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Reinvesting in Arts Education

Winning America’s Future Through Creative Schools

October 15, 201215 October 2012

Arts education

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This American report examines the state of arts education, its benefits for students and classrooms, as well as potential improvements in arts education provision. The report argues that “building capacity to create and innovate in our students is central to guaranteeing the nation’s competitiveness”. However, the report found “enormous variety in the delivery of arts education, resulting in a complex patchwork with pockets of visionary activity flourishing in some locations and inequities in access to arts education increasing in others”.

Given this situation, the report makes five recommendations designed “to clarify the position of the arts in a comprehensive, well-rounded K-12 education that is appropriate for all students; unify and focus efforts to expand arts education offerings to underserved students and communities; and strengthen the evidence base for high quality arts education”:

  1. “Build collaborations among different approaches” (of arts specialists, classroom teachers, and teaching artists).
  2. “Develop the field of arts integration” (i.e., learning through the arts).
  3. “Expand in-school opportunities for teaching artists”, because “working artists in this country represent an underutilized and underdeveloped resource in increasing the quality and vitality of arts education in our public schools”.
  4. “Utilize federal and state policies to reinforce the place of arts in K-12 education”. Policy guidance could help utilize the arts to increase the rigour of the overall curriculum, strengthen teacher quality, and improve lower-performing schools.
  5. “Widen the focus of evidence gathering about arts education” via “systematic data gathering about the arts, specifically in developing creativity and enhancing engagement in school”.

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