibrant session has come to an end with a Q&A session.