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Integrating the arts - it IS important


From: Judy Decker (jdecker_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Jul 27 2003 - 11:20:03 PDT

>> integrating the arts will save them.

NO integrating the arts will save the core subjects. Integrating the arts
will make what they learn in the core subjects more memorable - and will
give it meaning. Getting kids to do in the core subjects what we have always
done in the arts will save education today.....Too bad we can't get the
notion of standardized testing out of the heads of the powers that be. It is
not how much "knowledge" we pack into those little brains that is important.
What is important is that those little brains know what to DO with that
knowledge. The arts have an inverted Bloom's triangle. The biggest part of
the Arts Bloom's triangle is evaluation and synthesis.

It is the arts specialists responsibility to help the core teachers do this
(I loved doing this!).... If only schools would give teachers time to get
together and really do some planning.

Here is my take on sending students for supplies. I would tell the student
"If your teacher wants you to have this for a project - tell your teacher to
come see me after school." The only teacher who needed something "right
away" from me was a math teacher (I won't go into that)....but she did come
down herself to get what she needed. She knew better than to send a
student....and since I learned to share in Kindergarten. I gladly got the
string for her - or whatever she needed (don't know who watched her class
when she came down to my room -- smile). I had an adequate budget so I
could share with no problem. Staff hated it that I got an adequate budget (I
worked very hard to keep that budget). When one staff member came down and
asked me to cut mats for her - I did give her the catalog number of
affordable mats she could buy. She ended up mounting her projects on black
paper. (Well - now you are getting another slice of what my "school world"
was like).


----- Original Message -----
Subject: Re: NYT cuts the arts & general questions

What I am concerned about in our district is the devaluation of the Arts
specialists (visual arts, music, drama) by our biggest advocate thinking
that by integrating the arts will save them. It will not save them; at best
it will water them down. The general classroom teacher does not have the
time and for the most part the training to truly integrate much less teach
the arts for their own sake. Especially without $ or other support.