in keeping the arts alive in schools around the country

This brings us to the final portion of my remarks. Thus far I have tried to describe my concerns about our current efforts to use highly rationalized standardized procedures to reform education and to describe their historical roots. I then advanced the notion that genuine change depends upon a vision of education that is fundamentally different from the one that guides today’s efforts at school reform. I proposed that education might well consider thinking about the aim of education as the preparation of artists and I proceeded to describe the modes of thinking the arts evoke, develop and refine. These forms of thinking, as I indicated earlier, relate to relationships that when acted upon require judgment in the absence of rule, they encourage students and teachers to be flexibly purposive; (its O.K. for aims to shift in process), they recognize the unity of form and content, they require one to think within the affordances and constraints of the medium one elects to use and they emphasize the importance of aesthetic satisfactions as motives for work. In addition, I alluded to some of the locations in the context of schooling in which those forms of thinking might be developed.

Keeping Arts Education in LA schools | Shine Global

Decisions we make about such matters have a great deal to do with the kinds of minds we develop in school. Minds, unlike brains, are not entirely given at birth; minds are also forms of cultural achievement. The kinds of minds we develop are profoundly influenced by the opportunities to learn that the school provides. And this is the point of my remarks about what education might learn from the arts. The kinds of thinking I have described, and it is only a sample, represents the kind of thinking I believe schools should promote. The promotion of such thinking requires not only a shift in perspective regarding our educational aims, it represents a shift in the kind of tasks we invite students to undertake, the kind of thinking we ask them to do, and the kind of criteria we apply to appraise both their work and ours. Artistry, in other words, can be fostered by how we design the environments we inhabit. The lessons the arts teach are not only for our students, they are for us as well.

Arts Education Grants in 2015 - Keeping the Arts

This week I got an email from someone concerned about the budget cuts to arts education and inquiring about what they could do to help keep the arts in schools.

The arts are, in the end, a special form of experience, but if there is any point I wish to emphasize it is that the experience the arts make possible is not restricted to what we call the fine arts. The sense of vitality and the surge of emotion we feel when touched by one of the arts can also be secured in the ideas we explore with students, in the challenges we encounter in doing critical inquiry, and in the appetite for learning we stimulate. In the long run these are the satisfactions that matter most because they are the only ones that insure, if it can be insured at all, that what we teach students will want to pursue voluntarily after the artificial incentives so ubiquitous in our schools are long forgotten. It is in this sense especially that the arts can serve as a model for education.

Education - Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities

The influence of psychology on education had another fall-out. In the process science and art became estranged. Science was considered dependable, the artistic process was not. Science was cognitive, the arts were emotional. Science was teachable, the arts required talent. Science was testable, the arts were matters of preference. Science was useful and the arts were ornamental. It was clear to many then as it is to many today which side of the coin mattered. As I said, one relied on art when there was no science to provide guidance. Art was a fall-back position.

MDE website - Minnesota Department of Education

Our field, the field of education, has predicated its practices on a platform of scientifically grounded knowledge, at least as an aspiration. The arts and artistry as sources of improved educational practice are considered, at best, a fall back position, a court of last resort, something you retreat to when there is no science to provide guidance. It is widely believed that no field seeking professional respectability can depend on such an undependable source.

Minnesota Department of Education ..

Since our founding, Keeping the Arts has granted over $83,000 to support K-12 arts education programs. For a complete list of grant recipients, see our .