Friday June 4, 2010 | Why ‘The Arts’ is Important

June 2, 2010 at 11:19 am | Posted in Coming Up | 11 Comments

Best-selling author Daniel Pink says that for the next generation to be leaders in the modern world, schools need to shift to a more holistic and creative model of learning – to use the right side of the brain. And, he says, the arts play a critical role in that. We’ll talk to Daniel Pink about the importance of the arts, why he thinks there will be a major change in the workforce of our future and how arts integration in schools is important for student success.
Daniel Pink
– Arts Integration Activist and Author of four books including A Whole New Mind. Former Chief Speechwriter for VP Al Gore
Christie Kahil – ArtStart Coordinator, develops arts integration curriculum for CMS

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  1. This debate is wildly oversimplified. People need to have an ability to think in both an intuitive “right brained” and an analytic “left brained” style. Creative ideas that are generated by intuitive thinking need to also be analyzed in order to perfect them.

    Our schools not only fail to teach kids to think creatively, they are also failing miserably at teaching them how to think analytically. Why else would so many Americans be so easy to manipulate and bamboozle? We need to learn to developed a balanced approach, not a simplistic either/or one.

    • I concur, Bernie. I am a music theory instructor and today it is necessary that I teach much more cognitive organization than I used to. Music theory is a prime example of the insightful, intuitive energy being organized in order to communicate it. This is usually the challenge with my students….learning to organize their brains:)

  2. Thank you. thank you!
    As a right-brainer, I have always advocated the arts in schools. One of the best ways to do this is to have HUMANITIES classes in schools.
    For a number of years I taught humanities in a school within a school in a North Caolina system. It included 11th grade U. S. History, English III, within the scope of all the arts and philosophy. It was also a wonderful way to introduce the humanistic approach to math and science. Retired now, I have realized more and more that those were the best years of my teaching. Unfortunately, by the time I left teaching, those classes had been killed by the left brainers.

  3. Art Education supports not only the adolescent¹s intellectual and educational development but also their personal and social development.
    Project Art Aid in Charlotte believe in the power of creativity and in harnessing our collective works to serve humanity. Through art, we express, and through that expression, we manifest positive change in the world. Rosalia – Founder

  4. I have a 5 year old and 1 year old. How do I facilitate both right and left brain thinking in them. If creating thinking is the future, how do I get them there.

  5. I have been teaching Creative Problem Solving, concept, creative strategy, writing, etc., to grad level advertising students for 15 years. I volunteered for CMS, feeling these are subjects that needed to taught. Went through the entire process, got all the recs, gave permission for background search, etc. and never got a call. I’d like to do some ongoing work in these areas for middle and high schoolers in disadvantaged areas, but am reluctant to go the online “volunteer” route that was so unsuccessful a few years ago. Any ideas? Thanks mucho.

  6. As a teaching artist I have come across many students in high school & up who do not know how to read a ruler. Standard school curriculums need the arts as practical applications of skills & problem solving. The arts are not training for artists but training for everyone to utilize critical thinking in creative & innovative ways. I thank Daniel Pink for his work; whole brain thinking is my mantra in teaching art appreciation at a local historical Black college.

  7. I would also like to add that in addition to the decline of the arts in public education over the past 30 years, the arts in our home lives has diminished as well. Mothers don’t sew & make our clothes anymore, gardens aren’t cultivated & food prepared like in the 50’s & 60’s. Observing activities like these as a child fueled my imagination as how to make things & be creative & resourceful.

  8. I received only an arts education until age 17. That was enough. I was an honors graduate as a special student majoring in early human development. Then I returned to acting and became a senatorial aide in Washington never having finished H.S. Formal education doesn’t work anymore because people can’t be prepared for non-existent employments.

    Neurological talk about left and right brain is outdated. Our nervous system extends throughout our bodies and we can think with our extremities. We are fluid beings and not mechanisms, you Cartesian sadists. Intuition and gut feelings are more real than money-love. How can you nuture another human being when you don’t comprehend what humaness is? Start by reading John Gatto!

    • You are an intelligent man, Grady. I very much enjoy reading your comments.

      Have you ever written any books, or articles, etc? If so I’d like to read them.

    • “Formal education doesn’t work anymore because people can’t be prepared for non-existent employments.”

      Amen! When is the USA going to follow the lead of nations like Germany and institute some kind of apprenticeship system, or build and maintain better technical schools, etc?

      I for one really want to go back to school to study a practical field such as soil science, or sustainable agriculture, livestock science, forestry, ‘green development,’ etc, yet the only place to do that is NC State – and I don’t have the grades to get in there even though I already have a BA, and even if I got in I’d have to take Calculus or Organic Chemistry (which I likely couldn’t pass) to gain one of those degrees just to learn how to effectively manage a forest, or take care of livestock, or prevent erosion, and so on. As if humans for the last 10,000+ years since the dawn of the Neolithic Age needed to take Calculus to earn a BA in Livestock Science from an accredited university just to take care of a herd of cattle. Absurd.

      The modern college racket is ridiculously corrupt, and it’s currently decaying as all rotten things do. At least it’ll make good fertilizer for the future so that we can build something better upon this stinking heap.

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