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Thanks to the regular ebb and flow of staffing changes that are typical in international school settings around the world, the International School of Indiana has opened this most recent academic year with an entirely new Arts Department in the Upper School.

The opportunity to reset an entire department with new vision and energy is rare, but the new-look ISI arts team is happily taking advantage to instill International Baccalaureate values in their classrooms and better support students' development through the curriculum as they describe in their own words below.

Dr. Dominic Catalano, Head of Department & Visual Arts Teacher
As a visual art teacher, I’ve found the IB approach to learning to be an ideal educational model. By its nature, the study of the visual arts is inquiry-based, encouraging self-discovery of the development of each student’s unique voice. This is particularly true of the attributes as highlighted by the Learner Profile.

Qualities such as risk-taking, being open-minded and reflective and being informed and knowledgeable in your thinking are the hallmarks of any artist. It is in these qualities that much of our curriculum in visual art is based, the encouragement to try new media, think through a problem in creative ways, be open to cultural and social differences and how they manifest in the art of selected artists or indigenous groups from around the world and ultimately, putting forth your ideas with integrity and confidence.

The IB approach, unlike other curricula, gives students the opportunity to become the artist they are meant to be, authentic to their own ideas but grounded in a thorough understanding of the complexity of the art-making process and the greater world of art.

Bernardine Woolard, Music Teacher
Music at ISI supports the development of students through facilitating stimulating music projects that enrich the school day. These projects include learning new instruments, performing in bands and composing original music using music the latest software. Music at ISI also offers extracurricular learning opportunities for students in the form of choir, orchestra band, and creative music clubs.

Of the IB Learner Profile attributes music students are especially encouraged to be open-minded, risk-takers and reflective in their music projects. Some students may be apprehensive when learning music for the first time, but by taking on these attributes they can achieve a lot simply from having a positive and open mindset about their learning.

Music at ISI is a joyful and growing community. We are a lively place, which is characterized by our collaboration and creative activity on a daily basis. Students experience arts differently in the IB through the curriculum supporting holistic learning. My role as the teacher is to be familiar with and responsive to the needs and interests of individual students all while encouraging students to take responsibility for their own musical journey.

RJ Jensen, Theatre Teacher
Theatre as a content naturally provides opportunities for students to be successful in the IB learner profile. Students work with a variety of play and theatre texts that requires them to inquire about meanings, themes, and full character arcs.

Students are encouraged to watch and participate in live and/or filmed theatre works. This allows students to think deeply and reflect upon theatre in the perspectives of performers, directors, and audience members.

Risk-taking is highly promoted through hands-on learning and performing. Students are exposed to theatre traditions from different cultures from around the world, to broaden students' views on all that is theatre.

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