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Wisdom in Education

Keywords

knowing, learning, aesthetic education

Abstract

Children are biologically wired to experience their world through rich sensory, affective, aesthetic, and imaginal experiences. Children thirst for art, music and movement, and these modes are utilized widely to learn the varied languages of literacy: the alphabet, numbers, vocabulary, body-sense and more. Yet, in response to meeting higher and more prescribed standards at the elementary and secondary levels, there is a tendency to narrow the curriculum, to consider art and music expendable, to view social-emotional development as external to the schoolhouse. This narrowing is happening just as our global culture is moving again toward multiple kinds of communication: toward oral language, pictures, sounds, diagrams, videos – a world that increasingly requires creative and collaborative problem solving, imagination, and multicultural competence. To be successful –academically, emotionally and socially – in our rapidly changing world, children need opportunities to nurture their imaginations and connect emotionally through drama, athletics, art, music and dance. Integrating the arts throughout and within the curriculum at all levels supports the development of broad-based literacy.

Author Statement

Dr Laura Howzell-Young and Dr Susan Daniels are professors in the College of Education, California State University San Bernardino.