Friday, September 19, 2008

Artful Innovation: The Questions

Few disagree that the arts reveal, nourish, and challenge the human spirit. Yet the fine arts remain at the periphery of education reform and at the bottom of the priorities list. As we enter what I predict will be widely called the age of innovation, it's time to make learning in the arts a central thread in two critical conversations—the one about transforming education and the one about thriving in a global economy. While the arts are not the whole solution, I believe that their exclusion is having a much greater negative impact than imagined. In this blog, I intend to explore that and to focus on two major questions:

1) What contribution can high-quality learning in and through the arts make to:
  • Engaging and challenging all students?
  • Promoting safety, cultural competence, and positive social relationships in the learning environments of children and youth?
  • Preparing the adaptive, innovative thinkers our economy and society need?
2) How does the purpose and implementation of arts education need to change?

I don't have the answers to these questions, but I hope to contribute by helping to frame the issues, review the literature, highlight connections, and tell the story that I see unfolding in my work with educators and arts organizations.

I hope this blog will go from capturing my daily thinking and reading about these issues to a more structured examination of the questions.

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