Integration of Abilities

Integration of Abilities cover.jpg

Front cover of Paul Baker's 1972 book Integration of Abilities: Exercises for Creative Growth, published with Trinity University Press. 

The "Integration of Abilities" course was a philosophy and set of pedagogical practices that Paul Baker developed over his career. In his pathbreaking 1972 book Integration of Abilities: Exercises for Creative Growth, Baker explained that the foundations for this philosophy were laid during his childhood.  Growing up in West Texas, this environment served as his classroom, where the sparse but beautiful landscape and sounds of nature filled his mind with possibility.

The Integration of Abilities employed a series of exercises intended to nurture student creativity. Through theater, dance, music, and the arts, students considered a set of core "elements of form" that Baker identified: space, movement, color, silhouette, line, sound and silence, rhythm, shape, and texture. Exploring these elements of form across different disciplines and types of artistic expression allowed students to discover unifying connections and become more creative thinkers in the process. 

His ideas transformed educational practices broadly as well as the teaching of theater, not just at Baylor and Trinity, but across the state of Texas and beyond. In 2015, the Texas Education Agency even approved a course for high school students. 

Integration of Abilities