ERIC Number: ED286806
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987
The Arts, Language and the Schools.
Boyer, Ernest L.; Eisner, Elliot W.
Basic Education: Issues, Answers & Facts, v2 n4 Sum 1987
The human species excel in the exquisite use of symbols. The sending and receiving of sophisticated messages sets humans apart from all other creatures on planet earth. The arts are one of mankind's most visual and most essential forms of language; and if children are not educated in the symbol system called the arts, they will lose not only their culture and civility but their humanity as well. There are three important reasons the arts are needed in the nation's schools: (1) the arts help children express feelings and ideas that words cannot convey; (2) the language of the arts can integrate our splintered academic world; and (3) the arts provide the child with a language that is universal. An artless school is an impoverished place reflecting a set of values boding ill for society. For the arts to gain a secure place in the curriculum, three factors must be present: (1) assessment procedures within the schools and for university admissions must be broadened; (2) the public's understanding of what counts as education must become broader and deeper; and (3) educationally substantive programs must be developed, and teachers who are capable of teaching the arts must be trained. Living in an interdependent world, today's students need to learn languages that transcend the intellectual and ideological barriers that distrust truth and suffocate the human spirit. (SM)
Publication Type: Collected Works - Serials; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Policymakers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: Council for Basic Education, Washington, DC.
Note: Boyer's paper was prepared for a conference of the Getty Center for Education in the Arts.