Next Steps

By Susan Sclafani
I have been fascinated by the thoughtful responses and frustrated by the tangents that made it difficult to decide where and when to get back into the conversation if it were to be a conversation.  However, I do believe that valuable insights have been shared that deserve an additional forum for discussion.  I worry that a week would be an extraordinary and difficult commitment from the busy people in this blog, but it would allow for a more focused conversation.  If it can be done, it does need a more varied group of participants, including practitioners who have had success and those whose success was short-lived, policy people from the national and state levels, educators from general education and arts education, as well as the experts on the blog.  It also requires a highly skilled facilitator who can gather the threads together and weave a coherent conversation.

As Richard Kessler and others have mentioned, it is not only arts education that is difficult to sustain, even in the light of good evidence of success.  That happens all too often when a new principal or superintendent comes in and wants to put his or her stamp on the organization.  Old programs go because they were part of the old philosophy or just reminders of the old regime or because resources are needed for the new programs of the new leader.  It has led to cynicism among teachers and central office staff and it makes every innovation harder to sell.  I would agree that more research is needed, but I worry that research studies often do not take into account the importance of the individuals implementing the program.  Learning is complex and dependent upon so many intangibles as well as measurable factors, that it is hard to capture the impact of a particular program.  It is also impossible to take the evidence from what well-trained and passionately committed educators and artists are able to do and replicate it in schools that lack such educators and artists.  One essential role for arts organizations and higher education institutions is the development of the artists, arts educators and general educators who work with our students.

December 5, 2008 12:53 PM | | Comments (1) |


Fred has been involved in "learning" with students of all ages. He believes learning requires a preparation with a mental set of "I gotta do it the best I can."

This begins at birth as part of a family also prepared to teach- demonstrate - model = through love, attention and building an continuing and enduring relationship.

Art and Fine Arts are demonstrative experiences in seeing, doing, following, encouragement, love, because: the home, parents and family stimulate each individual's interests. Already influenced by the everyday surroundings, patterning and conditioning that is assuring and comforting.

Leave a comment


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

Our Bloggers

Sam Hope, executive director, The National Office for Arts Accreditation (NOAA);
Jack Lew, Global University Relations Manager for Art Talent at EA;
Laura Zakaras, RAND;
James Cuno, Director, Art Institute of Chicago;
Richard Kessler, Executive Director, Center for Arts Education;
Eric Booth, Actor;
Midori, Violinist;
Bau Graves, Executive director, Old Town School of Folk Music;
Kiff Gallagher, Founder & CEO of the Music National Service Initiative and MusicianCorps
Bennett Reimer, Founder of the Center for the Study of Education and the Musical Experience, author of A Philosophy of Music Education;
Edward Pauly, the director of research and evaluation at The Wallace Foundation;
Moy Eng, Program Director of the Performing Arts Program at The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation;
John Rockwell, critic;
Susan Sclafani, Managing Director, Chartwell Education Group;
Jane Remer, Author, Educator, Researcher
Michael Hinojosa, General Superintendent, Dallas Independent School District 
Peter Sellars, director


Contact us Click here to send us an email... more

Peter Sellars on Creativity & the Voice more

Archives: 83 entries and counting


Blog Sponsor


Recent Comments

Fred E. Vanosdall commented on Next Steps: Fred has been involved in "learning" with students of all ages. He believes...