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Who's Dancin' Now?

Talk With Your Community
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Use the icon, at right, to enter the national bulletin board. We encourage you to use the discussion forum to share your concerns and questions about arts Bulletin Board education so that we can all learn from one another. Like the complexity and multifaceted nature of arts learning, we recognize that there are a lot of different opinions about what arts education means, involves, and accomplishes. We want to hear them all. We want to hear what you think.

To help get the conversation started, we suggest the following topic:

Beyond their inclusiveness and ability to target many experiences, arts are valued as tools for learning for their own intrinsic sake (arts for arts sake). Some practitioners stress the competence in creative and performing activities as the cornerstone of arts education. Although arts making is extremely important, it is perhaps only one of the several components of aesthetic learning. Such movements in curriculum development that emphasize arts as a separate discipline -- art producing and perceiving -- are welcome and have a place in school learning. Some of the most emergent efforts include Harvard Project Zero's ARTS PROPEL and the Getty Center for Education in the Arts' Discipline-based Art Education (DBAE). The former emphasizes production such that an arts curriculum would incorporate components of perception and reflection. DBAE, on the other hand, focuses on four content areas of art instruction: art production, art history and culture, art criticism, and aesthetics. Although this approach may work to emphasize the multi-facets of arts learning, several critics raise the fear that DBAE would dissolve the uniqueness of arts knowledge by focusing on the commonalities with other forms of education in the interest of excellence. And yet others value arts education for their extrinsic values-the contributions that arts make to the attainment and success of other subject areas. What do you think?
  • Is one approach of arts education better than the other?

  • Should the focus of arts education be production or performance or should that only be a component of the learning experience?

  • Should the arts remain a separate discipline or should they be integrated into curriculum, linking information in history, social studies, math, science, and geography?

  • Is the integrity of arts education lost by using it as a vehicle to teach or link other subjects? Does integration diminish the value of a separately taught art class?

  • Arts advocates often invoke the intrinsic and extrinsic values to arts education? They also often rely on the uniqueness of the arts education? What values are most important and what makes the arts "unique?"

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