Students are creative. Ideas come to them in all shapes, sizes and mediums. Just one real life example is a talented high school senior whom I just met named Madison Brownson. Madison won a $10,000 scholarship for her artwork because she was named a Portfolio Gold Medalist in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. An artist who hopes to enter the medical field, her ideal class would be to learn anatomy through art. To realize this idea at least in part, her portfolio is a set of fabric sculptures of overlooked organs presented in an attractive way to “make the viewer pause and realize the beautiful complexity of their own anatomy.” So unique and interesting! And she is just one example of students thinking outside the box. I’m prompted to tell you a bit about her today because I’m sharing an article that sees innovation, critical thinking and problem solving as part of arts education, not separate.
Ed Week blogger and teacher Larry Ferlazzo recently posted the question, what role should arts education play in an overall school curriculum? Virginia McEnerney, Executive Director of the nonprofit Alliance for Young Artists & Writers which runs the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, David Booth, Professor Emeritus at the University of Toronto and author, and Heather Wolpert-Gawron, an award-winning middle school teacher, led the responses. They were followed with plentiful and nuanced opinions of other readers. Each viewpoint is a good read. What do you think?