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On Art and Education

On Art and Education

On Art and Education
On Art and Education

There seems to be an endless debate about the state of education in our society, which is by no means a bad thing. I

think it is healthy or at least an indicator that we care about the education of our young people. But the level of

controversy makes me believe that it has become more important to win the debate than to determine the right

direction for both our youth and humanity in general. Locally, in Wisconsin, with the roar of Act 10 still echoing, the

controversial debate over the common core now haunts senses in all quadrants. And the constant buzz of STEM

(Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) … STEM, STEM, STEM, STEM, STEM tells me that we have narrowed

our educational system to “Train them for a skill and make them produce.”

On Art and Education

Is it any wonder that we are collectively saying, “Something has to change”?

And my perception is that there has been a distinctive shift towards social education throughout my life. Something

that is helping to drive the STEM debate, I am sure, but I want to intervene with another point of view. One that has

been overlooked, ridiculed and mocked for quite some time by the vast majority of society (including myself at

times).

Perhaps I should give a bit of background on myself and the reason for my argument to give it a bit of context.

I grew up mainly motivated to study science. They always told me that I could do whatever I wanted, but any

expression in the arts was met with scorn and scorn. Consequently, I ended up spending over 30 years working in

the avionics industry and graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in industrial technology. And except

for the actual learning process, I never fell in love with the profession I chose. It left me unquestionably empty.

I ended up doing it solely because I had the cognitive ability to do it, but certainly not the passion. Deep down I knew

I was an artist, but the ability to express myself had been suppressed. My path to artistic expression along with my

life experience has clearly shown me where we can improve life when it comes to our social issues both professionally

and interpersonally, and those improvements start with education.

On Art and Education

One of the common things I’ve heard throughout my professional life, regardless of where I was or what we were

doing, is that there has been a collective lack of creativity in the plans, solutions, responses, and reactions to virtually

every business endeavor. This was often stated emphatically: “We need more creative ideas waste of resources.

The need mentioned above should lead to the question, “How do we teach creativity?” And what has happened to

creativity in our society? The Torrance tests of creative thinking indicate that creative thinking in the United States is

declining. A clear indication to me that we need to do something and do something about it now.

If we want more creative solutions, we need a solid education and a change in attitude towards the arts. An area of

study that I have scorned in the past mainly because it was imitating my education. But also because I didn’t

know what it was, what its purpose was, or how it could add value to my life both personally and professionally.

I am not proposing a monumental change in educational direction, but a more comprehensive approach with a

distinct emphasis on creative thinking within each individual, a proposition that avoids the socially desirable black-

and-white grading standard. I am convinced that our desire for these rating standards is a product and an indication

of our deep reverence for STEM.

On Art and Education

On Art and Education
On Art and Education

If you consider my example, I started by mastering the multiplication table, moved on to completing the square in a

quadratic equation, then found the third derivation in calculus, and ended up applying those skills repeatedly for

almost the rest of my life, thus joining mechanics. the cycle of producing and consuming. Good skills, no doubt, but that

didn’t prepare me to create the meaning of the word at the basic level.

Intuitively I know that absolutely nothing develops creativity like the study of the Arts. Study and learn a new

technique and then go ahead and create something new and interesting (for the student) with that technique. While

the rating may be based on the level of mastery of the technique, true education comes from exploring the deeper

meaning of creating something. What did you find interesting about creating this piece? Did you learn? What would

you do differently next time? Questions that do not necessarily have a correct or incorrect answer

1 Comment

  • I am very happy to read this. This is the type of manual that needs to be given and not the accidental misinformation that is at the other blogs. Appreciate your sharing this best doc.

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