Subject-Specific Models for The New Art and Science of Teaching

by | Nov 15, 2019

The New Art and Science of Teaching (Marzano, 2017) is a comprehensive model of instruction with a rather long developmental lineage. Specifically, four books spanning two decades precede and inform The New Art and Science of Teaching and its use in the field.

  1. Classroom Instruction That Works: Research-Based Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement (Marzano, Pickering, & Pollock, 2001)
  2. Classroom Management That Works: Research-Based Strategies for Every Teacher (Marzano, 2003)
  3. Classroom Assessment and Grading That Work (Marzano, 2006)
  4. The Art and Science of Teaching: A Comprehensive Framework for Effective Instruction (Marzano, 2007)

The first three books address specific components of the teaching process, namely instruction, management, and assessment. The final book puts all three components together into a comprehensive model of teaching. It also makes a strong case for the fact that research (in other words, science) must certainly guide good teaching, but teachers must also develop good teaching as art.

Even if they use precisely the same instructional strategies, two highly effective teachers will have shaped and adapted those strategies to adhere to their specific personalities, the subject matter they teach, and their students’ unique needs. Stated differently, we can never accurately articulate effective teaching as a set of strategies that all teachers must execute in precisely the same way.

The comprehensive model in the book The New Art and Science of Teaching (Marzano, 2017) reflects a greatly expanded and updated version of The Art and Science of Teaching (Marzano, 2007). One of the unique aspects of The New Art and Science of Teaching is that it focuses on student learning, rather than being teacher-focused, as depicted below:



According to the above figure, the intervening variables between effectively applying an instructional strategy and enhanced student learning are specific mental states and processes in the minds of learners. If teachers do not produce these mental states and processes as a result of employing a given strategy, then that strategy will have little or no effect on students. This implies that teachers should heighten their level of awareness as they use instructional strategies for maximum efficacy.

The Need for Subject-Specific Models

General frameworks like The New Art and Science of Teaching certainly have their place in a teacher’s understanding of effective instruction. However, a content-specific model of instruction can be a useful supplement to the more general framework in The New Art and Science of Teaching. The content-specific model should fit within the context of the general framework, but it should be based on content-specific research and should take into account the unique challenges of teaching a particular content area.

For art and music, such a content-specific model should address important aspects of artistic or musical knowledge, procedures, and instruction, such as vocabulary, artistic and musical literacy, criticism, reflection, artistic and musical process, technique, and expression.

A content-specific model for art and music should address these aspects in depth and relate back to the general framework of instruction. We designed The New Art and Science of Teaching Art and Music to provide just such a model. Specifically, in its chapters, we address the three overarching categories—(1) feedback, (2) content, and (3) context—with their corresponding ten categories of instruction and the embedded forty-three elements that feature specific strategies expressly for art and music.

Although the book predominantly provides suggestions to support lesson planning around art and music instruction, we encourage readers to explore the foundational book The New Art and Science of Teaching (Marzano, 2017). In doing so, they will likely infuse their content areas and grade levels with additional strategies.

The New Art and Science of Teaching Art and Music

Revised Edition

Mark Onuscheck, Robert J. Marzano and Jonathan Grice

Explore how teachers can apply The New Art and Science of Teaching framework to teaching art and music with this comprehensive guide offering over one hundred detailed strategies and examples of implementation.

Buy now at Hawker Brownlow Education

Mark Onuscheck Mark Onuscheck is director of curriculum, instruction, and assessment at Adlai E. Stevenson High School in Illinois. He is a former English teacher and director of communication arts. Read more articles by Mark Onuscheck

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Robert J Marzano Robert J. Marzano, PhD, is cofounder and chief academic officer of Marzano Resources in Denver, Colorado. A leading researcher in education, he is a speaker, trainer, and author of more than 50 books and 200 articles. Read more articles by Robert J Marzano

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Jonathan Grice Jon Grice is the director of fine arts at the award-winning Adlai E. Stevenson High School in Illinois. Previously, he served as the fine arts department chair and visual arts teacher at Riverside Brookfield High School in Illinois. Read more articles by Jonathan Grice

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