Part 1: 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 »

Please rate your level of agreement with the following statement: Taylor has successfully defined the three key questions facing all citizens concerned with augmenting the relationship between the arts and education in her state.

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Please share your additional thoughts below about Taylor’s assessment of the challenges and opportunities her state faces as its citizens work to strengthen the arts and education.

13 Responses to Part 1: Feedback

  1. Industry is asking that potential employees have abilities for “creative approaches to solving problems”. If the business community values and asks that those skills be apparent, then the need should be addressed in the education of all students.

  2. “First, how can our state guarantee all residents equitable access to the arts?
    Lottery could/ should allow Senior Citizens funds in order to attend cultural events/organizations, like museums.

    Second, how can we offer quality arts programs to all stakeholders as well as design meaningful ways to assess their impact?

    Administration needs to be educated, (or to consult with professional art educators) in order to understand WHAT and HOW to evaluate arts programs. Ther PDE needs to maintain an the job position for Art Education staff member (This position was .formerly held by Beth Cornell and Jamie Kasper)

    How many people are participating in arts events (is participation on the rise)

    Personal narratives from graduates who are in the creative industry.

    And third, how can we highlight the role of the arts in developing an educated citizenry and a productive workforce?”

    Highlighting the roles of the arts (in the ARTS) usually mean EXHIBITIONS. Art students/ Educators need exhibition venues and opportunities to showcase their work. Such venues could be: libraries, local govt. offices, as well as businesses. I like the idea of community arts centers as a central art “heart” of the community, for education, exhibition, community events and gathering.

  3. Taylor needs to tweak one of her challenges, I feel. The way it sounds to me, throwing the arts at the stakeholders might work on some, who’ve been educated in the arts. We need to make sure that the arts are delivered to the stakeholders in a thoughtful, meaningful way which may involve education, provided by people who know about this process.

  4. I am hoping that the arts will soon have Core standards just as math, science, social studies, English, and technical education. Additionally, I hope that these standards might address habits of mind and that on a national level, we might begin to rethink how we are teaching students in schools during the 21st century. We organize schools like factories . . sending students through them in an assembly line where we install one subject for 45 minutes, then another subject for 45 minutes, etc. . . until the end of the day and we do this day in and day out. If a student fails to be installed with enough information to be deemed basic or higher in a particular subject, then we install additional information so they can become better MC test takers. Most of this kind of teaching addresses installment of factual information and the result is that we turn some students into good test takers and we identify the bad test takers and make them feel inadequate. There is a lot of information supporting the need for creative thinking and businesses that are now saying that they need creative thinkers. The arts are excellent places where students can combine multiple ideas from a broad range of learning in a creative problem solving way. Students also pick up many skills that will help them survive in the real world. Many of these skills are not ‘testable’ but are probably more important than the things we do test. Envision, the ability to empathize, understand another’s point of view, engage & persist, are all important skills that will help students become life-long learners and successful in careers. I would like to see us move away from traditional identities of any singular discipline and begin to embrace concepts such as problem solving and creativity as the goal where all subjects, including the arts are accepted and valued on an equal basis.

    • I want to be known as a teacher of children, needed and valued as such. I don’t want to be known and valued for “giving the kids a break from the regular subjects,” “giving the homeroom teacher a 40 minute planning period which is in their contract,” and on and on. I agree with the above statement on arts being able to teach for lifelong learning, for making sense in it’s own right.

    • I totally agree. A program in which students in groups of 30 or 40 with many teachers in the same room can be done. I have experienced it but it took at least 2 years to convince and then it died because people were not willing to work together. WE need to get teachers to understand that they cannot control and be in charge and close that classroom door , Discussion, student participation in all aspects of learning not sit and absorb, technology. We found that at risk students mixed with higher level did not bring down but actually enhanced learning and advanced these students to be able to skip 1st level college courses. The students worked together and moved as a group for 3 years with same teachers and the music and arts teaching taking place within the group of teachers , not separate. The factory model, as long as it remains will be a constant problem not only with teaching but also with student and their ability to move forward at their own pace. I have experienced public as well as home school and the interesting issue is not a 45 min class with one teacher , then move on , but a consistent level in which the teacher has the opportunity to really know that child and strengthen and challenge each year , the knowledge of that student. Teacher attitude and openness is another issue. We cannot own our curriculum we need to share, expand, grow , with not just the teachers we teach with but also outside artists, writers , dancers, etc. The bubble of the school can then be broken with outside influences and real life situations.

  5. The humanities and arts standards that have long been established have no real teeth in the assessment of a school district’s compliance. Those of us who are fortunate to have supportive boards and administration use them as guidelines but still are not truly in compliance. The standards, which will create a more complete citizen need to be looked at again in light of the changes bot demographically/economically as well as the advances in technology. In other words, we have to reach the students where they live and utilize the arts to help them establish their cultural roots as well as celebrate the arts as a whole.

  6. As educators and artists, we need to address the specifics of what we are trying to teach. On the national level there is movement toward using the arts as a means of facilitating learning across the curriculum. When we move away from traditional identities of singular arts disciplines and begin to embrace arts as the vehicle for instruction in a traditional curriculum, there may be more acceptance and use of our rich skill sets.

    • I agree, the goals in art, the skills we encourage and grow in students are those that are often regarded as mysterious and out of reach for others, hence the common, “I’m not the creative type,” phrase heard by so many of us when discussing art with our colleagues. What was once considered purely talent might now be in reach for so many and according to initiatives like the Common Core and 21 Cent. Skills is terribly necessary.

  7. I agree that the lack of enforcement of what is already state law (regulations) is a challenge. It is shameful that there are standards and assessment regulations for every subject area including the arts yet there are many schools that do not align their curriculum to the standards nor have assessments in place to measure that the students are meeting those standards. Sadly if it is not a tested subject it is seen as unimportant.

  8. I agree with the second statement above regarding lack of enforcement of existing state arts education standards and lack of consistent/available data on the availability and impact of arts education.

  9. The statement is easy to read and understand. Was Taylor’s effort taking place in a rural, suburban or urban area?
    Taylor’s name comes across as: white, female, probably suburban.

  10. Additional challenges include the lack of enforcement of existing state arts education standards, and the lack of consistent/available data on the availability and impact of arts education.