The Arts: Dance, Music, Theatre Arts & the Visual Arts
Irene E. ParisiAssistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment203-625-7463Irene_Parisi@greenwich.k12.ct.us
The Connecticut State Board of Education believes that every student needs and deserves a high quality, comprehensive education in all of the arts, including dance, music, theatre and the visual arts. The arts play an essential role in the daily lives of citizens in our society, and are essential to the expression of human experience. An understanding of the arts, as well as the ability to participate in creating and performing the arts, are essential attributes of an educated person. State Board of Education Position Statement on Arts Education
Great Schools have great arts programs!
The Greenwich arts program is based on the following fundamental premises:
1. Each student has artistic ability in every art form which should be cultivated.
2. A comprehensive education in the arts - dance, music, theatre and the visual arts - is an essential part of every child's preparation for life.
3. A comprehensive arts education prepares students to create, perform and respond to all of the arts, and to achieve advanced skills and understandings which prepare them for active lifetime participation in at least one art form.
4. While education in all four of the arts shares common goals, each art form is a unique discipline, involving a distinct combination of abilities / intelligences, skills and understandings.
5. Learning an art form requires substantive and sequential study with teachers who are expert in that discipline; ideally, this learning should be reinforced by, and connected to, content taught by other teachers.
Ten lessons the Arts Teach:
1. The arts teach children to make good judgments about qualitative relationships. Unlike much of the curriculum in which correct answers and rules prevail, in the arts it is judgment rather than rules that prevail.
2. The arts teach children that problems can have more than one solution and that questions can have more than one answer.
3. The arts celebrate multiple perspectives. One of their large lessons is that there are many ways to see and interpret the world.
4. The arts teach children that in complex forms of problem solving purposes are seldom fixed but change with circumstance and opportunity. Learning in the arts requires the ability and willingness to surrender to the unanticipated possibilities of the work.
5. The arts make vivid the fact that neither words in their literal form nor number exhaust what we know. The limits of our language do not define the limits of our cognition.
6. The arts teach students that small differences can have large effects. The arts traffic in subtleties.
7. The arts teach students to think through and within a material. All art forms employ some means through which images become real.
8. The arts help children learn to say what cannot be said. When children are invited to disclose what a work of art helps them feel, they must reach into their poetic capacities to find the words that will do the job.
9. The arts enable us to have experience we can have from no other source and through such experience to discover the range and variety of what we are capable of feeling.
10. The arts' position in the school curriculum symbolizes to the young what adults believe is important.
by Elliot Eisner, Professor of Education and art at Stanford University
Revised June 24, 2010