The Power of Collaborative Art in Art Education

May 5, 2024
Art Education
Stevie Ballow

       Throughout my 20 years in art education, I have witnessed the transformative power that art -- especially collaborative art --  has in the lives of my students. The arts are as essential as academics, and they should be treated that way in the school curriculum. Studies have shown that including art in school programs can promote your students' personal and professional development.

The 6 Benefits of Collaborative Art in Art Education

1.Growth Mindset

        In 2007, psychologist Carol Dweck coined the terms “fixed mindset” and “growth mindset.”

        Students with fixed mindsets believe that their skills, talents, and interests are constant; those with growth mindsets know that learning takes time and effort and perceive failure as potential growth. 

        Mastering techniques and skills in the arts requires that a student believe that they will improve their technique through practice and perseverance. Collaborating with their peers shows students that input from others can help them when they are stuck on a problem. Reflecting on finished work allows students to assess areas in which they could improve. All these skills are a part of having a growth mindset.

        Through the arts, students develop resilience, grit, and a growth mindset to help them develop the ability and reach their desired outcome.

2. Self-Confidence

        True self-confidence comes from identifying and using one’s strengths. Since there is no “right answer” in art, students have a safe space to develop and understand their abilities and passions without fear of “getting it wrong.” When students participate in collaborative work, they have the opportunity to use their strengths to help complete a project, further solidifying their self-confidence and self-awareness.

3. Improved Cognition

        Collaborative art involves various activities that promote cognitive and social development in children. Immersing students in arts education encourages them to pay attention, communicate with others, regulate their emotions, and stay motivated. Research connects learning and practicing art to improved verbal fluency, memory, reading ability, and executive function.

4. Communication

        Students acquire a multitude of communication skills by making and viewing In a collaborative project, they must learn to verbally, physically, and emotionally communicate with their classmates, teacher, and audience. They also learn to listen to and respect the ideas and contributions of their peers -- not just give out instructions and expect others to follow -- which is a valuable part of both effective collaboration and communication.

5. Personal Expression 

        Many people have trouble expressing their feelings and opinions, especially in group settings. Collaborative art workshops can provide a safe space to share feelings and emotions in a way that is safely observable for everyone. Often, just knowing that someone else feels the same way or has had the same experiences helps a person to feel validated and less alone.

6. Motivation

        External reward systems and “getting good grades” is not enough motivation for some students to do work, especially those with ADHD or ASD. Implementing art into the classroom can give these students a way to demonstrate their learning in a way that is exciting and engaging to them. Providing art activities can also give students who struggle to express themselves with writing or speaking a way to feel confident about themselves.

How to Bring Collaborative Art Projects into Your Classroom

Since 2007, Circle Painting have been helping art teachers discover the power and joy of collaborative art. Contact us to learn how our art programs can provide you with the necessary skills to facilitate the impressive art lessons you have always wanted. Our collaborative art courses will give you the confidence needed to implement fun and colorful collaborative art projects in your classroom.

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