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Re: [teacherartexchange] Meet the Masters


Date: Sun Apr 27 2008 - 06:39:28 PDT

In a message dated 4/26/08 6:40:07 PM, twoducks writes:

<<It's Proven:
Art Education Can Improve Scores in Core Subjects Up To 20%! >>  Ellen
Winner at Harvard's Project Zero did research that found no such direct
correlation.  That is quite a statement to make without a factual basis
listed on the site.>>

And this morning's New York TIMES allows me to reply to myself here.

<<What are “the habits of mind” cultivated in arts classrooms, they ask
in their book “Studio Thinking: The Real Benefits of Visual Arts
Education.” As unsatisfied with wafty promises that arts learning
inspires “creativity” as with pledges that it boosts scores, the
Project Zero researchers videotaped several very different classrooms
in two schools with intensive arts instruction. They watched teachers
imparting techniques and introducing students to the world of the
visual arts, and saw certain cognitive “dispositions” being elicited by
the interactions: persistence in tackling problems, observational
acuity, expressive clarity, reflective capacity to question and judge,
ability to envision alternative possibilities and openness to

Those positive learning and thinking outcomes are, I guarantee you, not
used and strengthened if an art program consists primarily of following
step-by-step teacher directions to a pre-determined product. So if
school systems want to get bang for their bucks, they might want to
spend their short monies in better ways than what this Package appears
to be. My opinion.

You can find the article here: (long url, copy and paste it all to go
to the page)

The STUDIO THINKING book (Teachers College Press) is a fabulous and
inexpensive book that advocates clearly for real benefits from
full-blown art learning and teaching. It is essential reading for
upper grade art teachers, but has much to offer art teachers at all
levels. I wish that principals and school budget people had it as
required reading also: it would make them see your classrooms through
fresh and more respectful eyes.

kathy douglas
massachusetts, retired

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