Art Education: Vital to the Development of Man (Romanticism: Web-based Presentation)

Robin Williams, as he stood atop his teacher desk with overwhelming passion in the film “Dead Poet’s Society,” said with conviction “Why do I do this? To remind myself to constantly look at things in a different way.” With shock and awe, the all-boys secondary school class was asked to stand upon their own desks, to view life with a creative lens, to open up their minds. In the film, Robin Williams played a teacher who quoted Walt Whitman, a Romantic poet, to demonstrate how poetry, an art, was the key to understanding life. He viewed poetry as not only the driving force of the boys’ education, but a tool for them to become men. In discussing the Romantics’ view of man’s education, Frederick C. Beiser concludes his piece by saying that “the ideal society and state would be the “poetic” society and state, where rulers were directors of a vast public play in which all citizens were actors” (141). Undeniably, there has been a reduction of funds and attention paid towards the importance of art education; lack of appreciation for the arts in school has lead to more of a focus on assessments and education of the core subjects as the utmost priority. Because the Romantics would support the inclusion of various subjects in the curriculum for the creation of a well-rounded man, they would certainly criticize any negative treatment of the arts in schools. Proceeding a summary of the main points addressed throughout Beiser’s article, I will explore the debate about Art education and the rise of the STEAM vs. STEM movement and argue how I believe the Romantics would perceive such topics.

           Frederick C. Beiser discusses the German Romantics and their use of the word bildung, which translates to education, and in some cases self-realization, and culture (133). He begins his piece by making evident that most of what teachers believe about education today stems from Romantic roots; this includes such things as individualism, education of both women and men, as well as education as a means to push away negative gendered stereotypes in our society (Beiser 134). The Romantics believed in the power of the natural world around them, our artistic nature as a means to ignite social change. Romantics did not view education as a means to an end, but more about the journey, the development of the self as a human being who has more than material needs. Education truly meant to learn about our own humanity.

           Beiser recounts Kante and Fichte’s views of education as a means to teach one their “duty”, which was a concept criticized by the Romantics, and then moves to discuss the differences in views between Schiller and Rousseau throughout the discussion of the issues surrounding political education and what it means to correctly educate a “citizen”. Schiller, who the Romantics sided with the most, believes “a republic exists only if it consists of citizens having the virtue and wisdom to make laws; but citizens can be educated only if there is already a republic” (Beiser 139). What is important to note is that Schiller stated that people should be given opportunities to grow intellectually in various ways and develop their emotions; developing these aspects would help develop a great member of a society. The key idea is that the Romantics believed educating a man should always come before educating a citizen (140). This is easy to agree with, as understanding how to think and discuss the concept of knowledge, discuss one’s feelings, desires, and needs would serve not only to help a society socially, but politically. The Romantics believed in educating a human being according to their nature, which means they must value emotion and love of the human world in order to be a successful member of a society. In that, all humans would become walking “works of art” (Beiser 141).

           In Beiser’s section “The Role of Arts in Education,” the central, most important difference between Rousseau and the Romantics became clear: Rousseau believed that arts had no place in public education, that essentially it was useless and only for entertainment value. Unlike Plato, who did not value the poet, Schiller made the poet the figure of the utmost importance (Beiser 140). Education within Romanticism is about the education and imagination of the human heart and mind (140). Beiser noted that this thinking differed greatly than in the Enlightenment because arts were not something that people were required to believe in like religion (140). The only criticism of art education that arose is that it had the potential to corrupt individuals if they did not understand that art is art (140).

           With art education on the verge of demise, schools have discussed the purpose of art education, the NEA and Getty declaring that that an art curriculum at school should be focused on “art production, art history, aesthetics, art criticism, and knowledge regarding civilization” (Topping 20). Unfortunately, as stated by Topping, it appears as though “creative self-expression” as an assessment “has been denigrated for the sake of promoting the intellectual aspects of art education” (20). In terms of what I think the Romantics would believe, art education that pulls away from creative and emotional expression would be abhorrent, lacking compassion and the ability to turn the ‘man’ into a “work of art” as they desired (Beiser 140-141). Although beneficial to study the art of others, this should not be all. How are we to get in touch with our own humanity if we are never encouraged to express ourselves and use our creativity? Furthermore, does self-expression and creativity not make us better human beings, and in turn, better members of society more capable of crafting compassionate, just societies? Is not the answer to a better world then through the study of expression, creativity, and art? I believe these are core questions the Romantics would ask.

