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Posted at 9:30 AM ET, 07/ 7/2010

The value of arts education: A video

By Valerie Strauss

Enlivening the Senses: Arts|Learning at the Core of Education from Arts|Learning on Vimeo.

This 14-minute film does a great job detailing the impact of arts education on the development of children’s cognitive, artistic, social and psychological development.

The film, "Enlivening the Senses: Arts|Learning at the Core of Education," was created through a partnership between the nonprofit organization Arts/Learning and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

The film was made by Derek LeDoux, the producer and director, and Andrew Swaine, director of photography, who have worked together on documentaries, television pilots and other projects. Aaron Shadwell edited the film.

Arts/Learning encourages active engagement of preschool through college students in developing their highest artistic and academic competence by promoting practices, programs and partnerships to achieve a new level of excellence in teaching and curriculum development.

The video is also available to watch, or for sharing, at

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By Valerie Strauss  | July 7, 2010; 9:30 AM ET
Categories:  Arts Education  | Tags:  andrew swaine, arts education, arts/learning, derek ledoux, effects of arts education, importance of arts education, kennedy center and arts video, value of arts education  
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In Great Britain art is an element of primary school education.

Educators do not believe that primary education should just be a matter of teaching to the test in a classroom and that children should be allowed to participate in art and other activities.

Compare this to the United States where education in the 1st grade on in schools is seen as a place where teachers should be teaching to the test.

Art teachers in middle schools and high schools will disappear in September because of the cuts that public schools are being forced to make.

But we can still "test them until they drop" and "teach to the test".

Remember the large costs of the pieces of papers of standardized tests are a better use of money for public schools than paying for teachers.

Posted by: bsallamack | July 7, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Wonderful to see a video on the ARTs & Education! Can't resist adding a few items - 14 minutes barely scratches the surface!

"All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he (she)grows up." - Pablo Picasso

"What we play is life." - Louise Armstrong

"The history of a people is found in its
songs." - George Jellinek

"Imagination is more important than knowledge." - Einstein

On learning in the ARTS:

- creative problem-solving and analytical thinking are involved in the process as well as self-expression

- Studio discipline: PRACTICE

- aside from "Art for Art's sake",many careers & other skills draw from a good foundation in the ARTS: Architecture, Graphic & Fashion Design, Engineering Design, Cultural Anthropology, Medical & Technical illustration (Visual Art), Foreign language study - Musicality, pronunciation (Music),Pulic Speaking, Presenting, Teaching, Sales,(Theater),Physical Fitness, Martial Arts, (Dance), Documentary Film, Photo-Journalism (Photography) name but a few.

Posted by: PLMichaelsArtist-at-Large | July 7, 2010 6:42 PM | Report abuse

To PLMichaelsArtist-at-Large:

Right on! About all your observations!

The limitations of adults without imagination and the confidence to express themselves in ways that engage others in positive relationships is an unfortunate characteristic of many of our contemporary school reformers.

And, this is why they support specialized Arts Magnet Middle Schools instead of more comprehensive Arts Education for all our children. They think that art is for artsy people.

I wish we could have more school reformers that think like Picasso, the eternal child with the maturity to experience the essence and truth of the world, and then show it to us in such clarity.

Posted by: AGAAIA | July 7, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

For the few of you that have taken the time to provide your incite on this subject, thank you. This is the very point of this short film, to elicit this dialog.

There is a larger discussion to be had. There is an intrinsic quality the arts provide for all of society, our culture, and currently there is research that can quantify this.

Not only do the arts define our humanity, provide us a unique framework to think within but have also become so ingrained in our daily living that it is unimaginable that we would not wish our children to be educated in these sophisticated areas.

Our team is currently working to explore this subject in a feature length documentary. You are all correct, we have only scratched the surface of this discussion.

From the Filmmaker, thank you for being active participants in this dialog! If we can get more people engaged in this discussion, perhaps we can affect change!

Kind Regards,

Derek LeDoux

Posted by: derek_ledoux | July 8, 2010 1:22 AM | Report abuse

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