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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Do we have time for the arts?

Do we have time for the arts?

Related Tags: Arts
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12 Replies 571 Views
Here's a type of "information-gathering" question that might start us off! Does your school district have time requirements or recommendations for the arts? The district in which I am currently working has indicated that 90 minutes per week for the arts should be considered minimum. What is the situation in your District?

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frances rice's picture

I am an elementary educator that has always integrated the arts. I've told stories, enacted plays, taught poetry, incorporated art across the curriculum, played creative movement games, and had music activities. Currently I am substituting, and I try to find ways to integrate the arts even when I'm only there for a day. Recently I asked my son's principal why the school had music, science,library and p.e. specialists, but no weekly art specialist. (Although the parent organization does hire an artist to visit each classroom twice during the school year.) He told me that art is not tested on the annual state test, and so that is why the district can not spare the resources to provide a specialist in that area. Personally I think that is a tragedy for the district's students. I integrate the arts, because I have an affinity for them, and because I believe wholeheartedly in their ability not only to address varying learning styles, but to make learning engaging. I believe the arts are part of a basic education, and not a frill. I strongly believe that we would have greater student achievement and interest in school if the arts were a fundamental basic integrated across the curriculum. I think we're wasting our student's time if we don't make time for the arts!
Frances Rice

Here's a wonderful article by University of Alaska professor Jason Ohler that you might be interested in reading:

Art Becomes the 4th R. Education Leadership Journal, 2000. Published by ASCD.

Scarlet's picture

I Enjoy Art But I Dont Teach It But I Know How it Brings Your Imagination Alive So I Enjoy Painting Makeing Statues And Most Of All Drawing I write Songs Which Help Me Expresse MySelf

Scarlet's picture

I Enjoy Art But I Dont Teach It But I Know How it Brings Your Imagination Alive So I Enjoy Painting Makeing Statues And Most Of All Drawing I write Songs Which Help Me Expresse MySelf

Lynna Kendall's picture

I am a half-time music teacher and half-time district arts coordinator for our rural school district. More and more each year I see how the arts impact students in a positive way and I know that I can't teach music without involving math, science, history and life skills, so I'm puzzled that other teacher don't do the same. However, I'll just keep advocating for the arts whenever I can. Our district has implemented professional learning communities in the elementary schools and deemed that hour and half specialist time which includes P.E., computer, library and the arts. So it's kind of the back door approach, but whatever works. It's my job to train these paraprofessionals in classroom management and assessment strategies and I really love working with such talented and dedicated people.The arts have always been about expression and creating from what is around you, I guess the same can be said about keeping the arts in the curriculum.

Donald Haughey's picture

I am an art professor at St.Edward's University in Austin Texas. I teach studio courses and on Arts for Children course for future teachers and those interested in this class.I am interested in reading about the successes that teachers have in incorporating the arts in the curriculum. I have 25 years experience in the Austin ISD.

Stephen Hurley's picture
Stephen Hurley
Grade Eight Teacher, Group Moderator, Facilitator/teacher arts@newman
Blogger 2014

Hi Donald,

I would love to hear more about the Arts for Children course. What is the focus of the course? What is your philosophy or vision for arts in schools? I would love to hear about some of the work that you are doing!

stephen

Stephen Hurley's picture
Stephen Hurley
Grade Eight Teacher, Group Moderator, Facilitator/teacher arts@newman
Blogger 2014

[quote]
Frances Rice

Here's a wonderful article by University of Alaska professor Jason Ohler that you might be interested in reading:

Art Becomes the 4th R. Education Leadership Journal, 2000. Published by ASCD.[/quote]

Hi Francis,

Thanks for the article reference. I would love to hear about more articles like this.

RMC's picture

I teach band 5-8 and in our 5th and 6th grade center where our kids only get 90 minutes a week for art and music, but then in middle school (7th and 8th grade) they get 45 minutes every day. The 7th and 8th grade classes show great progress, but the classes I only see for 90 minutes a week are a constant struggle.

Sue Densmore's picture
Sue Densmore
High School Music Teacher from Byfield, MA

I am Program Coordinator for the Arts at my high school, and I have functioned as the main advocate for arts education in my district.

Our elementary school students get 40 minutes of music a week, and 40 minutes of art a week. Those who play instruments get a pull out group lesson of 20 minutes a week, and stay after school for a one hour per week band rehearsal. Choral rehearsals are one hour a week and within the school day.

At the middle school level, the students have 45 minutes of general music per week for one third of the year. Band and choral students each get 45 minutes of group rehearsal per week, and miss other "specials" to do it. Art is one of the specials the students miss if they are in band or chorus. Specials meet, like general music, 45 minutes once a week for one third of the year.

High school students sign up for our courses which are for credit like any others. They are required to do one credit of fine (art, music, drama, dance) or "applied" (technology, business) arts in order to graduate.

This is not enough time or consistency to maximize the benefits of study in the arts.

It is too bad we have educated our society so well to believe that only the tested subjects are important.

Sonnet Myers's picture

I have noticed that in some districts elementary schools have their 'specials', including the arts for five consecutive days twice per semester. Do students in such a program get the required time allotted for the arts and how can that approach to the scheduling impact the quality of the program?

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