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Arts as a Pedagogical Tool in Education

Updated: Mar 4, 2019


Teacher Can -project participated and gave a workshop in ICEEPSY 2018, the 9th International Conference on Education & Educational Psychology. Before going into the details of the workshop, a few words about ICEEPSY. This year, the conference brought together students, teachers, researchers, practitioners, and psychologists in the amazingly beautiful city of Athens, Greece on the 2nd and 3rd of October 2018.


The workshop, titled as Arts as a Pedagogical Tool in Education, was given by Inkeri Ruokonen and Erika Perttuli-Borobio and it offered some insight into the interdisciplinary learning in the arts as a tool in education. The workshop began with a brief introduction on Finnish teacher education and the Finnish school system: it was a wonder to many participants that schools for example have provided the students with a free lunch for 70 years!


After the introduction into Finnish teaching and school system, some theory and background on how to integrate music and visual arts were given. The principles of creative and integrative arts education presented were:

  • holistic view of learning

  • aesthetic experiences

  • possibility to move between nonverbal and verbal communication

  • ability to see common and divergent issues between different arts

  • reinforcement of the arts in integration

  • empowering learners through integrative learning

Teachers’ privilege is to promote creativity of each child by:

  • encouraging children to do things in a new way

  • creating an atmosphere where every person and his/her ideas are accepted

  • giving children possibilities for decision-making

  • finding a special strength in every child

  • encouraging children to co-operate and work together but also individually

  • every day of learning should include playfulness, humour and new experiments and experiences


“So the expressive impulse of the children, in art instinct grows also out of the communicative and constructive instincts. It is their refinement and manifestation.” (Dewey, J. 1956, 44. Child and the curriculum)

Workshop: Form Music to Picture and Picture to Music


The practical part of the workshop was a well planned model that consisted of a constant flux between different arts and their means of self-expression to another. The main theme that was chosen for the workshop was the primary colors: red, blue and yellow. The participants travelled through a guided mental picturing of the primary colors into imagining the colour's sound. concretely painting them with watercolours. After that the interaction between colour and soundcolour was produced and painted: from music to picture, from picture to music, expressions of voices, sounds and visual arts, body and drama, going together and being separate parts for a new purpose of coming together and creating an holistic expression to a composition and after that to the poem and dramatization. The workshop came to an end with the haiku-inspired (5+7+5) poems that culminated the hour-long journey between arts.