Why Do We Call Classrooms "Studios"?

  • In an arts sense the word “studio” is very similar in varying art forms - art studio, actors studio, design studio, dance studio, recording studio - are all examples. The word studio means "study" and/or "zeal" (diligence). It is a space where artists do their work and through their work, they are also learning. At Foothills, all classrooms are “studios”. We don’t believe in just a few rooms holding all of the opportunity for a student to be creative. No matter what learning space our students operate in educators at Foothills strive to meet our mission of Artful Teaching, Artful Learning.


    With our mission in mind, we believe that a classroom should be like an artist studio. We envision the classroom studio as a place where students and teachers take on the mindset of the artist and convert their work into a learning environment full of creativity.


    This statement encompasses our ideas of arts learning, or instructional strategies that lend themselves to utilizing the arts to learn new concepts and skills, deepen understanding of those skills and concepts, and to allow students to use what they know to solve problems and demonstrate understanding through creative expressions. Subsequently, Arizona's College and Career Ready Standards are teeming with opportunities to be creative, work collaboratively, think critically, and work with complexity (1). A truly elegant fit for our school.


    There is a mindset that artists use in their studios through the process of making creative artistic products - that which we desire students to utilize as well. These Studio Habits of Mind (2) can connect to any subject area and, above all, are good for the well-being of the child.


    In essence, we believe that these characteristics are vital for a 21st Century Education and align with college and career readiness. When our classrooms are “studios” the staff at Foothills makes a commitment to meet our mission and vision for Foothills students.



    1. J.A. Bellanca, R. J. Fogarty, B.M. Pete (2012) How to Teach Thinking Skills Within the Common Core: 7 Key Student Proficiencies of the New National Standards. Solution Tree.
    2. Hetland, L., Winner, E., Veenema, S. & Sheridan, K. M. (2007). Studio thinking: The real benefits of visual arts education. New York: Teachers College Press.


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