An Education in Arts Education

October 10, 2011 § Leave a comment

Another class that nearly everyone contributing to this blog is taking is Arts and Education. While the class is mostly structured around studying articles that make us arts supporters say "duh" I found two juxtaposing links both included in this morning’s ArtsJournal.

The first is your typical fight for arts education: music in kids’ lives makes them smarter.

The second is a guest blog, by the Dean of Mannes College The New School for Music, that perhaps comes to terms with new ways we need to be thinking about arts education. The blog is long, but if you have a few minutes to spare, I think it’s worth the read. I’m not sure I agree with all of it, but there are points worth considering.

A point early on in the article that kept me reading is that so much money was spent on arts education in the 1980’s. These kids that were "reached" by the arts and given exposure are now parents of the kids who are in schools where the arts are getting cut… by school boards who represent the interests of those kids’ parents.

These two articles brought me to more questions than answers. Instead of continuing to fight for arts education with the fact that it "makes kids smarter" and continue to provide arts education in the traditional sense, maybe it’s really time to start evaluating how effective current arts curriculum is at keeping the arts in people’s lives after they graduate. Can a class for budding arts managers focused on reading articles about arts education in the 1990’s really prepare us and make us think about arts education in ways meaningful to today? Is learning what happened in the past enough to propel us into the future, or do we need to focus our creative thought on finding new ways to integrate creative thought in the classroom?

What do you think is the most poignant aspect of Bruce Taylor’s view on arts education?

-Stephanie

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