Instruction that is integrated combines teaching in two or more subject areas. The purpose of integrated instruction is to help students gain a deep understanding of an important concept that is common to all the subjects involved. Student work is geared to specific goals and assessments in those subject areas. By combining knowledge and thinking in different disciplines, students learn to apply knowledge learned in one area to challenges in another area—a skill that will serve them well—both in school and in real life. Arts integration means that the arts (dance, music, theatre and visual art) constitute one or more of the integrated subject areas. Arts integration is not a substitute for teaching the arts as separate subjects. Rather it complements traditional arts instruction and helps to affirm the relevance of the arts in the school curriculum.
Properly conceived, the arts constitute a great integrating force in the school curriculum. To achieve such an end they must be viewed as a component of every discipline, for their subject matter is as broad as life itself.
—Charles Fowler, Strong Arts, Strong Schools, 1996