Whose Culture Should Be Taught?

Charles Fowler

in Strong Arts, Strong Schools

Published in print December 2001 | ISBN: 9780195148336
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849154 | DOI:
Whose Culture Should Be Taught?

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This chapter discusses whose culture and arts should be taught. In 1977 the Rockefeller panel report Coming to Our Senses: The Significance of the Arts for American Education defined American culture as “a quilted fabric with numerous national minorities interspersed”. The panel viewed the artistic creations of our ethnic peoples as “the most visible expressions of this variegated culture”, and they saw these creations as “an invaluable resource for arts education”. The ethnic arts movement, they stated, is “a central force in American culture”, and they urged the schools to “take advantage of such programs to improve their own arts education efforts”. The panel expressed reservations, however, about the possible imitations of arts programs designed for those with the same social or economic conditions. Such programs put blinders on children and teach them to look at only their own footsteps. We must be careful not to move toward cultural separatism, particularly in our cities.

Keywords: culture; arts; creations; ethnic peoples; arts education; ethnic arts movement; arts programs; children; cultural separatism

Chapter.  3231 words. 

Subjects: Music Theory and Analysis

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