National Arts Council and U.S. Based Wolf Trap Foundatiion For The Performing Arts Bring Training For Arts-Based Early Learning to Singapore Schools
A master teaching artist from Wolf Trap Institute uses storytelling and teaching aids to engage children from My First Skool Ang Mo Kio.
Photo courtesy of National Arts Council.
SINGAPORE, 16 May 2019 — The National Arts Council (NAC) and Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts (Vienna, Virginia, United States of America) extended a series of public workshops, classroom residencies, artist training and a symposium to Singapore educators from 10 to 17 May, equipping them with best practices in arts-integrated education, and sharing enhanced arts-based learning experiences for young children. The training programmes were commissioned by the Council and organised by the Singapore Repertory Theatre (SRT).
2 The week-long programme of events benefitted about 500 children, educators, and teaching artists. Master Teaching Artists from The Wolf Trap Foundation’s flagship education programme Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts were present in Singapore to lead in-classroom residencies in three pre-school centres, demonstrating how educators can use the performing arts to teach a wide range of subjects from early literacy to engineering and math. Karina Lee, an English teacher from My First Skool, Block 55 Toa Payoh, shared, "In just 90 minutes, Teacher Anne Sidney from Wolf Trap captivated a group of K1 children with her lessons on shadow using story box strategies. The children were so excited to put their new-found knowledge into use immediately by creating their own storybook on shadow."
3 The experts from Wolf Trap also helmed three family workshops open to the public, as well as artist training sessions that provided opportunities for families and members of the Singapore arts community to participate in hands-on activities.
4 The programmes will culminate in the Permission to Play Symposium on 17 May, a free one-day event where early childhood educators, scholars, and arts and education advocates can gain insight into how the arts can support curricula and a child’s development. Local organisations such as NTUC First Campus, The Artground, and Playeum join SRT and Wolf Trap to celebrate the impact of arts integration, and share ideas and best practices for teachers and artists to collaborate. Participants are inspired to incorporate wider creative approaches and the arts into their day to day planning and classrooms.
5 Wolf Trap Institute, a leader in early childhood arts integration that pairs active learning experiences for the youngest learners with research-based, effective professional development for early childhood educators, first collaborated with Singapore’s Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) and NAC in 2014, to provide arts integration instruction for early childhood educators. The programme had reached over 200 artists and 800 pre-school teachers, and was positively received with 99% of participants agreeing that the training content was relevant and applicable to their work.
6 “We are beyond thrilled to return to Singapore to provide its teachers and youngest learners with rich, joyful experiences in the arts,” said Akua Kouyate-Tate, Vice President of Education at Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts. “Singapore is such a beautiful and welcoming country with a strong dedication to education, and we believe this work to ignite passion and a love of learning will only strengthen the good work already being done by its teachers, parents, and the greater community.”
7 Grace Ng, Director, Education and Development, National Arts Council, added, “Wolf Trap Institute is an important partner in offering high-quality, meaningful and enriching arts education programmes for children. We hope these training opportunities have empowered Singapore artists and educators to hone their capabilities in using the arts to reach learners of all ages.”