As the Blog Salon Comes to a Close...

Posted by Kristen Engebretsen, Sep 16, 2011 5 comments

Kristen Engebretsen

I hope that everyone has enjoyed reading the thoughts from leaders both in and outside our field during this blog salon in honor of National Arts in Education Week.

As we design and teach our youth programs, we need to keep the end in mind. Where are our students going to end up? How can we help them get there? Our schools’ guidance counselors can’t do everything—they are overburdened, have little arts content expertise, and limited interaction with each student.

That means that it is up to teachers, parents, community members, and those of us that work at arts organizations to guide our students. We need to give students real world experiences, provide them field trips to community organizations and businesses, inform them about career options, and guide them to areas where they are motivated and can excel.

During the salon, we heard examples of how this is already happening:

1)     Alyx’s story about helping students with their first job.
2)    Deutsche Bank’s collaboration with the Partnership for After School Education to create a comprehensive Youth Arts Career Guide.

3)    And a new collaboration between folks in the art world and folks in the career and technical education world.
4)    And many more!

I hope that as you continue working with youth in an educational setting that you will remember a few takeaways from this salon:

1)    Begin with the end in mind—help prepare students for what will happen after your class ends.
2)    Partner with other teachers or organizations to align your work in hopes of making the deepest impact possible for students—this can help prepare students that are both college and career ready.
3)    It is not enough to apply best practices in our work…we must also share them. Please share your experiences, your successes, and your challenges with your colleagues and people from both inside and outside our field. This will raise the bar for everyone. And please feel free to share any final thoughts on this subject in the comments section below.

Thanks for following our salon on Career Development and the Role of Arts Education!

To view the salon in its entirety, please visit:

5 responses for As the Blog Salon Comes to a Close...


September 16, 2011 at 3:52 pm

It's been a great series of posts, but I want to offer an alternative perspective to "Begin with the end in mind—help prepare students for what will happen after your class ends." Stephen Covey's aphorisms are not applicable across the board. While a goal orientation can be very useful and is often necessary, sometimes wonderful creative things happen when we look at the means we have (especially who is in the room) and let the ends evolve from the creative flow of those means. If we always begin with the end in mind, then we may miss the happy accidents along the way that lead to the novel and the innovative. This is true in the 3rd grade art room as well as the corporate board room.

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Kristen Engebretsen says
September 16, 2011 at 10:00 pm

Linda, I agree tha these happy accidents are very important. But I also think that the best teachers facilitate them. They create lesson plans with big ideas in mind that they want their students to discover. Then they create the space to allow discovery and happy accidents to happen by thoughtfully planning instead of stringing together random experiences or exercises. I might have used a Stephen Covey aphorism, but the real experts to me on this subject are the Understanding by Design authors, Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe. A complex and fulfilling read.

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September 27, 2011 at 3:59 am

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September 17, 2011 at 3:43 am

Nice post from Kristen Engebretsen for Arts in Education Week..... I think your suggest are better to follow. The examples are totally outstanding to read :)

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Michael Russo says
September 18, 2011 at 10:00 am

This series was an excellent view into a key component of arts education - bridging the path from the classroom to the career. Thank you for the diverse and engaging viewpoints.

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