For arts education programs and advocates to be successful, we must design our strategy and programs to fit within the larger context of public education. If our provision tactics—such as teaching artist residencies—do not fit within the limiting elements of our schools—such as budgets and schedules—then our work must change. If student requirements levied by the federal, state, or local policy narrow the curriculum too harshly to allow our kids to learn in and through the arts, then our work must change.
For example, arts integration has been used as more than as an instructional strategy. It has been an advocacy strategy. Providers have used arts integration to fit within scheduling limitations of schools. This is a response to the existing context of education.
Other programs now work with decision-makers that have more influence over the policy and funding conditions that may narrow the curriculum. Outreach to decision-making adults such as school boards and legislators seems to have become a part of many local programs, though years ago only national and state-level organizations did it. This is an effort to change the context of education. Read the rest of this entry »