An article from our friends at ARTSblog, part of the Arts Education Network created by Americans for the Arts. (Visit their sites by clicking the images.)
This past week, I was fortunate to participate in a workshop given by the Kennedy Center which presented the work of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills (www.P21.org). A growing number of corporations and businesses around the country are becoming increasingly concerned that what we teach to students is not preparing them for our changing economy and providing them with the skills necessary to succeed in that economy. Described as the four C’s of the 21st Century, these skills include: Creativity, Collaboration, Communication, and Critical Thinking. Due to the pressure on schools to produce high test results, students only engage in rote learning in order to prepare for a standardized test. We are not teaching students how to be creative and innovative, but how to memorize and recite. We are not asking them to become problem solvers or to collaborate and communicate with one another. These are the skills needed by our future workforce if we are to remain competitive and prosper. I believe that arts education can address this fundamental gap in our educational system. Arts education is a vital piece of the educational puzzle that we are trying to solve and the arts have been marginalized for far too long in our schools. Artists engage in creativity, collaboration, communication, and critical thinking on many levels. The four C’s are at the heart of many artistic processes. I urge you to support arts education. Our children deserve the very best education we can offer and the arts must be a part of that education.