Learning Through the Arts® (LTTA) is a proven transformative educational program that uses arts-based activities to teach the core curriculum by providing teachers with creative tools to engage all students in math, science, language arts, social studies, and more.

LTTA brings specially trained artists, certified to help teach curricular requirements, into the classroom to work creatively in partnership with classroom teachers. Together they create lessons that make the core curriculum exciting and relevant to all students and learner types. For example, students are learning numeracy through dance, literacy through media arts, and science through music. It is now the largest full school intervention program in the world, reaching more than 377,000 students in the last ten years. Demand for LTTA continues to increase exponentially across North America and around the world.

At the conclusion of a three-year Queen’s University study, students in the LTTA program scored an average of 11 percentile points higher in math than their peers in non-LTTA schools.

With more than 45 studies on the effects of the LTTA program, the research has consistently shown benefits to not only students, but also teachers, principals, and LTTA artist-educators.

Our hands-on programs fuse the arts, cognition, and curriculum in multiple learning paradigms, and are proven to enhance the capacity of teachers to teach, the ability of children to learn, and the potential of schools to inspire.
LTTA is:

  • One of the most extensive differentiated instruction programs in the world
  • The only program of its kind to specially train and certify artist-educators
  • The only arts-infused education program to demonstrate proven results through academic research1

LTTA evolved out of the premise that schools that encourage teachers to make learning and teaching participatory, active, and connected to the personal interests and learning style of each student are the most effective in achieving academic, social, and personal development in these students. Teachers, like students, also learn best through direct, hands-on experience.

A professional development component is central to LTTA, offering:

  • Skill development workshops
  • Frequent in-class practice
  • Support by a team of experienced LTTA artists

LTTA programs provide teachers with invaluable job-embedded training and the best in-class field trips that students will ever have.


Learning Through The Arts Programs

 

6 Social

6 C’s through Social Entrepreneurship


6 Social is a new vehicle for authentic learning that engages Grade 7 to 11 students in developing innovative solutions to social issues they experience in their school environment and neighbourhoods.

Through One Day and Two Day events, students receive training in creative and critical thinking processes. They learn to ideate, validate, and pitch innovative solutions to social problems that address gaps in information or attitudinal barriers through thoughtful social media campaigns and interactive apps. 

Students are provided with ongoing tools and mentorship to extend their work beyond the initial ideation process through to a workable prototype that they can put into action in their school or neighbourhood. They are supported by mentors from the local community who bring relevant expertise in social media, business planning, technology, and project management.

LTTA provides teachers with resources that allow them to bring the 6 Social experience into their classrooms so that every student can benefit. Support resources include imaginative task designs, videos, and online training opportunities, combined with access to a suite of unique technology and learning tools. 6 Social regional pitch contests help celebrate outstanding student achievement and inspire peers.

YouthBeat

YouthBeat is an innovative music learning solution that builds the capacity and confidence of Grade 4-10 students through sustained engagement in learning and creating music using digital tools. 

The iPad-based program is designed to be fun, engaging, and inclusive. It offers generalist teachers who enjoy music but lack musical training a way to include music learning experiences in their classroom. This allows students and teachers to benefit from the high engagement and cognitive value of music experiences.

The program engages students through hands-on exploration of relatable musical sounds that are meaningful to them and their peers.  The structure of the program follows the Ontario music curriculum with its emphasis on listening to, understanding, and creating music. 

YouthBeat facilitates collaborative and self directed learning with minimal supervision provided by the teacher. The program consists of a series of challenges in the form of progressively more difficult rhythmic or melodic phrases that students first learn to play back using a unique interactive music app, then personalize through making choices of sounds and by tweaking the pattern, then share with peers. A teacher guide and online support are provided.

Students can submit patterns they have created for others to try, ‘perform’ pieces in public, for example as part of events, or produce and record music developed on the platform using standard audio programs such as Garageband.


