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What do you think of the role of fine arts education in America today? How does it compare to when you were in school?

Created: 05/07/15

Replies: 14

Posted May. 07, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

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What do you think of the role of fine arts education in America today? How does it compare to when you were in school?

Thomas Christopher Greene is the founder of Vermont College of Fine Arts (and the youngest college president in the country). What do you think of the role of fine arts education in America today (from elementary school through higher ed)? How does it compare to when you were in school?


Posted May. 10, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
reene

Join Date: 02/18/15

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RE: What do you think of the role of fine arts education in America today? How does it compare to when you were in school?

As a retired teacher I am worried about the role of education in America today. We seem to be falling behind in all areas, when we should be moving ahead based on our technology skills and the millions we spend. Perhaps education should be in the hands of educators rather than politicians.


Posted May. 10, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lindah

Join Date: 04/17/14

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RE: What do you think of the role of fine arts education in America today? How does it compare to when you were in school?

A great deal depends on school districts commitment to the arts. I know from friends in different parts of the country that art education budgets have been slashed but there seems to be tremendous opportunities in the rural Kentucky city and county where we reside. There is music, art, theatre, band, and orchestra beginning in grade school and continuing throughout high school. There are highly coveted scholars available to the Governor's School of the Arts, a summer program that also includes students interested in architecture. Plays and musicals are staged through the school system, recitals. The nearest university has a fine orchestra. Our town has a Community Band that includes several high school students chosen in blind auditions; there are art lessons in school and privately available as well as opportunities for exhibition. Fine arts education may not be emphasized in some places but it is alive and well here.


Posted May. 10, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
sandeo

Join Date: 04/17/11

Posts: 19

RE: What do you think of the role of fine arts education in America today? How does it compare to when you were in school?

I worry that in the push to prepare students for the working world and technology, America is neglecting the liberal arts and specifically the fine arts. Without art, music and theater, future generations will no longer respect the classics and what we can learn from them. I fear we will soon live in a society where no one listens to Mozart. Or appreciates the beauty of the Mona Lisa or the genius of Macbeth. Moreover if we don't teach these subjects we might just miss the next great opera singer, sculptor, violinist or actor. The fine arts are fading and we must give them new light and life.


Posted May. 10, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
reene

Join Date: 02/18/15

Posts: 212

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RE: What do you think of the role of fine arts education in America today? How does it compare to when you were in school?

Fine Arts have become an impossibility in schools where common core has taken over and teachers must spend hours "teaching to the test".


Posted May. 11, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lorik

Join Date: 08/25/14

Posts: 13

RE: What do you think of the role of fine arts education in America today? How does it compare to when you were in school?

In colleges and universities, the Arts are still flourishing on a great many campuses throughout the US. In public high schools and below, however, Art and music classes are dwindling greatly, being pushed out in preference for science and math curricula.

As someone who has a degree in Fine Arts, I feel that this choice has never hurt me and has only helped me in my life. I have been able to work in interesting jobs outside the arts. I know this has gotten harder, and it depends on the type of job the graduate is going for, but I believe that many businesses see the value in the critical thinking, invention and creativity, problem solving, discussion skills, and the ability to take critique well and improve oneself.

The liberal arts and fine arts offer students the ability to expand their minds and become valuable in more than just a single lane. Creativity goes beyond paint and canvas- it creates young adults who are visionaries!

It is harder to get students interested in these crucial subjects if they are not taught in the public school system.I find that very sad.


Posted May. 11, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Retired Reader, NE

Join Date: 09/16/11

Posts: 165

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RE: What do you think of the role of fine arts education in America today? How does it compare to when you were in school?

It all depends on the state and the institution. The arts always suffer when budgets are tight. It seems that the visual arts often take the biggest hit. Band is supported in areas where football rules. Fortunately many areas have museums with strong visual art education programs. I'm not sure our public schools can be expected to cover the fine arts along with core subjects. There just isn't enough time or money.


