Monday, September 03, 2007

Art Education

One of the arguments for art education in high schools is that it prepares students to take standardized tests. It doesn't. But, according to Ellen Winner and Lois Hetland, who have studied arts education, it actually prepares students to think in ways that will matter in their lives, unlike the sort of shit that's on standardized tests.

''We don't need the arts in our schools to raise mathematical and verbal skills - we already target these in math and language arts. We need the arts because in addition to introducing students to aesthetic appreciation, they teach other modes of thinking we value.

For students living in a rapidly changing world, the arts teach vital modes of seeing, imagining, inventing, and thinking. If our primary demand of students is that they recall established facts, the children we educate today will find themselves ill-equipped to deal with problems like global warming, terrorism, and pandemics.''

Well, or taking college courses, I might add.

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