McHenry High School art and psychology collaboration produces colorful results

  • McHenry High School AP Psychology and Art instructors teamed up recently to have students create art while studying personalities in AP Psychology. Teachers hope to do this kind of collaboration more often.

    McHenry High School AP Psychology and Art instructors teamed up recently to have students create art while studying personalities in AP Psychology. Teachers hope to do this kind of collaboration more often. Courtesy of Michele Zimmerman/McHenry High School District 156

 
 
Updated 2/14/2022 5:17 PM

McHenry High School AP Psychology students had the opportunity to channel their inner artists by creating art to represent their personality traits during a recent collaboration between psychology and art education.

And it turned into an exercise that both art and psychology instructors hope to repeat in the future.

 

AP Psychology Instructor Pamela McCarrel-Burmeister sought out the help of art Instructor Michele Zimmerman to bring art into the classroom instruction about discovering personality traits. Zimmerman spent two days with the AP Psychology students, encouraging them to explore their personalities while painting. Students made some predictions then compared them to results from personality tests.

Students also compared similarities and differences with each other. They'll bring back the art education exercise when the class studies MESH, which is Motivation, Emotion, Stress, Health.

"It was really cool to have them reflect on that," McCarrel-Burmeister said. "It was so valuable."

McCarrel-Burmeister said students don't always have the opportunity to express themselves creatively, so it was nice to give them that outlet. She's hoping to continue incorporating art into her psychology classes, as well as others. That's something Zimmerman is hoping to see as well, saying she'd be "over the moon integrating art in other disciplines, too."

"I want to bring it back because it is a great outlet," McCarrel-Burmeister said.

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