“Winning America’s Future through Creative Schools, ” a report from the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH), urges arts advocates and teachers to develop better strategies for arts education.
More arts education programs would be supported, the report suggested, if the dozens of approaches to arts instruction were more coordinated and adapted to the needs of the individual communities.
The report was highlighted by First Lady Michelle Obama, honorary chairman of the PCAH, at Wednesday’s workshop with school children on the power of words.
The committee reviewed the federal data and independent studies that have underscored the importance of arts education and demonstrated how students who study arts, or have music lessons become better students.
“The statistics on its efficacy in raising test scores, the morale of students and teachers, and the increases in attendance, are persuasive,” the report stated. More teaching artists are needed, along with better training for them.
“Teaching artists are an untapped and important resource for enriching our schools with the arts. This is particularly true when they are given the resources and the time to build real collaborations with schools, classroom teachers and their students. As important is rigorous training in curricula and pedagogy,” the report said.
While the report praised the work that has been done on the connections between arts education and higher test scores in math and reading, the committee suggested more investigation on how arts education also gives the skills needed in the 21st Century economy.