SchoolArts Room

Editor's Letter: Collaboration

By Nancy Walkup, posted on May 12, 2021

Student collaboration through art comes in many forms, and our summer articles share a wide variety of approaches. These include student-curated art installations (“Installed with Purpose”), pairing students from one class with those from another level (“A Winning Arts Partnership”), working together in a small group (“Tabletop Drawings”), and creating a mural in collaboration with an artist (“Making History with a Mural”).


SchoolArts magazine, Summer 2021 issue, Editor's Letter on Collaboration
SchoolArts magazine, Summer 2021 issue, Editor's Letter on Collaboration
In this issue, students collaborate to create drawings (see “Tabletop Drawings”), murals (see “Making History with a Mural”), and more.

Here at SchoolArts, we are currently compiling previously published articles for a high-school collection that focuses on contemporary art, artists, and concepts. This book follows the publication of three additional SchoolArts collections: Media Arts, STEAM, and Early Childhood.

In choosing articles for the high-school contemporary art collection, we grouped them by the Big Ideas they addressed, which resulted in the themes of identity, social and emotional issues, and collaboration. Clearly, these three are themes of interest to high-school students. We were pleasantly surprised to see how many of the articles focused on collaboration.

Student collaboration through art comes in many forms, and our summer articles share a wide variety of approaches. These include student-curated art installations (“Installed with Purpose,” p. 11), pairing students from one class with those from another level (“A Winning Arts Partnership,” p. 12), working together in a small group (“Tabletop Drawings,” p. 22), and creating a mural in collaboration with an artist (“Making History with a Mural,” p. 29).

Public murals can be a great entry point for a focus on collaboration, especially if you have murals in your town or city that your students can visit. If you can’t take your students to them, you can photograph them to share with your class.

Collaboration can be defined as the practice of working together to achieve a common goal. Collaboration is one of the four Cs named by the Partnership for 21st Century Learning, along with communication, critical thinking, and creativity, that are considered necessary for students to be successful in work and life in the twenty-first century.

How does the process of collaboration look? Students can work together on a common goal; pool knowledge, skills, and efforts; learn from each other; build on each other’s strengths and ideas; and have the support of others. Collaboration can also be more engaging than working alone.

How will your students collaborate?

View this article in the digital edition.