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Six Practical Reasons Why Arts Education is Not a Mere Luxury, from Dan Willingham, Cognitive Scientist

There’s a terrific interview in The Washington Post with Dan Willingham, the cognitive scientist and author, where he offers his take on the importance of arts education.

This is good one, one you can trust, coming from a guy who has been a vocal critic of the 21st Century Skills movement (P21), has questioned Howard Gardner’s “theory of multiple intelligences,” has kicked the tires hard at whether or not you can teach critical thinking, and has most recently authored the book: Why Students Don’t Like School: A Cognitive Scientist Answers Questions About How the Mind Works and What it Means for the Classroom.

It’s always fascinating to have someone pick apart things that have become commonly accepted in a particular field. In this case, the field is arts education. 
I had the pleasure of meeting Dan at the Common Core forum last February that looked at what’s wrong with 21st Century skills, featuring a debate between Don Hirsch, Diane Ravitch, and Ken Kay of the Partnership for 21st Century Learning. Dan Willingham was a featured speaker.
Click here to read Dan Willingham’s piece for the American Educator Magazine about a year or so ago titled: Critical Thinking: Why Is It So Hard to Teach?

Click here to read his evaluation of Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences.

You’ve got to be thankful for those who question. 
Happy Thanksgiving Everybody!


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