Part 3: Feedback

The Arts and Education Initiative of EPLC Supporting the Arts in the Schools and Communities of Pennsylvania

« Part 2: Strengths and Weaknesses in PA Arts and Education
Part 4: How the Arts Can Contribute »

Please rate your level of agreement with the following statement: Schools should be expected to engage individuals and organizations in their neighboring communities through the arts.

[poll id=”4″]

Please explain below your views on how and why the arts should be integrated into daily life at schools and in communities:

12 Responses to Part 3: Feedback

  1. Art educators have to reach out and make our programs important and relevant. We need to build bridges to grow community support and partnerships. But art teachers are struggling to cover content with tighter budget and less time with students. My focus today was on open ended writing responses…about artworks. The focus and pressure on core content is dangerous for the arts. Build support in whatever way you can!

  2. Engaging the surrounding communities, individuals, local artists, parents, businesses is an indispensable aspect of art education. As teachers that mold the innovators of the future, it is our responsibility expose our students to learning experiences of all kinds, as well as gain interest and support from the community. Sometimes the involvement of arts in the global world goes unnoticed, and by utilizing the energy and enthusiasm of young people we can begin to bridge this gap.
    Examples of connections between art and reality may include:

    Guest artists
    Murals in public places
    Community art installations
    Media and design contests
    District art exhibitions
    Arts festivals
    Collaboration with music and drama productions

  3. It has to be a joint effort between the school districts and the community arts organizations. My district partners with several local community arts organizations to the betterment of our students and the local arts organizations. Some arts organizations have their own mission and plans that do not match what my district can accept – for instance pulling students out of school weekly – where conversations between the organizations and the district can identify where the interests and opportunities best match.

  4. All of the comments so far are very thoughtful and I generally agree with them. I believe that schools should be making a strong attempt to inform students about a variety of cultures and the interrelatedness of culture, technology, science, literature, and the arts . . . but schools cannot be expected to solve the problems of diverse communities. We are only one piece of the problem and/or solution. I’ve been recently paying more attention to the Occupy Wall Street movement and find myself getting caught up with the diversity of the stories being told. Many of the stories are from people who went to college, took out massive loans to get degrees in areas they thought were going to lead them to great job opportunities only to find that employers were looking for a different job skill set or were only willing to hire them at greatly reduced salaries that do not allow them to easily pay off their loans in this economy. Education has let many of these people down, because they focused their learning in too specialized tracks. There are many other issues besides this, but I strongly believe that our increasingly narrow focus in education on test-taking, literacy & mathematical skills is hurting our students chances to actually be successful. if we teach students about creativity and problem solving skills, educate them about the relatedness of technology, literacy, science and the arts throughout history, we will better prepare students to be life-long learners with abilities to adapt to an ever changing and rapidly changing future.

  5. This scenario could be interpreted as asking formal education and the arts to solve a major social problem, prejudice and racism, with associated issues around classism, gender bias, homophobia, etc. The arts and education are important forces is shaping society, but they also mirror society. Expecting education and the arts to heal structural defects in society might be compared to using a band-aid on a broken limb instead of a cast.

  6. There is no doubt that your community needs to and wants to be more involved with the arts in their schools but the perception of what that involvement means is not clear. Are we asking them for their time, for money, for expertise? Each year at our district we host a 3 day art and music festival. Student work from all levels is presented aong with music from many different school based groups. The community is invited free of charge so they can see the culmination of what we do all year. If we can take that example and ass the arts integration piece to it, and maybe a festival that honors the diversity in our district by featuring native dance, music and art along with foods from all of the cultures represented in the district, then we are involvinng our taxpayers and our community to be involved We make it a warmer more inviting place than bricks and mortar might suggest.

  7. Schools are not going to be receptive to try new partnerships when they are still mandated to make comprehensive testing the focus of the day. Filling in a bubble is not learning. Teaching to the test is not education. When schools are allowed and encouraged to address a variety of learning styles, then the arts may find a welcome place in the curriculum and the community.

    • I chose ambivalent although if you were to remove “be expected to” from the passage and replace it with “strive to” I would be inclined to agree. I am replying to this thread because I agree that schools/teachers aren’t always receptive to creating new partnerships when they are overwhelmed with a myriad of issues such as mandated comprehensive testing; fitting in all of the require reading, math and language arts units that prepare kids for the testing; and loss of time in schedules due to cuts in faculty and staff just to cover positions that once were filled. Teachers are multi-tasking like never before.

      Many teachers are traveling to multiple schools on six or seven day cycles. I have found it difficult to get artists and others from the community to commit to my crazy schedule…specially knowing my classes are only 45 minutes long.

      I agree with the comment about learning styles as well. We are so focused on “the test”, yet learning styles and keeping students engaged is the buzz in schools. What is forgotten is that the arts have components for all learning styles and are easily adapted to fit the needs of all students. The arts keep students engaged. Integrating the arts into the “favored” subjects is key but the boat is being missed…it’s sailing away!

  8. I think it would be nice to do this but I do not think schools should be required to do it.

  9. I agree with the statement already posted that “The arts community need to initiate and the school community welcome”, primarily because the arts community, in their presentations to the schools needs to be clear on what they are communicating to students and needs to have a passion for why they are doing what they are doing in the schools. This passion and clarity will then be able to pave the way for more authentic, meaningful learning to occur.

  10. I voted “ambivalent” because I agree that schools and community individuals/organizations should be engaged, with the arts as one means, but this statement suggests that it’s the school’s responsibility to see this happen. I think schools need to be receptive but, with all the other things they have to do, they don’t reasonably have time in the current situation to start something new. The arts community needs to initiate and the school communiy welcome, followed by discussion about what is possible.