Part 4: Feedback

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

« Part 3: How to Make Changes in our Schools
Part 5: Developing an Agenda, Sometime in the Future »

Please rate your level of agreement with the following statement: Professional artists and arts educators should be offered a wide array of creative opportunities in schools and communities to amplify learning for all citizens.

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Comment below about what you believe the role of the arts should be in making learning relevant and personally meaningful for all citizens:

9 Responses to Part 4: Feedback

  1. It is not just the artists and the art educators, but much of the community as well that have much to offer the education community. I have met so many professionals who are examples of pursuing growth in art coincidental with growth within other professions (math, science, medicine, etc.). The partnership of art in a life dedicated to growth and excellence exemplifies the importance of art in our daily lives.

  2. It offers many career opportunities.
    Every man-made product is a form of art. We need to educate students on how to make things that are functional as well as aesthetically pleasing.
    Our country is at a crossroads economically, in order to rebound industrially we must invent creative solutions for our lack of production of tangible goods.
    Daniel Pink states in his book A Whole New Mind, that America’s greatest export is it’s culture. As Art Educators, we need to further promote the development and growth of our culture and it’s influence on our global economy.
    The study of Art History and Aesthetics is imperative for cultural literacy as well as the training of future designers, architects, fine-artists, photographers, Historians, as well as engineers, surgeons, and other highly skilled professions.
    Art leads to interpersonal development and self-awareness that is essential for a well-rounded being.
    Art, like music, requires a lifetime of learning and development of personal attributes such as discipline, reflection, and cooperation.

  3. Mandating arts education is a tough idea to grasp and I agree with the others who have replied in this manner. Public education, which is the arena I work in, is set up for all of our children. We offer them as many avenues to grow as we can, not just math avenues or not just dance avenues. So I can see some districts becoming unfair or specialized compared to others. Yet on the other hand, if we are to celebrate our communities’ uniqueness, then we are going to be quite different (if our town has a strong arts community then it may want to focus our resources in that area).

  4. As much as I agree with the concerns about mandating arts education, the reality is that when arts education is not mandated it is easily neglected. In my own school, math, science, English and social studies are mandated just about every year for students. The mandate for arts education is more nebulous and as a result, students get much smaller amounts of education in the visual arts and music education with very little or no education in dramatic arts. Without mandates, in our current system. students could literally see this dwindle to nothing. We are already loosing ground as we turn to different schedules in my own district that mandate less minutes for arts education at the elementary level and the option to pull students failing in math from arts education schedules. In an ideal world, we would structure learning around authentic experiences in problem solving and creativity that require the use of spatial, linguistic, bodily-kinesthetic, sound, and other intelligences as expressed by Howard Gardner. However, in reality, until this day comes, I believe we have work for more mandates in arts education to balance out the increasingly unbalanced direction our schools have moved into.

  5. In my posting for the previous conversation, I mentioned our annual arts festival. During that festival the local artisans are invited to display and sell their wares. There is a small financial benefit to the festival but it is a way for them to get involved without always being required to donate their time and products. We also utilize an in school gallery to showcase one local artist a month. On the arts integration side, I think it is always wonderful when a PTO or some other grop within the school can offer the district assistance in bringing in a local artist for an artist i residency program. We have had dance integration in poetry and arts integration in general education for elementary schools. The local artist brings something unique to the education of our students and the real trick is to make sure we can fund enough of these programs to keep the artists alive. One word of caution. Visiting artists need some training for the non creative part of their job.

  6. I believe that whether in the school or the community, arts partnerships have the best chance of succcess when there is open participation rather than regulated or mandated compliance. Schools have to be open to change how they make the arts available to students and artists have to be able to work with teachers and students within the confines of schedules and limited budgets. Communities as a whole have to embrace the importance of arts as part of a complete education well beyond the classroom.

  7. I am all for advocating for arts education but it makes me nervous when I hear terms such as “state mandated”. I do not wish the state to decide what arts experiences should be included in the educational system for all students. But I also realize that local-control is part of our problem. I would rather prefer a “curriculum police” situation at the state level that will enforce the regulations.

  8. I agree with this statement, however, I also feel strongly that the ultimate decision to follow through on this action should be made by the local school board and not by the state.

    • I am a strong advocate for all of the arts in school and community. I prefer that the decisions for education be brought to a more local level of state than federal control however allowing the ultimate decision to fall to a local school board frightens me. I have been involved with several districts and each one had very unique panels. If it were left from district to district, neighboring schools could have very different scenarios when it comes to the education that our children and our community members receive.