Writing Across the Secondary School Curriculum

Assistant Professor of Art Kelly Hrenko and Associate Professor of Literacy Andrea Stairs recently co-authored an article entitled Creative Literacy: A New Space of Pedagogical Understanding.  It was published in Across the Disciplines - A Journal of Language, Learning, and Academic Writing.

The article is based on an arts and literacy project, Many Hands, done in cooperation with the Portland Public Schools, The Telling Room, Native American artists, and poet Mihku Paul.

Abstract: This research has begun to examine how teachers in Maine meaningfully infuse art and Native American epistemologies through visual arts and writing across curricula to enhance student learning and engagement. Teachers explored a perceived new space of pedagogical possibility within visual arts and American Indian curricula as cross-disciplinary models through a project entitled Many Hands. This new space was largely facilitated by the act of writing, once it was realized that writing deepens and enhances the practice of noticing and describing, both in the visual arts and in culture-based curricula. Just as visual art posits that art making can promote critical thinking in all subject areas and encourage intellectual curiosity, the inclusion of writing in art and academic classrooms similarly promotes exploration and risk-taking, as well as the appreciation of multiple perspectives.

Article can be read online.

Research Mission

To support research, scholarship and creative activity to: promote knowledge, discovery and practical application to advance Maine's economy, communities and the quality of life for Maine citizens; to strengthen classroom education and transform the lives of students through real world learning opportunities; and to support faculty and staff commitment to excellence in scholarly accomplishments regionally, nationally and internationally.