Design | Media Arts (D | MA)

Design | Media Arts is a national initiative that meaningfully integrates arts and technology into daily classroom practice where the school becomes the centre of an inclusive, diverse community that invites artists, elders, mentors, educators and experts into the learning process.  The D | MA program fosters long-term collaborative relationships between teachers and Artist-Educators, with the goals of
integrating the creative process into classroom instructional design and personalizing learning opportunities for students.  

Encounters with art, artists, and interdisciplinary art-making provoke deeper thought processes, increasing teacher capacity to design meaningful and relevant learning tasks. Student engagement increases, allowing students to become socially empowered, and, therefore, intellectually engaged.

A defining element of this program is the process of Making Learning Visible, described by John Hattie as when “teachers see learning through the eyes of the students, and help them to become their own teachers.”  Documenting their creative processes and learning journey allows students to demonstrate their understanding of curriculum in more highly personal and relevant ways.  Teachers and artists offer tools and create space for students to to engage in ongoing dialogue around learning outcomes with their peers, instructors, parents, and school community.  This process honours student work,  gives students ownership of their learning goals, and makes the multiple pathways to achieving them transparent.

Inspired by the pedagogy of Maxine Greene’s Aesthetic Education, and Stanford’s Design Thinking model, the D/MA program seeks to create a culture of creativity, divergent thinking, and artful expression, and to give teachers the skills, tools, and confidence to manifest this culture in their classrooms and school communities.  

The components of this program include : 2 full day Teacher Professional Development Workshops, Multiple Design Thinking Meetings,  on-going Artist-Mentorship for teachers in  a one-on-one and small team context, and encounters with Artists in the classroom.

First Nation, Metis and Inuit Programming

The D | MA First Nation, Metis, and Inuit (FNMI) programming is specifically designed to meet the needs of Aboriginal school communities. The D | MA framework allows for teachers and artists to incorporate traditional understandings and artistic forms into the instructional design, fostering authentic and meaningful experiences for teachers and students.  The framework encourages structured collaborations with community experts such as Elders, cultural liaisons and language teachers. 

Through the FNMI - D | MA program, teachers are supported in design tasks with arts provocations that inspire students to think and motivate them to take action - to respond, to research, to test, to revise, to collaborate. Students who take ownership of their learning, who are asked to document their learning, and who are given the tools to do this documentation are more successful because they're doing work they believe in. 

The use of digital media and new communication technologies, such as Skype and Slack, allows remote or isolated schools to participate in this programming and to connect to a the larger community of artists and educators across Canada.  This not only gives Aboriginal students and teachers the chance to bring new ideas into their learning environments, but just as importantly, it provides the opportunity to share their understandings and creative work with a broader audience.  

 Developing and implementing this program has allows us to celebrate the diversity of First Nations, Metis, and Inuit cultures, and make authentic connections with the arts-education community.  Oura national roster of FNMI Artist-Educators and Elders  collaborate with teachers and artists, in person and virtually, to enrich understanding for Aboriginal and non-aboriginal students and teachers. 

The components of this program include : 2 full day Teacher Professional Development Workshops, Multiple Design Thinking Meetings,  on-going Artist-Mentorship for teachers in  a one-on-one and small team context, encounters with FNMI Artists and Elders in the classroom.


The Core Program

Learning Through the Arts began in 1994 as a program offering job embedded training for K-8 public school teachers.

LTTA artist educators modelled arts-based differentiated instruction strategies that teachers could use to make core curriculum more engaging for their students.   

With the Core Program, literacy, numeracy and other curricula come alive for students, as they  dance, sing, paint, sculpt, drum, act, write, move and create their way through .  This partnership between teacher and artist, and the pedagogy of arts-embedded learning is the foundation of the Learning Through The Arts philosophy.  

The Core Program is still offered in Fort McMurray, Thunder Bay, Windsor, and Hamilton, but is no longer available to other school boards.  In recognizing the evolving needs of school boards, and incorporating contemporary pedagogy, LTTA is developing several new offerings in partnership with leading school boards that are currently available in pilot sites, and will be nationally available in the near future.