Tagged “Arts”

Klea Scharberg

On Education and Creativity

Creativity expert and author Sir Ken Robinson says that creativity is as important to education as literacy. Schools however, he adds, could be doing a better job of widening their understanding of intelligence to move education beyond a protracted preparation for careers as university professors.

Picasso once said this, he said that "all children are born artists. The problem is to remain an artist as we grow up." I believe this passionately: That we don't grow into creativity; we grow out of it. Or, rather, we get educated out of it.

Every education system on earth has the same hierarchy of subjects. Every one, doesn't matter where you go. You'd think it would be otherwise, but it isn't. At the top are mathematics and languages, then the humanities, and at the bottom are the arts. Everywhere on earth. And in pretty much every system, too, there's a hierarchy within the arts. Art and music are normally given a higher status in schools than drama and dance. There isn't an education system on the planet that teaches dance every day to children the way we teach them mathematics. Why? Why not? I think this is rather important. I think maths is very important, but so is dance.

After watching the film, consider the following questions and exercises alone or with colleagues at your school.

  1. Do you agree with Robinson that public education is, in fact, educating children out of their creativity? Why or why not?
  2. Robinson defines creativity as the process of "having original ideas that have value." Using that definition, cite examples of the last time that you or one of your students came up with a creative idea. What criteria did you use to determine the idea's value?
  3. Brainstorm ways that you might allow students more creative outlets in your subject area or daily classroom routine.

Creativity is part of being human, and everyone has it in various areas and to different degrees, say experts. So how can schools do a better job of recognizing and encouraging creativity during class to stimulate thinking and as preparation for the future work arena? ASCD Express offers numerous examples of programs, approaches, and activities that schools are using to unlock this often untapped potential in their students.

Judy Willis

The Brain Learns Creatively When Arts Are in the Picture

The current theme of the critical role of the arts in providing students with a well-rounded education that meets the needs of the whole child promotes thoughts about how the arts can "increase students' college-, career-, and citizenship-readiness in all subjects as well as keep them engaged in school and contribute to their social and emotional health."

The arts are not optional, separate entities that can be isolated into short periods of playing with clay. The arts, by nature, are opportunities for creativity. There is creativity for personal expression in art interpretation as well as in artistic production and performance. The increasing buzz about a creativity crisis comes at a time when neuroscience and cognitive science research are increasingly providing information that correlates creativity with intelligence; academic, social, and emotional success; and the development of skill sets and the highest information processing (executive functions) that will become increasingly valuable for students of the 21st century.

Read more »

Klea Scharberg

Peter Yarrow Is for Whole Child Education

Musician Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary—and guest on this month's arts in education–themed Whole Child Podcast—believes in a whole child approach to education. If you stand for whole child education, you can speak out for it, too! Contact your senators, and ask them to support the National Whole Child Resolution, S. Res. 478, which makes a whole child approach to education a national priority and designates March as "National Whole Child Month." Don't forget to sign the Whole Child Petition to tell your state board of education that it must do more to educate the whole child.

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

The Critical Role of the Arts Throughout a Whole Child Education

Download Podcast Now [Right-Click to Save]

The arts play an essential role in providing each student with a well-rounded education that meets the needs of the whole child. Although classes strictly focused on music, visual arts, drama, dance, and art history are critical, integrating the arts across the curriculum is also key to ensuring that students are healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged. How can we provide students with a well-rounded education that includes learning through and about the arts? How can policy and practice support the integration of arts across the curriculum?

Download this episode of the Whole Child Podcast to learn how the arts can increase students' college-, career-, and citizenship-readiness in all subjects as well as keep them engaged in school and contribute to their social and emotional health. You'll hear from

  • Peter Yarrow, recording artist and founder of Operation Respect and United Voices for Education, who will share the importance and joy of integrating the arts throughout the curriculum to support a respectful, safe, and compassionate climate.
  • Mike Blakeslee, senior deputy executive director and chief operating officer of (Whole Child Partner) MENC: The National Association for Music Education, who will share how policy and practice can support the inclusion and integration of the arts throughout a well-rounded education.
  • Vanessa Lopez, an exceptional arts educator from Roland Park Elementary/Middle School in Baltimore, Md., who will share how she is working to integrate the arts throughout the curriculum and the effect that it is having on students.

