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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Why are the arts being taken away?

Why are the arts being taken away?

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My husband is a music educator and I am currently in school pursuing music education. However, in the school districts in our area, as well as in the nation, are getting rid of the arts, though it is so important in our society. What can be done about this if those over the disctricts don't care?

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Marshall Barnes's picture
Marshall Barnes
Founder, Director of SuperScience for High School Physics

I'm not a teacher in a school - I lecture in schools doing STEM and STEAM. As a result I have but an outsider's view of the situation. I have watched this situation with schools since the 1980s and while it seems that the bottom-line is always money, the consistent theme is that we still need to have schools regardless. Now, if the schools can't afford art teachers (here comes the part you won't like) there can still be arts taught and art experiences by utilizing the talents of local and area artists. How they are compensated could be worked out a number of ways. The point being that the arts don't have to go away.

I don't control school budgets, school boards do and school boards are elected by the community. If the community can't elect board members who will fight to keep the art teachers, at least art education can still survive in other forms...

CNYIAP Founder's picture
CNYIAP Founder
CNYIAP Founder, Ph.D. education

Unfortunately in America, in general terms, the arts are NOT important because they do not produce immediate capital/revenues. Another aspect to consider is the value of a sensitive society that appreciate the arts in its varied manifestations.

Answering directly your question, there is a lot we all can do, individually and collectively. Remember that in a democratic society, the responsibility is in the hands of INDIVIDUALS.

We have a new initiative to deal with this situation, so far at a local level: Syracuse, New York:
Central New York Institute of Academics and Performance Charter School.

Please visit our Blog http://cnyinstituteofacademicsandperformance.blogspot.com/
we welcome all your comments/reaction directly there.

Marshall Barnes's picture
Marshall Barnes
Founder, Director of SuperScience for High School Physics

Aside from the battle over funding, I think, especially in communities that are suffering economically, that efforts should be made to not only insure that arts education is included, but expanded. Toward that end, I will work on a guide book on how that can be done that will be made available to municipalities.

I think that arts education is too important for it to be sacrificed because of budgeting. However, it is the end result that concerns me, not so much the preservation of how it was accomplished in the past...

Ms. Kaye's picture
Ms. Kaye
GT K-12

I am an visual art educator and have taught at numberous schools and states and I have seen the difference in schools that offer the arts. The schools that have done away with the arts their students were not meeting AYP and students had to double up on Math and Reading. I do not believe everyone can teach the arts. You do need good classroom management skills to teach and there is a lot of critical thinking in Art Criticism, Aesthetics, and Art History it is not all about making art. I do not believe just anyone can teach. I do believe the parents need to be educated about the importance of the arts. Students that do not take art, often have difficulty with being creative, afraid to make mistakes and afraid to try something new.

Mike Procyk's picture
Mike Procyk
Band teacher from Bowling Green, Ohio

Money. That's what it boils down to. All you can do is advocate and hope to get others to see the value in what you do.

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