Arts Based Education

International bodies such as United Nations (UN) agencies and other specialized organizations have created frameworks and declarations highlighting the significance of education rights for all children, including those who are neurodiverse. The term “neurodiverse” acknowledges and celebrates the inherent diversity in neurological characteristics and functioning within the human population. It encompasses individuals whose brains function differently from the perceived norm, including conditions such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Dyslexia, and more.

Recognizing the need to address the educational disparities among neurodiverse youth.

Fundacion Muchila Creativo took proactive steps to offer greater education accessibility in Aruba. In 2020, our foundation launched a successful pilot project for neurodiverse youth to fill in the educational gap. Fundacion Muchila Creativo integrated “learning in the workplace” with an Arts-Based education program. Focused on emotional and intellectual development, creativity, and diverse skill integration, the initiative provided students with personalized opportunities for growth at their own pace. This project evolved into what is now Colegio Muchila Creativo, an Arts-Based Secondary School for Diverse Learners.

Colegio Muchila Creativo aims to create a genuine and inclusive community where students engage with one another in both their differences and commonalities.
The school envisions that students in Colegio Muchila’s educational program will find employment in the community, seeking to improve their quality of life. Through our program, students gain lifelong fulfillment in terms of knowledge, skills, and talents, instilling an understanding that there is a meaningful path for them to follow.

Objectives of the Education Program at Colegio Muchila Creativo:

1. Students will acquire the ability to articulate language, comprehend arithmetical concepts, engage with science, explore global orientation, and develop skills and techniques using a digital program. Additionally, they will undergo a creative process through the Performing Arts (Music, visual art, drama, and movement) and the “learn and workplace.

2. Students will develop the skill of expressing their feelings, ideas, and experiences.

3. Students will learn to articulate their opinions and enhance their communication skills.

4. Students will cultivate teamwork skills, learning to collaborate effectively.

5. Students will develop the capacity for self-reflection on their own work and that of their peers.

6. Students will acquire knowledge about and an appreciation for various aspects of cultural heritage, including objects from the past, rituals, traditions, stories, and arts from bygone eras.

The Arts-Based education program at Colegio Muchila Creativo provides students with the opportunity to express their unique profiles in diverse ways. This artistic program not only enhances their quality of community engagement but also serves as a catalyst for employment readiness. Students are encouraged to prepare for active participation in the workforce, with a focus on individually examining suitable employment opportunities based on their aspirations, abilities, and limitations. The program establishes job-related targets to prepare students for their chosen careers, allowing them to fully develop their professional and labor capabilities within the context of their unique possibilities and limitations. Portfolio building is a key aspect of the preparation process for future employment.

The Arts-Based education program provides diverse opportunities for students to showcase their achievements, offering a quality boost for community participation and employment readiness. The program aims to equip students not only for functional integration into Aruban society but also to contribute to the community through specific vocational and artistic career pathways. Tailored to accommodate diverse learning styles, the instructional approach engages students in cognitive learning and hands-on activities, fostering individual choice and involvement. This process builds confidence, optimizes potential, promotes growth, and enhances communication and teamwork skills.

The program includes:
1) Online Program (Math, Languages, Science)
2) Cognitive activities (Reading, Writing, Social life skills)
3) Social Emotional Learning & Civic Skills
4) Digital & social media
5) Learn & Workplace Internships
6) Music (Instrumental and vocal) Percussion Ensemble
7) Theatre & Puppetry
8) Visual & Media Arts
9) Dance, Sports & Movement
10) Performance (Musical & Social Activities).

  1. The school day commences at 8:00 am and concludes at 1:30 pm, providing students with a structured and focused learning environment during this time frame. This schedule allows for a comprehensive educational experience that includes various subjects, activities, and breaks to ensure a well-rounded and engaging learning atmosphere. Teachers and students collaborate throughout the day to cover a diverse range of academic and extracurricular pursuits, fostering a positive and productive learning environment until the school day concludes at 1:30 pm.

    The School Day Program:

    1. In a 1 ½-hour session, students will undergo a focused curriculum on cognitive courses.
    This curriculum covers subjects such as Language (English and Papiamento), Arithmetic and Math, and Orientation on the World, Humanity, and Science.

    2. In the second 1 ½-hour block, students actively engage in the “learn and workplace.”
    Students will acquire both general occupational skills and specialized expertise. Our approach includes a development-oriented workplace, and we collaborate with various social and commercial settings, providing students with opportunities to practice a diverse range of skills.

    3. In the last 1 ½-hour block, Colegio Muchila Creativo focuses on a specific art discipline. Throughout the week students participate in:

    – Music
    – Theater
    – Visual Arts
    – Dance / Movement
    – Percussion