ERIC Number: ED215064
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Disadvantaged Minorities and the Arts.
Webb, Michael Brian
The inability of the schools to meet the educational needs of economically disadvantaged minority children has prompted efforts to identify alternatives to the traditional school curriculum. One such alternative emphasizes the use of the arts in developing basic academic skills. Research indicates that the arts can be used to develop perceptual skills which lead to complex and subtle views of reality that disadvantaged learners often fail to develop; that the arts can promote understanding of relationships basic to reading comprehension by providing opportunities for students to deal with abstractions; and that experience with the arts helps develop visual sophistication in disadvantaged students. In addition, motivation and enjoyment essential to learning are provided. Several educational programs in which arts activities have been integrated have demonstrated success in improving achievement and enhancing learning. Successful programs are generally characterized by the presence of an integrated curriculum, clearly defined objectives, teacher training, initial student assessment, an effective teacher-student ratio, sufficient time and facilities, and ongoing evaluation. While the growing body of research supports the significance of the arts in the education of the disadvantaged, other questions concerning the actual relationship between the arts and the dynamic forces in a school require further study. (Author/MJL)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Aesthetic Education, Art Activities, Art Education, Cognitive Development, Cultural Influences, Disadvantaged Youth, Elementary Secondary Education, Improvement Programs, Minority Group Children, Program Effectiveness, Psychological Characteristics, Reading Improvement, Research Needs
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the National Association of Interdisciplinary and Ethnic Studies (10th, Santa Clara, CA, April 14-17, 1982).