Empathy, Kindness and Wonder, Arts Integration at Work 

Lindsay Pinchbeck, Sweet Tree Arts


Workshop Details 

Arts Integration has the potential for us to grow alongside our students. Using the creative arts in our teaching allows us to deepen our relationships, strengthen our actions, and continue our questions. During the workshop participants will explore, share, and question elements of an arts integrated approach. The workshop will provide a variety of arts experiences, allowing us to apply our personal understanding to our teaching practice. Be prepared to journal, share findings and questions, and participate in storytelling, drama, and movement activities. (Please know, there is always the right to pass and observe.) Grades PK-12 All Educators 


Presenter Bio 

Lindsay is director of Sweet Tree Arts L3C and founder of Sweetland School, a Reggio Inspired Arts Integrated program in Hope, ME. She has been teaching in the arts and alternative education settings for the past 15 years. Pinchbeck gained her Masters in Education through Lesley University's Creative Arts and Learning program and received her undergraduate degree in Art and Music from Colby College. Creatively she works as a print maker and photographer. Lindsay believes art can be shared by all ages and all abilities on many levels - we create as active participants, engage as observers and share experiences together that enrich our lives and build empathy when we explore the world through the arts. 


link to overview video


Outline & linked resources



1.Empathy Exploration through Story: Power of story when considering empathy.

Share Magic Listening Cap – Folktale from Japan – a tale around empathy.

How can we integrate story to inform content and compassion?

Explore Storytelling strategies – Story map link to visual thinkers, links to literacy.

Empathy skills developed – Listening, using story TELLING to develop listening a key element of Empathy. 


Journal and reflect on experience and begin to question.


2. Kindness Exploration through Creative collaborative experience.

Explore elements of art and story through sight.  

Our own stories reveal themselves in our journaling and art work.

Map and share a story around a story starter – choice of personal or folk tale to be provided.  Can we escape from our own stories?

‘We believe what we see’ – putting the power of visual imagery to work – create a visual piece with a variety of materials provided.

Share in small groups. Always provide the right to be an active observer.


3. Power of Wonder through Questioning

In 1899 Leo Tolstoy suggested the arts were the communication of emotion.

In 1934 John Dewey wrote about the experience and process in art making.

In 1995 Maxine Greene spoke of the power of imagination making empathy possible.

What is the purpose of art for you today personally and professionally in 2015?


Howard Gardiner speaks of 3 essential elements in education today – The True, the Beautiful and the Good. How can we use the arts to influence these elements in our classrooms and daily practice?


Further questions to consider

Can we live in a place of Ambiguity and keep the questions and wonder alive?

How do we respond to our students’ questions? How do we listen deeply to our own questions? How do we move in the direction our intuition and understandings want us to go?




Referenced Resources

Brown, B. 2010 The Gifts of Imperfection - MN, Hazelden.

Eisner.E  1998 The Kind of Schools we need -  NH, Heinemann.

Fisher,R. Urey,W.. 1981  Getting to YES - NY Penguin Books.

Gardiner, H.  1999 The Disciplined Mind – NY Penguin Books

Greene, M. Releaseing the Imagination: Essays on Education, The Arts and Social Change. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1995.

McLaren, K. 2013  The Art of Empathy –  Boulder CO: Sounds True.

Pascale, L. Donovan, L. 2004  Integrating the Arts Across the Content Areas– CA Shell Education / Lesley University.

Pearmain, E.2006 Once upon a Time….Storytelling to Teach Character and Prevent Bullying – NC Character Development Group.

Way. B. 1967 Development through Drama -  NY, Humanity Books.