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  1. Imagine, a society actually able to work together, this must also be taught. As an educator, I noticed that most educators have a sense of theirs. in the classroom, in their curriculum and sharing , when I worked with 4 teachers was not easy, This also had to be learned as well as the trust issue. Believing that we all have strengths and weaknesses and God given talents that when shared advance not only the student but also the teachers. This knowledge is not easily learned by some, just as art is not just talent. It is skills to be learned and taught. Are we doing this as we educate teachers , or are they still given books, told to do but really are not give the chance to work together: English, math , science art, music, dance, and explore curriculum and practice the ideas. None of this is easy , especially since most teachers work in isolation in the classrooms. The beginning of this is grants for artist’s to come , share and work with students. This is a mutual working , not a time for the teacher to stand back and just watch. This should be collaborative, with English, art, music, photography, media, whoever you can involve and begin to work together. The state needs to support this and watch over this like a baby. That might be the beginning of allowing teachers to learn to work together. School planning time is also an issue for this and school schedule flexibility.

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. Synergism in learning occurs when connections among various learning experiences are discovered. Learning in isolated subject-matter components makes the discovery of connections more difficult and less accessible to many learners.

  5. 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.

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  7. Agree with 4, 5, 6 in theory, but these seem somewhat utopian, depending on your situation/district/etc… It may not be possible for every teacher to tackle these.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Trained art ed professionals are a vital part in the schools and teachers should use an approach that resonates outside the art classroom. Addressing real life in the classroom should be something that art teachers do.

  11. “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.

  12. 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).

  13. When physics integrates with dance and math integrates with visual arts then we will have true arts integration. As a trained educator in my field I often wonder about that relationship. Are the arts simply a part of the gen ed classroom, as a way to learn about that gen ed subject? I don’t think so, it is more than that. The arts need to be there for every child, taught by someone who knows how to teach others about it, how it works, how they can be affected by it. It is not an incidental part of education. If you look towards the 4 c’s (creativity, collaboration, communication and critical thinking)-you’ll see 4 skills or skill areas that are needed by our kids. You’ll also see a perfect (perfect) opportunity for the arts to affect change in children and the future.

  14. I feel that arts could be integrated but also when history integrates with art and physics integrates itself with dance and so forth. I always feel as a trained educator in my field that it is a hard line to draw in the sand between what I teach and what a gen ed teacher teaches. Is what I teach something that is merely part of another discipline? No. Yet what I teach and what another person teaches so often overlaps. I would like the focus of the future of PA education to be on the common core goals of creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, and communication. A person can then bring their “minor” or their “love” of physics or dance, their expertise in the area of visual arts or mathematics to their classroom, thus making that experience a special unique one for that group of children.

  15. 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.

  16. Perhaps the question for this part should be project-based learning rather than inquiry-based learning projects…

    Schools that use project (or problem)-based learning have arts teachers (and usually math and language arts teachers, too) who become quite important as students try to complete projects or solve problems and have a more genuine need for learning than typical classes.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. As I read the the scenario so far, I hear a concern for how the arts should be working together to build community, yet as I read these statements below, I am reading mostly support for music and theatre and not the visual arts. I think this is a real problem and a cause of divisiveness among ourselves. All of the performing and visual arts play an important role in the education or our students and need to be addressed equally. Howard Gardner found these to be the 8 multiple intelligences: Logical-mathematical, Spatial, Linguistic, Bodily-kinesthetic, Musical, Interpersonal, Intrapersonal, Naturalistic, Existential. I’m not an expert on Gardner’s work, but to the best of my knowledge, he did not prioritize any of these aspects of intelligence and yet the main thing that standardized testing, PSSAs, and upcoming Keystone Exams are addressing is Logical-mathematical and Linquistic learning. In an ideal school we should be preparing students of the 21st century to think in many more ways, by organizing schools around: abstract thinking, communication, creativity, emotional intelligence & thinking, problem solving, reasoning. Understanding, and visual processing.

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. These are wonderful and exciting ideas and goals and I would willingly volunteer my time to such an effort. My one caution is this. We have experienced the effect mandated programs without additional funding can effect the school budget as a whole. The last thing I would like to see is a change of attitude from our taxpayers towards Arts in Education due to no additional, or lessened State funding and a need to go to the public for more by way of taxes. Strategic, long term ideas for funding need to be put into place.

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. Arts integration is the true hope for the future of Arts in education in the next two decades. With proper funding and leadership, the chorus, band and orchestral along with general art courses will most likely survive and in some cases prosper. But, it is in the integration of arts into the classroom, tying music to history, dance to physics, acting to Language Arts that will enhance the education of the larger student population. We need to ensure that our future educators are taught, within their training years, how to utilize those resources which will make the classroom more alive and the learning more impactful. I have seen the results of standardized testing in schools that integrate art and they have always scored higher than similar school without that piece. The young person who tells the story makes the right point. Imagine that instead of watching a great musical with sets and costumes and singing, someone just made you read the text of “The Music Man.” You would get through it but would you get it. So add sound and music and art to the study of the civil war and see how it jumps off the pages.

  27. 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.

  28. The agenda demonstrates such strong promise, but without some adjustment to how financial resources are divided amongst school districts and even individual schools, students and communties with less financial support will, in turn, have fewer opportunities to engage in a rich exposure to all of the artistic disciplines.

  29. 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.

  30. 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!

  31. The students are ahead of many of the adults in their thinking. I believe that there are at least 5 different learning styles that have been identified. We no longer live and learn in a world where rigid compartmentalized thinking has much use. Imagine, like these students, how much richer learning could be if history were taught through movements in theatre and art, if math had a direct connection to the video game revolution, if dance and music were part of instruction in sociology. These examples just touch the surface of how different teaching should be.

  32. 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.

  33. 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.

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

  35. 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.

  36. The six-point arts and education agenda is good and is needed in our state. However, I feel strongly that the state should present this agenda in a supportive manner to the schools, which respectfully guides schools and communities toward recognizing and valuing the arts that exist in their state and local communities. The agenda should not be presented in a “from-the-top” mandate.

  37. 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.

  38. 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.

  39. Music is a form of expression, involving cognitive and psycho-motor skills, which is unlike any other discipline taught in school. Because of its uniqueness, music needs to be explored and taught in our schools, in the effort to help all students reach their fullest potential, both as individuals and as members of our society.

  40. 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.

  41. 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.

  42. 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.

  43. 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.