I don’t even know what to say about the piece that I just finished reading, other than to say that it had my head spinning at various points, while nodding at other as I read clear explanations of things that had long bothered me about the ways people talk about the arts in schools while being not quite able to put my finger on my objection.
When Dana Gioia took control of the Arts Endowment in January 2003, he didn’t share the arts-as-salvation outlook. One of the first things he told his education staff was of his preference for the Core Knowledge curriculum. While he believed that arts education enriches young people’s minds and transforms their lives, he felt that arts education had the strongest impact when students encountered lasting works of force and beauty. Students needed to experience great art—classic and contemporary—to acquire a solid foundation for their own general education and creativity. Otherwise, arts education would remain a sidelight in the curriculum, marginal and ineffective. How to impart the importance of artistic tradition without estranging arts ed advocates?
The rest is HERE. If you know what else I want to say about it (or should say about it) please let me know in the comments. And if I think of something great as this rolls around in my head for the next few days, I’ll let you know.