Arts Integration-Moving Forward!

The California Legislative Joint Committee on the Arts [is holding] hearings on legislation that will develop a "creativity index" to measure creativity in public schools statewide. This movement matches legislation [passed in] Massachusetts last spring, and is much like a bill working its way through the legislature in Oklahoma. Maine, Connecticut, New York, Rhode Island, Colorado and Wisconsin are beginning similar discussions and Nebraska is getting itself organized. Seoul, Korea, and Alberta and Edmonton in Canada -- and probably other cities and nations around the world -- are following these efforts closely. Clearly something big is happening across America.

All of these efforts represent an auspicious start to reinventing K-12 education. And they represent new thinking about the arts and what is called "arts integration." It's not the most widely understood concept, but it is simply about interdisciplinary education and using the tools of the arts. Many people don't take the term "arts" seriously. It's soft, not muscular. But we now know a lot more about learning and know that "arts integration" works. The California Alliance for Arts Education, and even the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities, has said as much after spending years of research and study.

 

In a book called The Jobs Revolution: Changing How America Works, former U.S. Secretary of Education Richard Riley [said], "We are currently preparing students for jobs that don't yet exist, using technologies that haven't been invented, in order to solve problems we don't even know are problems yet." It is vital that we merge the arts and sciences and, in the process, create the kind of curriculum at almost no additional cost that insures the higher order thinking and problem solving skills that will determine student success in the workplace of the future. To read the whole article go to http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-m-eger/-its-all-about-creativity_b_1358886.html

John M. Eger, Professor at San Diego State University, HuffingtonPost.com, 3/21/12