Ok, what next?

By Moy Eng

I've read with interest the wide ranging conversation which reminds me the complex nature of learning, arts engagement and affecting change in the public education system. Rather than sum up poorly the eloquent words of others, I'll pick up on the Eric's "throwdown" suggestion.  Is there interest in working together to catalyze a broadbased effort encompassing a grasstops to grassroots approach fueled by the intelligence, experience and passionate leadership of educators, students, parents, policymakers, artists, and business leaders?  We have the beginnings of this movement in California with the recent efforts of California Alliance for Arts Education, CA County Superintendents Education Association, Stanford Research Institute, CA PTA and LA County's Arts for All, among others. 

Who needs and wants to be at this meeting?  What shall we aim to accomplish for the nation's schoolchildren? At best, there should be a singular vision to work towards... Of course, we can continue to work as the pragmatic Jane Remer writes bringing one teacher, one school, one district at a time.  We at Hewlett are game.  And you???

December 4, 2008 4:29 PM | | Comments (1) |


Moy, if this is going to happen, I would like to suggest that we make sure the only frame being looked through isn’t just in school arts education, or even just a broader education frame. I think the traditional frame of arts education is too small for this conversation. I hope that the field can talk about the relationship between arts learning, 21st century skills, the future of American Education and its relationship to our country's prosperity. I think a larger Civic frame is called for.

I hope that as this conversation continues; we can start to talk about what exactly we think the future role of arts education is in building successful schools, great cities and a viable future workforce. If we do, we might be able to get beyond pedagogy, disciplines, and time of day etc. If we could build consensus about what kind of arts learning systems we need to be building to get broadly valued civic outcomes for children, then getting arts education back in schools might be the opening salvo instead of the endgame.

Dennie Wolf, in a comment on Eric’s last post, talks about the growing divide between who gets to develop their capacities to imagine, express and invent in school, and who doesn’t. That is the kind of frame that puts the arts right at the center of the conversation about what kind of our future America we are building.

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This Conversation For decades, as teaching of the arts has been cut back in our public schools, alarms have been raised about the dire consequences for American culture. Artists and arts organizations stepped in to try to... more

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