Educational CyberPlayGround Arts Education http://www.edu-cyberpg.com/Arts/ Improving literacy through arts education and advocacyby providing collaborative and interdisciplinary resources for understanding world culture.
STUDIO THINKING: THE REAL BENEFITS OF VISUAL ARTS EDUCATION IS THIS THE BOOK THAT WILL CHANGE ARTS EDUCATION? These authors will settle for nothing less than changing the conversation. First Review: September 12, 2007 by John Broomall Executive director of the Pennsylvania Alliance for Arts Education http://www.edu-cyberpg.com/Arts/StudioThinkingArtsAdvocacy.htmlStudio Thinking: The Real Benefits of Visual Arts Education (Studio Thinking) is the work of researchers Lois Hetland, Ellen Winner, Shirley Veenema, and Kimberly M. Sheridan. The authors set out to tell us why arts education is important and to give art teachers a research based language they can use to describe what they teach, and what is learned. They reached their conclusions after studying a number of well-taught studio classes in two schools. Over the course of a year, they observed what they call a "hidden curriculum" that defines what art education is and what it does. Studio Thinking presents their findings in a cohesive model along with lesson examples and commentary. The authors say they want to "change the conversation about the arts in this country" and that could happen if they can resurrect, or reinvigorate, some of their earlier work. Studio Thinking presents what the authors say is the right "reason" for arts education as opposed to some other rationales, which they say, are just plain wrong. The intended audience includes students, artists, teacher trainees and experienced teachers, administrators, researchers, and advocates, just about everyone involved in arts education. This writer could fit into several of these categories, but my particular view of this book is as an advocate; my current work involves finding ways to maintain art and music teaching positions in an urban school district that is facing a $175,000,000 deficit. This is an instance in which the messengers may overshadow the message. The Studio Thinking authors are important voices; reports of their findings appear in the mainstream media, which means that real people might actually be informed and influenced. Two of them are known in some arts education circles as, for lack of a better term, anti-advocates.