I am surprised that the Journal of Aesthetic Education would provide
evidence that the arts have no effect. Perhaps there is an explanation.
Perhaps, the reality is that the studies that have been done to date do not
prove a direct cause and effect relationship between art and success. It
is possible that the studies were never really intended to justify the
status of art in the schools. As a matter of fact, there is no scientific
evidence to date that demonstrates that high grades in school are related
to success in life.
Anything like the relationship between art and learning and art and success
is very difficult to study, since we are dealing with human subjects and
with so many different variables. There are so many different variables to
control that it is difficult to even tackle the question about the effect
of schooling in art.
I do know that a very early study in 1969, showed that art education in
school had little to do with the knowledge people have in art.(Coming to
Our Senses) That is not to say that art teachers are not doing a good job.
The study measured knowledge of information in art, rather than
creativity, personal self-expression, self-confidence, problem-solving
ability, risk taking abilities, adaptability, etc. These are some of the
goals that art educators strive to reach. Therefore, the only conclusion
to make is that what art teachers are teaching, the tests aren't measuring.
This is very difficult to test with the typical paper and pencil test.
It all boils down to whether or not people support the arts or not.
Art teachers take heart. Art Education is important to the total education
of the child. There is much evidence in arts centered curriculums that
test scores do go up, when students encounter the arts. Frankly, I don't
care about test scores. It is unfortunate that many people do. In Texas,
where I teach Art Education at Southwest Texas State University, the K-12
curriculum is driven by the state test and in many cases teachers are
evaluated on their performance in the classroom according to how their
students did on the test. The state test is only one form of measurement
and can not measure all that a child knows and has learned as a result of
their experiences in school.
Hope this helps.
At 8:20 AM 10/16/00, Alasann1@aol.com wrote:
>I was wondering where you got the info for Family Circle and if there is a
>way to get a copy of this article. I am also interested in the schools in
>Tennessee as I grew up in West Tennessee and do not see the trickle-down of
>art education in the little town I came from. (They do not have elementary
>art education there.)
>I am VERY interested in this and wondered if you could direct me . Thank you
>for this excellent referral. After the stinging report last week saying that
>Art is of no effect, I am more motivated to get this than ever.
>It is exciting to see this kind of professionalism here on the List.
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Diane C. Gregory, Ph.D.
lose weight now, ask me how!