Posted May. 11, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
MarieA

Join Date: 10/12/11

Posts: 149

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RE: What do you think of the role of fine arts education in America today? How does it compare to when you were in school?

I am a retired teacher who worries about the future of education in this country. Teachers have been given a back seat to politicians who are making decisions about what students learn and how they learn. Not only are the fine arts suffering but so too are core courses. I cringe when I see that the classics are being ignored in English classes. I shudder at the replacements


Posted May. 11, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Windsong

Join Date: 05/07/13

Posts: 70

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RE: What do you think of the role of fine arts education in America today? How does it compare to when you were in school?

I too am a retired teacher, and I know many teachers in the fine arts areas go to school after each board meeting and hope their positions have not been cut. I have thought a lot of what I could not have done with my students if there were no fine arts in the curriculum. Students who attend trade schools, medical schools, and major in business and marketing in liberal arts colleges need to be creative problem solvers in their jobs. Creativity is a gift that needs to be nurtured.


Posted May. 11, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
sandeo

Join Date: 04/17/11

Posts: 19

RE: What do you think of the role of fine arts education in America today? How does it compare to when you were in school?

I agree. Even if a student chooses a trade school, technology, engineering, etc, I believe two years of liberal including fine arts should be required. In high school science and math are important, but learning about the arts will enrich their lives and their pay checks. It is an investment that pays off over a lifetime.


Posted May. 11, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
aleksandrae

Join Date: 02/25/14

Posts: 40

RE: What do you think of the role of fine arts education in America today? How does it compare to when you were in school?

Where my daughters attend high school, fine arts are and continue to be very important. They offer classes in such areas I would never have dreamed...photography, guitar, digital art, music theory, and jewelery making. When I was in school you could play an instrument or take a visual arts class and that was pretty much it. I know it most certainly depends on the district where you reside and I am most grateful for the public school system that we reside in. It far exceeds anything that I ever experienced as a teenager.


Posted May. 14, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
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jant

Join Date: 07/15/14

Posts: 20

RE: What do you think of the role of fine arts education in America today? How does it compare to when you were in school?

I am worried about the state of Fine Arts in our colleges and universities. I don't think the current culture encourages students to major in the Fine Arts. There seems to be such an emphasis on STEM (science, technology, engineering, math.) There is also an emphasis on majoring in whatever subject will bring a high salary upon graduation. I worry these STEM driven students will not see the importance of their part in making our world better. We need more young people voting and participating in their communities.


jan t
Posted May. 14, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ElenaSpagnolie

Join Date: 10/10/11

Posts: 19

RE: What do you think of the role of fine arts education in America today? How does it compare to when you were in school?

I think there are many students who are interested in the arts - prefer them actually - but they're afraid they won't be able to find a job after they graduate, which is a legitimate concern. (Especially when college tuition is so expensive!) I think the arts need to be recognized as valuable by the culture at large before budget cuts and funding problems resolve themselves. It's sad too that science, math, and technology are often pitted against the arts in funding battles when the best kind of education integrates all of these elements.


Posted May. 14, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1303

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RE: What do you think of the role of fine arts education in America today? How does it compare to when you were in school?

Elena has a good point but just look at the effect one calligraphy class had on Steve Jobs:

In his widely noted commencement speech at Stanford University in 2005, Mr. Jobs explained where this design passion came from, describing a typography class he attended after dropping out of college:

"Because I had dropped out and didn’t have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and sans-serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can’t capture, and I found it fascinating.

None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But 10 years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography.”


Posted May. 16, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
LauraInME

Join Date: 05/16/15

Posts: 5

RE: What do you think of the role of fine arts education in America today? How does it compare to when you were in school?

I have been completely jealous of the arts opportunities my children had in school as compared to what I had. It was not until I got to college that I could take any art classes. Children and adults need multiple ways to express themselves. My children are fortunate to have had those diverse opportunities in their elementary, middle, and high school schooling. My husband and I both lead lives balanced with technology, science, and business, and art, literature, and music. All are important and complementary.


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