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Page history last edited by Alison Croggon 16 years, 1 month ago

Education: some obvious observations


See:      Creative partnerships (arts in education programs, UK)

             Room 13 (arts in education, Scotland)


* Arts education is on-going. It doesn't only involve students in schools or universities, but the general public: and an important aspect of this education is how art is presented in the mass media.

* The major problems faced in audience/readership development, especially for new work, is the lack of artform literacy in the general audience.

William Osborne observes: "Europeans combine arts education with the living presence of the performing arts within their communities. Classical music is far more relevant to young people when performing arts organizations are a highly present and esteemed part of their city or region." Where arts education in schools and universities is combined with exposure to a lively contemporary arts and performance scene, students will become part of the future audience.

* Studies of reading patterns and music activity show that the greatest fall-off happens in secondary school, when students' activity in these areas falls markedly. As the Australian Centre for Youth Literature's 2001 survey on reading patterns in young people discovered, students explain this is because reading becomes focused on school work, and because of the time demands of schoolwork istelf. A major reason for decline in reading was that young people were no longer encouraged to read for pleasure, by being given free reading time. The crucial nexus for young people is to establish the link between art and pleasure.

* This decline in engagement coincides with the period when young people most need to find an arena for personal expressiveness and creativity, which for many people lies in the arts. I would argue strongly that this is crucial to the developing mental health of an individual, and that the educational disconnect that happens in adolescence is in part responsible for the rising rates of mental illness in the wider community.

* All children and young people deserve the chance to become literate in the arts. However, in Australia the opportunity to participate in the arts is by no means available to all in the education system.

* Arts in education programs are not sufficient, since they make art a pedagogical activity, which falsifies the experience. Arts companies of all kinds need to take the needs of young people seriously in constructing their primary public programs.

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