How are you or how is your school integrating the arts throughout the curriculum? What are the benefits to students?

Klea Scharberg

From the Master Class to the Classroom, At Home and After School

Whole child partner the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts revealed its redesigned ARTSEDGE website this past weekend—a resource for arts and arts-integrated educational content and a go-to site for educators around the country looking for lesson plans, multimedia-enhanced instruction, and performance footage.

But the site is not just for teachers. The new ARTSEDGE has a fresh look and portals for educators, families, and students—and a way to personalize experiences with myARTSEDGE, a new feature that allows users to save, organize, and share their favorite site resources. "Our mission was originally focused on providing research and resources for teachers, but research now shows the need to provide resources for students themselves," says Darrell M. Ayers, vice president for education at the Kennedy Center. "Resources used to be embedded in lesson plans for teachers, but the new site now highlights resources in a more easily navigable way for students to access."

Arts play an essential role in providing each student with a well-rounded education that meets the needs of the whole child. Reading Shakespeare aloud in English class reinforces reading, inflection, and diction; learning music teaches math concepts like counting, division, and fractions; and dance study imparts a knowledge of kinesiology and reinforces healthy, active activities. "Arts as a discipline is important, but learning through the arts enhances curricula and educational experiences," said Ayers.

They Might Be Giants at the Kennedy Center

Kicking off the redesign, the Kennedy Center hosted a free, all-ages concert with Grammy winners They Might Be Giants. Watch the archived concert and enjoy songs about the letters of the alphabet and geography ("Alphabet of Nations"), counting ("Nonagon"), science and animals ("I Am a Paleontologist"), history ("James K. Polk"), and other fan favorites.

Check out the new ARTSEDGE site, and watch a video, listen to a podcast, and think about how you can integrate the arts into your classroom and with your family.

ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Upcoming Whole Child Podcast: The Critical Role of the Arts Throughout a Whole Child Education

The arts play an essential role in providing each student with a well-rounded education that meets the needs of the whole child. Although classes strictly focused on music, visual arts, drama, dance, and art history are critical, integrating the arts across the curriculum is also key to ensuring that students are healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged. How can we provide students with a well-rounded education that includes learning through and about the arts? How can policy and practice support the integration of arts across the curriculum?

Join us Thursday, October 7, on the Whole Child Podcast to learn how the arts can increase students' college-, career-, and citizenship-readiness in all subjects as well as keep them engaged in school and contribute to their social and emotional health. You'll hear from

  • Peter Yarrow, recording artist and founder of Operation Respect and United Voices for Education, who will share the importance and joy of integrating the arts throughout the curriculum to support a respectful, safe, and compassionate climate.
  • Mike Blakeslee, senior deputy executive director and chief operating officer of (Whole Child Partner) MENC: The National Association for Music Education, who will share how policy and practice can support the inclusion and integration of the arts throughout a well-rounded education.
  • Vanessa Lopez, an exceptional arts educator from Roland Park Elementary/Middle School in Baltimore, Md., who will share how she is working to integrate the arts throughout the curriculum and the effect that it is having on students.

How are you or how is your school integrating the arts throughout the curriculum? What are the benefits to students?

ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Research looks at the arts-makes-you-smarter question

A three-year, seven-university research project suggests a connection between the arts and thinking skills, reports Education Week. Read the full research report supported by the Washington-based Dana Foundation. The report includes a paper by researcher Elizabeth Spelke titled “Effects of Music Instruction on Developing Cognitive Systems at the Foundations of Mathematics and Science.”

Does your school provide a well-rounded curriculum for all students, including rigorous programs in arts, foreign languages, and social studies?

Share |

Blog Archive

Blog Tags