Article

The Arts: In Schools: Beyond 2000

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Abstract

Everyday we are involved, either directly or indirectly in arts-based experiences. We make decisions about what to wear, magazines and books to read, television programs to watch, movies to see, music to listen to, concerts, plays and performances to go to. We design, construct and decorate our homes, work and other built environments. We select from a multitude of products and objects which have been designed and produced to support our existence, make life easier, more convenient or aesthetically pleasing, or we make our own. We organise and attend a diversity of activities -festivals, birthdays, weddings, parties -to celebrate important personal, cultural, seasonal and social occasions. These lived experiences present a picture of the arts as an integral, important and significant component of our daily lives. There are a number of reasons why this is so. One is that the arts are cognitively significant. Through arts practice and experience we are helped to 'know' about our world -we construct meaning, convey ideas and feelings and represent experience. Involvement in the arts demands that we use our perception, cognition and imagination. A second reason is that the arts contribute significantly to our aesthetic, cultural and emotional life. They help us think about, feel, respond to and critically analyse life and life experiences in personal and individual ways.

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... As humans we are confronted with the arts on a day-by-day basis through real-life experiences and the media. It is essential for school students to access the arts through the school curriculum so that they can decipher meaning from the world around them (Aland, 1998). The arts are understood to provide unique opportunities for "aesthetic and sensory learning, cognitive, physical and social learning" (Queensland School Curriculum Council, 2001, p. 12). ...
... Due to the expressive nature of arts experiences, students can also be seen to benefit emotionally, culturally and socially through involvement with the arts (Aland, 1998;Barrett, 1998;Boyd, 1998;Emery, 1998). Gelineau (2004) makes a strong argument that engagement in an arts-rich curriculum leads to enhanced abilities in all subject and intelligence areas. ...
... Aesthetic experiences provided through the arts distinguish them from other learning experiences (Ballantyne, 2001;Emery, 1998). While the arts are often justified by their potential to facilitate success in other subject areas, it is important to focus on the significance of arts experiences for aesthetic reasons (Aland, 1998;Barrett, 1998). ...
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