ERIC Number: ED355133
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1991-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
The Language of Civilization: The Vital Role of the Arts in Education.
Williams, Harold M.
The arts and humanities convey the very essence of what it means to be a human being. The arts are a basic and central medium of human communication and understanding. As such, they should occupy a central place in education. In the wake of a "back to basics" movement in the schools, the artistic heritage and opportunities to contribute significantly to its evolution are being lost. The arts tend to be ignored in the schools because: (1) they are viewed as emotional rather than intellectual; (2) they are not formally assessed; and (3) the way the arts presently are taught tends to eschew structure or content. In fact, a growing body of evidence indicates that strengths gained in the study of art carry over into other subject areas. Reports suggest that vocabulary and writing skills improved through participation in disciplined based art programs. Early 20th century educators realized that art education improved cognitive skills. More recent art education programs have underscored the broad application of skills learned through instruction in the arts. The raising of the arts and humanities to their rightful place in education would be of service to countless generations of students and to democracy itself. (LBG)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, Washington, DC.