If we are asking the questions, what is arts education for? Why do we have it? And perhaps more importantly, why do we need it? Canned, highly predictable projects, with a focus on skills and techniques that are rooted in decades or centuries old practices fail to establish strong justifications for arts education. Skills, techniques and vocabulary can and should always have a place in arts education. However, simply learning to shade an apple, being able to distinguish between eighth notes and quarter notes, or memorizing the elements of dance aren’t going to change and shape the world. As arts educators, we need to go bigger. We need to be bolder. We need to peel back the top layer of creative genius and focus not so much on what was made but on the behaviors and practices that put the makers in position to do their meaningful, life-changing, and world-changing work. We need explorers, meaning-makers and effective communicators sharing their unique voices. These are the types of people who change the world. This is what arts education should be about. And if it is, the arts just may be, the most important thing we teach.
This post is based on an excerpt from an article that Trevor wrote for DisruptED TV Magazine in the summer of 2018. For the full article click here.