To Jdog: If your idea of emphasizing math and reading is doing pages of math
problems and doing grammar and reading exercises all day -- then you are
creating a picture of some very unhappy students. Was that how your elementary
school experience was? Most people's favorite memories of school are the ones
that involved creativity and teamwork, not just "reading and math."People need to realize that math and reading can and should be taught through
the arts to reach all kinds of learners and light that spark of enthusiasm for a
lifetime of learning. And what about the parents that can't afford
to send their children to after school programs in the arts?
There is a fundamental misunderstanding of arts in the schools. Most arts
education these days focuses on using the arts to teach other curriculum while
at the same time teaching art concepts. Learning to tell time while dancing is
much more efficient teaching and much more engaging for students than the
typical worksheets used to teach such concepts. National and state educators
agree: Arts are not regarded as extras these days, frankly, because of studies
that show that children learn better through and with the arts than without
them... they do better, as measured on standardized tests! It should be all
the arts for all the kids. Specialized schools should not be our emphasis now.
Arts integration should be in every classroom will produce strong educational
results across the board!
Wouldn't it be great if we had some schools that focus on art, others on math
and science, and others on literature or music? I think so.Give the
schools more flexibility and the parents more power to choose where their
children attend school and that's what you'll get. Every parent will be able to
get what they want.
School is a place that we as a society can send our kids to learn whatever we
deem to be important. It may not be wise to think of it as a place for readin',
ritin' and rithmetic. Have you really thought carefully about the box you define
as what "should be taught in public school" ? There are a spectrum of
possibilities that in my mind range from what may seem frivolous to the most
practical life skills (e.g. how to fill out a tax return). We must prioritize
and focus on the essentials to some extent, but are you really sure that our
children will be better off including history/science on our mandated list as
opposed to, say, fine arts. Personally I would rather get rid of some of the
other classes our state requires.
We want them to learn, play, create, dance and sing, rather than just learn math
all day," Frazier said. This quote clearly illustrates the
challenges of teachers and administrators. You get parents that have an
opinion, and the parents never consider that there are others that have a
differing opinion about what is important in school. Personally, I WANT my kids
to go to a school that has an emphasis on math and reading. Students can
participate in art activities AFTER the school day. Parents can sign them up
for community classes, or teach them at home. A teacher can never
please everyone, they just have to make the best decision possible for as many
kids as possible. Parents that believe that art is essential to the learning of
their child can enroll them in a private school, charter school, or start their
own charter school that emphasis more art. I want my children in school to
learn reading, math, and science/history.