Archived Information

Transforming Ideas for Teaching and Learning The Arts - March 1997

Make Certain All Students Have Daily Arts Experiences

"All students will leave grades 4, 8, and 12 having demonstrated competency over challenging subject matter including English, mathematics, science, foreign language, civics and government, economics, the arts, history, and geography; and every school in America will ensure that all students learn to use their minds well so that they may be prepared for responsible citizenship, further learning, and productive employment in our Nation's modern economy."
Goals 2000: Educate America Act 8

"The arts can become important in the lives of students whether taught by classroom teachers or specialists, or both."

The practice of isolating contact with music or art to two or three short periods a week, dance to an occasional physical education class, and theater to a seasonal play has given children an unnatural idea about the place of the arts in life. The principal and all teachers, classroom and specialist, together need to plan ways for daily art experiences for every child.


The Magnet Arts School in Eugene, Oregon, is an elementary school that truly places the arts in the center of its curriculum in the belief that they represent an effective way to learn. A lineal descendent of an Arts IMPACT school, this magnet program enrolls students who come by choice and not because of any demonstrated talent. The curriculum is concept oriented and the arts are employed in reading, math, language arts, science, social studies, physical education, and health. In an environment suffused with the arts, the children learn their own arts heritage, the importance of the arts in the structure of all cultures, and the skills and attitudes on which to build a lifelong appreciation for beauty. 10

All students at the Highland Upper Grade Center in Libertyville, Illinois, are involved in the arts during their three years at the school. The comprehensive nature of the theater offering demonstrates the Center's commitment to the arts: sixth grade focuses on creative drama, pantomime, improvisation, and story development; seventh grade concentrates on studying silent films, silent film production, writing dialogue, body movement, and voice projection; and eighth grade emphasizes theater history, radio theater, movie production, sound technology, and public speaking. 11

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