Arts Education Improves Cognitive Development Arts strengthens attention and memory muscles Dance... observation skills Acting... memory and speech Music... reading and analytical thinking
STEAM The Conference Board June 22, 2010 Harvey P. White
STEAM Even in this politically partisan time virtually everyone agrees that our countrys future is tied directly to our success as innovators. Clintons former Secretary of Education, Richard Riley, summed up this need for innovation to drive our future when he predicted, the jobs in the greatest demand in the future dont yet exist and will require workers to use technologies that have not yet been invented to solve problems that we dont yet even know are problems. By now probably some of that prediction is already occurring. So the question isnt what is necessary for our economic future – but, rather how do we best prepare our nation to make it happen? The nation has undertaken and funded a virtual mandate to encourage and expand STEM education at all levels, which I support – but I believe that while STEM education is necessary it is not sufficient
STEAM The need for Arts as an essential part of the education system is becoming understood as not just a nice thing that some parent in the local PTA lobbies for, but rather is a critical need for the success of our national economic future. In an address in April this year Education Secretary Arne Duncan said : The arts can no longer be treated as frill. Arts education is essential to stimulating the creativity and innovation that will prove critical to young Americans competing in a global economy. Dr. Alan Brinkley, the Nevins professor and former Provost of Columbia University, headlines his recent article in Newsweek, Half a Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste. The articles sub title, which he covers in some depth reads: The idea that we must choose between science and humanities is false He supports excellence in technical education but points out the dual need - Scientific and technology aspire to clean, clear answers to problems (as elusive as those answers might be). The humanities address ambiguity, doubt and skepticism – essential underpinnings in a complex and diverse and turbulent world.
STEAM I am glad this dialog on the criticality of including arts in our education system at all levels has begun as we see that to maintain our position as one of the worlds leading economies we must lead in innovation and arts education plays an essential role in innovation. The relationship of arts to innovation has a long history in the academic world but, it is just now becoming understood to what I believe is an economic necessity. For example a study of 150 biographies of eminent scientists, from Pasteur to Einstein was done in the early 1990s by Robert Root-Bernstein, a biochemist and MacArthur prize winner. Root-Bernstein discovered that nearly all of the great inventors and scientists were also musicians, artists, writers or poets. For example Galileo, was a poet and literary critic; Einstein was a passionate student of the violin; Samuel Morse, the father of telecommunications was a portrait painter, etc. Root-Bernstein and his wife, Michele, co-authors of Sparks of Genius, conducted extensive research into the minds of inventive people and showed that creativity can be encouraged and enhanced through the exercise of thinking tools. Without exercising this other half of the brain with its ability to foster creativity it atrophies just as failure to do physical exercise does for other parts of the body.
STEAM The difference between Chinese and American parents… Source: Newsweek Magazine
STEAM A recent study of 58 countries showed that the US is no longer rated first in the world in innovation. It has slipped to 3 rd behind Singapore and Hong Kong. China has risen to 18 th. Historically we have lead in innovation because of our greater number of personnel with superior technical skills. The thought that this can hold true in the future needs to change because we will lose that numeric advantage for two reasons – First the emerging nations are driving for the same superior technical skill level of its personnel and their population size dwarfs ours Second we have historically trained their personnel and they have stayed in the US to innovate here – they are now returning to their home countries due to the better opportunities combined with our pathetic immigration policies. So we must prepare our superior technical graduates and others with the best tools possible to either equal our competitor nations tools or better them. To do so we must use both sides of our brain – we need to have superior technical skill combined with the practiced creative skills provided by including Arts as an integral and necessary part of our national mandate in order to prepare our nation to compete and achieve the highest level of innovation.
STEAM SUMMARY We all agree that the US must innovate to remain one of the worlds leading economies. We must equip ourselves with the best and most complete set of skills to be competitive. A continued high degree of competency in science, technology, engineering and mathematics is an essential element of such a set of skills. We will find increasing competition in this arena and we need to reinstate a level of creativity to augment this technical competency that has been lost by budget concerns. We need to create an national understanding this loss will become a huge economic mistake, especially as our ability to compete in the manufacturing and many service sectors declines. We must lead the effort to make sure there is an understanding that including Arts in the curricula of all schools at all levels is not just a nice thing to do but an economic necessity. For the future of our nation and to maintain the prosperity and current life style for the generations to follow us we need to act now.
2006 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved. About Adobe Youth Voices Signature initiative of the Adobe Foundation Launched in 2006 Focus on youth years old from underserved communities 600+ participating sites 27,000+ youth engaged 2,000+ educators participating 45 countries Creating media for social change: video documentaries, photo essays, audio diaries, animation 13
2006 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved. Program Design 14 Youth development through purposeful self-expression Empower youth in underserved communities with real world experiences and 21 st century tools to communicate their ideas, exhibit their potential, and take action in their communities. EngageExhibitEnhance Youth in breakthrough experiences using digital tools in and out of school Youth share their visions and voices to a broad audience for a public purpose Create With Purpose Skills of teachers/adults working with youth using digital tools to communicate
2006 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved. 15 Youth Speaking Out on Issues Important to Them
2006 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved. Youth are engaged and making a difference It gives us a different perspective on how to learn and it brings a fresh breath of air to education… -- Student at Build San Francisco Institute A lot of young people dont really know how to speak their minds. Adobe Youth Voices helps them get past that... – Student from Boys & Girls Club of East Palo Alto Its changed me a lot because before I started doing Adobe Youth Voices I went through a very difficult stage. Now I get to express how I feel through a camera and my poetry… -- Student from Boys & Girls Club of East Palo Alto 16
2006 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved. 17 Media and technology skills Pedagogical skills Understanding of youth development Facilitating youth media AYV Outcomes and Evaluation AYV Educator Outcomes AYV Youth Outcomes Media and technology skills Critical thinking skills Collaboration skills Youth voice Attitudes toward technology Attitudes toward media
2006 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved % of youth agree that their opinion matters at the end of the program 93% of youth improved at least one media/technology skill 60% improved 5 or more media/technology skills 66% of youth improved on at least one collaboration skill 93% of youth report that they are interested in continuing their education after high school 89.7% of youth report being eager to do well in school Evaluation Results: Youth Outcomes
2006 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved. 19 Educators continue to show gains in: Technology and media-making skills: includes both software/hardware skills understanding of concepts like story-telling, media formats and media literacy, 80% Understanding of youth development: Awareness of how to tap into youth interest and motivation, 70% Youth media facilitation: Understanding of the youth media field and 21 st century skills, 78% Evalution Results: Educator Outcomes