Wisdom Wednesday: Akua Kouyate-Tate, Vice President of Education at Wolf Trap

By Carolyn Coons
Photo of Akua Kouyate Tate wearing a blue top, white sweater, long earrings and a matching necklace with blue beads.

Photo courtesy of Wolf Trap

"What the arts provide for young children is an opportunity to experience the concepts—to make them concrete—so that they’re able to use their bodies, their voices." 

Akua Kouyate-Tate, Vice President of Education at Wolf Trap 

The Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts has long been in the vanguard of this approach to education. Understanding that the way we engage children in the first years of their lives has a profound impact on future learning, the Institute trains teachers to use the arts to tap into children’s innate desire for active, multisensory learning. 

In 2010, aware of the call to enhance STEM education—that's education in science, technology, engineering, and math—Wolf Trap began developing early childhood STEM learning through the arts. The reasoning goes like this: by ensuring first STEM’s learning experiences are effective and compelling through arts integration, you foster children’s excitement and cultivate their natural curiosity about STEM subjects. A independent study about the program proved Wolf Trap’s reasoning correct. 

Vice President of Education at Wolf Trap Akua Kouyate-Tate joined us on the National Endowment for the Arts podcast in 2016 to discuss the early STEM-arts program. Listen to the podcast here.