I have been reading and re-reading So Much Reform, So Little Change: The Persistence of Failure in Urban Schools by Chicago-based education reformer Charles Payne. In this book, he describes with kindness and clarity the cycle of good intentions that come into schools through professional development, curriculum design, and school improvement measures. Arts education advocates cannot possibly read this book without seeing our own efforts as part of what he describes as the “predictable failures of implementation” (p.153).
The heartfelt desire that we all have to improve education through the arts may shift when we pay closer attention to the struggles of literacy education, science education, technology education, etc. These topic groups have also formed advocacy and grassroots measures and campaigns to change the way we do school. Perhaps we should remember the words of Maxine Greene (2001) who said, “We are interested in education here, not in schooling.”
Are we advocating for school reform with our arts education campaigns or for education change? Read the rest of this entry »