In the past 24-hours alone, I’ve watched Dick VanDyke (on Tavis Smiley) and President Clinton (on Spectacle) each speak at great length about the value of a rich music and arts education for every child. Both men and their hosts lamented the reduction in such opportunities due to misplaced budget priorities and NCLB. (although threats to arts education proceed NCLB and even computers by decades)
A few nights ago I was moved to tears by a sappy “Mr. Holland-style” 20/20 documentary about a high musical production. I could spend my entire life collecting similar testimony.
If everybody knows that art and music education is critical to realizing one’s human potential, why do our actions contradict such self-evident truths?
‘Tis the season for looking in the mirror and taking stock
If you are a school teacher or administrator, you may make compromises occasionally or everyday that violate what you know is in the best interest of learners.
• What are those compromises?
• What are the consequences of those compromises?
• Why don’t you “do the right thing?”
For 2009, make a resolution to do only that which you know is good for children first and foremost. Who knows? You might just change the world!
Veteran educator Gary Stager, Ph.D. is the author of Twenty Things to Do with a Computer – Forward 50, co-author of Invent To Learn — Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom, publisher at Constructing Modern Knowledge Press, and the founder of the Constructing Modern Knowledge summer institute. He led professional development in the world’s first 1:1 laptop schools thirty years ago and designed one of the oldest online graduate school programs. Gary is also the curator of The Seymour Papert archives at DailyPapert.com. Learn more about Gary here.