Solitary Confinement in Education and the Perils of What We're Not Teaching

Posted by John Abodeely, Mar 25, 2008 1 comment

Modeling of democratic values and principles in the schools has gone off course, but it is not too late to change direction.

By Merryl Goldberg, Ed.D., Professor of Visual and Performing Arts, California State University San Marcos

If you put a musician in a place where he has to do something different from what he does all the time, then he can do that—but he’s got to think differently in order to do it. He has to use his imagination, be more creative, more innovative; he’s got to take risks....I’ve always told the musicians in my band to play what they know and then play above that. Because then anything can happen, and that’s where the great art and music happens.
 - Miles Davis, Reading Jazz: A gathering of autobiography, reportage, and criticism from 1919 to now

Arts Education is, technically, core to the school curriculum according to federal mandates and certain state mandates. However, it is rarely made accessible to all students despite earnest advocating on the part of dedicated organizations and individuals. Advocates in the arts have developed many compelling arguments defending art’s value within schools. Many of these advocacy efforts focus on art’s impact on “soft skills” such as: children’s self esteem, ability to care, and insight into cultures and ways of communication across cultures. Other efforts focus on art’s more quantifiable impact, such as test scores or better daily attendance. While these efforts have merit they just haven’t made a true impact in terms of changing school policy toward the arts. I suggest a different tact.

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Arts Leadership: Making Connections

Posted by Americans for the Arts, Mar 24, 2008 0 comments

The Leadership Track at the Annual Convention is about vision and inspiring others to think and work differently. Examples of leadership can be seen in every session at convention, but in the Leadership Track it is on stage and under the spotlight. Come learn how to lead by cultivating the best in oneself and in others, and how to lead an organization through a new initiative or institutional challenge.

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