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To Derek Parsons,
Your request for getting hold of material concerning the
connection of the arts to the general curriculum prompts these comments:
The curriculum is composed of disciplines or subjects for study. They
fall into two major groups; those that are instrumental for communication
or expression (the modes of thinking) and those that purport to study
some specific aspect of the world (the sciences). The arts and the
sciences have traditionally composed standard curricula.
Among the arts are 5 ways to convey thought from one person to
others, 5 avenues of articulation and communication. They are through:
1) words, 2) images, 3) numbers, 4) gestures, and 5) sounds. Simply
named, these 5 ways of expressing ideas are easily identified with the
acronym, WINGS. Each one of them is a major discipline in that they shape
a person's power to think and to reach other minds. They are the roots of
language and linguistic studies, visual art, mathematics, drama and music.
The sciences, on the other hand, are studied via these modalities.
Every child ought to have the right to a sound exposure of all 5
modalities in basic schooling so that each student can discover a best
way to learn and to express ideas. Reading, writing and arithmetic are
not the only significant channels of thought, even though they have
traditionally occupied more than 80% of curricular programs. Our culture
is perhaps more influenced by the other modalities in films, advertising
and music. Therefore, these modes are equally significant is shaping
communal culture and in serving personal fulfillment.
I hope that these few thoughts might be helplful in your
arguments to the PTA and administration and for the salvation of the arts
in your schools. Helen DIemert
University of Calgary