Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Leadership in Arts Education

LeaderTalk Contributor on September 29, 2010 10:09 AM

October is National Arts & Humanities Month. With the push in our country for greater accountability (i.e. higher test scores) and an emphasis on STEM education, too frequently the arts get short shrift. At best, they suffer from reduced funding for supplies and materials. At worst, they are cut completely from our schools.
Keep Arts in Schools (, one of the many online resources for arts education advocates, provides educators, parents, and community members with research on the impact of arts education and toolkits for advocating for arts education in our schools.

Administrators and educational leaders are in a position to reverse the negative trend of reduced access to arts education in our nation’s schools. What can you do in October to emphasize the importance of arts education in a well-rounded academic experience? What can you do during the month to support arts education in your school(s)?

Here are just a few ideas:

•Give your art teacher, music teacher, or dance teacher a little extra money to purchase additional supplies.
•Attend a performance by your band, choir, or orchestra.
•Encourage your teachers to post student artwork around the school. Offer to host an “art opening” and invite parents and community members in to see the work one evening.
•Stop by your visual and performing arts classrooms – not to supervise – but to observe the students, possibly participate in the activities with them, and to enjoy watching the development of their creativity skills.
Take time this October to recognize the arts education in your school or to look for ways to increase arts education in your school(s). Take a few minutes to thank the arts educators that you know for their hard work in promoting creativity and critical thinking in their classrooms.

October is only a few days away. Start planning now and please share your ideas for how you will support the arts in the comments below.

Use your leadership position to have a positive impact on visual & performing arts education in your school, district, and community. Be a leader for arts education!

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