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Arts Education Classroom Experience

Enhancing learning and bringing classrooms to life with creative energy

AECE description

What is AECE?

The Arts Education Classroom Experience program gives London-based teachers and professional artists the opportunity to collaboratively develop and co-deliver arts projects in elementary schools in the London region. AECE focuses on students' exploration and practice of the "creative process" as outlined in the Ontario Arts Curriculum.

Through AECE, teachers and artists work collaboratively to bring students creative-process experiences that are rich, dynamic, and integrated with core curriculum. This collaboration in arts education provides professional development opportunities not only for artists but for teachers. Artists bring new arts experiences and a creative energy and perspective, modelling the creative process for generalist teachers in a hands-on way.

Arts experiences can be a catalyst for student learning and can bring out hidden strengths, especially for students struggling with traditional teaching methods. Students’ ability to use the creative process effectively and independently enhances skills and expression not only in the arts but also—as research has shown—in other academic subjects that require critical analysis, problem-solving, planning & organization, perseverance, and divergent thinking.

An Introduction to AECE

An Introduction to AECE

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How Can Teachers Participate?

The collaborative nature of the teacher's and artist's instruction is vital to the effectiveness of each AECE project. The role of AECE artists is not only to engage, facilitate, inspire, and nurture students but also to assist teachers in creating environments that foster the creative process. We provide a level of program administration for AECE that supports this collaboration.

If you're interested in your class taking part, please contact Jeremy Jeresky (Curator, Public Progams and Learning) at

AECE logistics

What is AECE's Impact?

[AECE] was one of the best experiences I have had in my 13 years of teaching. The arts have always been an area that I struggled with, and I feel that sometimes the students lose out because of that. We always seem to have specialized teachers in math and science, but art sometimes gets put on the back burner. This year, I feel that my students have really grown as artists and have learned many techniques that will be very beneficial to them as they continue with their education.

Rob Mazzotta, Teacher

Ashley Oaks Public School (TVDSB)

I think the program is excellent. The planning time provided for artist and teacher really helped […] us both have a clear picture of where we were going. Students were engaged and motivated and amazed at the works they were producing. It was such an enriching experience for all students, I would recommend the program to any colleague without hesitation.

Dana Barber, Teacher

Holy Rosary Catholic School (LDSCB)

The artist made modifications that allowed all students in my class to participate, including children with physical and mental disabilities. [This] made all the children feel successful, valued, and part of the group.

Kristin Barnett, Teacher

Delaware Central Public School (TVDSB)

My students benefited from having someone that is a professional in the arts talk to them about their personal journeys, experiences, and techniques.

Vanessa Vecchio, Teacher

St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School (LDCSB)

They learned to use their imaginations again and to be creative without fear.

Tanya Facchin, Teacher

Sir Arthur Carty Catholic School (LDCSB)

[AECE] was one of the most engaging programs I have ever had my students involved with, and I have been teaching for 24 years! The energy and passion for his craft that the LAIR artist displayed was contagious, and the students were able to benefit immensely from his experience and enthusiasm. He brought an authenticity to the lessons, as the students knew that he was a 'real' actor and script writer. To see the students who were initially very quiet and shy turn into star performers was incredible. One boy in my class who literally walked away from the activities at the start [...] ended up dressed in a suit and tie, channeling his inner Pacino! Another young lady, who looked like she might faint when we were doing our first improv activities, ended up with some of the best punch lines of the day, delivered perfectly and in character! The children have had an experience they will remember and treasure for years to come.

Anonymous teacher

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AECE impact

AECE is a collaboration between the London Arts Council, Ontario Arts Council, London District Catholic School Board, and Thames Valley District School Board and is supported by The Ontario Ministry of Education as an Artist in Residence (Education) model as laid out by the Ontario Arts Curriculum. Development funding for AECE was provided through The Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport (Cultural Strategic Investment Fund) and the London Community Foundation (Beryl Ivey Endowment for the Arts).

AECE Collaborator Logos

For more information about AECE,

please contact Jeremy Jeresky

(Curator, Public Programs and Learning)


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