All Arts, All Students

Charles Fowler

in Strong Arts, Strong Schools

Published in print December 2001 | ISBN: 9780195148336
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849154 | DOI:
All Arts, All Students

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The erosion of the arts in American elementary schools is pervasive. Although music and visual arts programs in grades one through six exist in most schools, the time allotted to them has dropped alarmingly during the past three decades. Opportunities to study the other arts are meager. The situation in the performing arts is bleak. For example, in dance, almost 93% of elementary schools do not offer the subject, and when it is offered it is generally taught by a physical education teacher rather than a certified dance specialist. The situation is similar in drama/theater. Almost 84% of elementary schools do not have a drama/theater program as such, although classroom teachers frequently dramatize stories or use dramatic activities in teaching subjects other than drama/theater. Equality of opportunity remains one of the fundamental principles of education in the United States. However individually, the arts are seldom accorded equal treatment in the school curriculum, with music and visual arts being far more prevalent than dance, media arts, theater, or creative writing.

Keywords: arts; elementary schools; music; education; United States; curriculum; theater; dance

Chapter.  5813 words. 

Subjects: Music Theory and Analysis

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