Galloway Strengthens STEAM Skills with Integrated Learning Specialist

By Assistant Head of School for Academics David Long

The current research around mind-brain education suggests that the integration of arts into the curriculum provides tremendous learning opportunities for our students. As the authors of Neuroteach state, “Using the arts as an everyday teaching methodology in other non-arts areas of the curriculum helps create enduring learning and also increases student motivation.” In essence, students not only learn better by integrating our curriculum with art, integration also instills a love of learning which is in line with our mission as a school. 

We wholeheartedly agree and are excited to announce that Peggy Benkenser has stepped into a new role this year as our Integrated Learning Specialist.  In addition to integrating art into our curriculum, Peggy is also strengthening the "A" in our STEAM offerings as well, and she will be working closely with a select group of faculty to help them integrate art or STEAM into their existing curriculum. 

Some examples of current projects:

  • Science/Music - Peggy worked with Early Learning music teacher Linda Floyd and Kindergarten students to help them learn about the science of sound as they create melodies utilizing low, middle, and high pitches created by adding water to glass jars. 
  • Math/Visual Art - Peggy collaborated with Early Learning art teacher Carmen Gonzalez on a 4th-grade project providing students the opportunity to practice skills related to the use of protractors and rulers while creating a Frank Stella inspired drawing.
  • STEAM - Peggy’s 7th-grade Genius Hour project-based learning enrichment class integrates technology with a variety of student-selected topics including sports journalism, fashion, animation, and music production. 
  • Poetry/Music - Upper Learning English teacher Amy Robinson partnered with Peggy to help 9th grade students explore the common elements of poetry and hip hop as they curate their own creations inspired by life experiences. 
  • AP World History/Music - Head of Community Engagement and Upper Learning history teacher Gordon Mathis and Peggy created a unit for AP World History students to examine cultural changes over time and place through the lens of music. 

At Galloway, we are committed to exploring ways to deepen student learning and foster a love of learning in our students. Peggy’s new role as our Integrated Learning Specialist will help us continue to grow as a learning community.