           Babette Allina brings forth the STEAM vs. STEM debate and movement that is currently making its way across around the world in K-20 schools. Where STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics only, STEAM stands for all of that, but with the inclusion of Art. This is a movement where STEAM stands for the inclusion of various subjects for a well-rounded education, whereas STEM, the original movement, focuses solely on technical skills, believing they are at the core of what the current job market requires. More and more, schools are beginning to understand the value of arts education to the development of better engineers and scientists, including courses about the humanities and liberal arts in their scientific programs. Essentially, the STEAM movement strives to show just how central they are to the development of STEM subjects. In the article, it states that the “STEAM policy formation efforts reflected a call from industry for creative, critical thinkers,” which would align with the Romantics’ view of the importance of creativity (78). Citing Tim Brown, Allina makes evident that a STEAM approach to education is what the world needs to be able to face current issues: “unaffordable or unavailable healthcare…energy usage that outpaces the planet’s ability to support it, education systems that fail many students” (79). The Romantics would wholeheartedly agree with the STEAM’s view that art is a necessary component of a student’s education, as it is reported that students with more arts-based education perform better in other subjects, and in my belief, form more of a passion towards their current world and strive for social change (Allina 79). Not all may agree, however, as there are several places around the world that view technical subjects as worthy and do not see or understand the benefits of an artistic education.

           With movements such as STEAM and the increase of the value of creativity in the current job market, I believe the Romantics would approve of an approach towards a more broad-based education that values the arts. I leave you then with this: What do you think the Romantics would believe about today’s treatment of arts in schools? How does the school you work at treat art education and its role in the development of a student? How do you, or don’t you, promote creativity in the classes you teach? As I do wholeheartedly, could you relate to the Romantics and their view of what it means to educate a man? 


Works Cited

Allina, Babette. “The Development of STEAM Educational Policy to Promote Student Creativity and Social Empowerment,” Arts Education Policy Review, vol. 119, no. 2, 2018, pp.77-87.

Beiser, Frederick C. “Romanticism,” A Companion to Philosophy of Education, edited by Randall Curren, Blackwell, 2003, pp. 130-142.

Topping, Ronald J. “Art Education: A Crisis in Priorities.” Art Education, vol. 43, no. 1, 1990, pp. 20–24. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/3193194.



Comments

Kimberly Simon June 13, 2019, 1:16 AM

Many of the arguments that Beiser (2003) brings forward defend the Romantic view that education should serve to expand the individual’s growth and should not simply focus on preparing them to function in society. The same could be said about, as mentioned in your presentation, the lack of art oriented education in our modern education system. Our school system focuses on making sure students know certain things and we rate their success mostly based on test performances. Throughout this process, we are not following the views of Romanticism and, rather, preparing students to be citizens of the state rather than promoting thinking and individuality. Beiser (2003) argues that education should serve to be useful to the life of the student and should not be solely based off of professional or vocational training. Yes, these types of programs will give students the proper training for a specific career, but will this stream of education necessarily teach them how to think and to become free individuals within the state? Despite the importance of teaching students how to think for themselves and to use their minds effectively, should we necessarily place greater importance on arts education? Beiser (2003) states that Romantics believed educating a man should be of more importance than educating a citizen (p. 140). However, would we be doing these students a disservice by focusing on developing their individuality rather than “training” them for the labour market? The STEM vs STEAM argument is quite interesting and educators should be questioning the nature of our education systems. The problem with the STEM education system is that it focuses solely on science, technology, engineering & mathematics, and does not address the individual learning styles or strengths of all students. Including art education and providing a STEAM system would broaden and strengthen the education of every learner. Responding to your question, my school offers the standard art class and English language arts (ELA) classes. Now that I have reflected on this issue, I realize that ELA is one of the primary courses within our system that encourages self reflection, self expression and encourages students to develop their thinking skills. In terms of how the Romantics would perceive this, they would most likely agree with the inclusion of courses that promote critical thought and individual development, but they would not agree with the way our system is designed to mold students into citizens rather than into individuals. Beiser (2003) discusses Basedow’s idea that the primary focus of education should be to make a person happy. Thus, it should focus on an individual’s interests, developing one’s thoughts and ideas, and questioning everything until that individual has a more well-rounded view of themselves. Therefore, is art education truly the key to individuals becoming happy and to develop a “society and state, where rulers were directors of a vast public play in which all citizens were actors” (Besier, 2003, p. 141), or can this be achieved by giving students more choice in their education? Perhaps if students were allowed to immerse themselves into their interests and their passions, they would learn a lot about themselves in the process and feel more in charge of their future and their individuality. Maybe the key to achieving a society of individual actors is to give them the freedom of choice in education, rather than imposing a set curriculum. Couldn’t imposing art education on all students, even those who may struggle artistically, affect students in both positive and negative ways just as other courses do? Although art education promotes thought, perhaps the true key lies in educational freedom.

Nihal Jamal June 15, 2019, 2:37 PM

Most schools do value the ‘core subjects’ more than art themed subjects such as visual arts, drama, music, etc. This past week I was able to spark a conversation with my colleagues regarding this topic. I mentioned the famous debate of what came first, the chicken or the egg? Did art always play second fiddle to core subjects like math and science? Or over the years, did society come to conclusions that arts should not be valued. I remember growing up in elementary school bringing my report card home to my dad and he would only review my grades in Math, Science and English. He gave me the impression that those ‘other’ subjects weren’t so important. Upon asking why my 95 in gym or 80 in drama didn’t make him happy, he replied that ‘those’ subjects won’t help me as much in my adult years. I’m assuming these ideas have been going on for generations and I’m guessing that it's not a coincidence that we have no professional artists in our ancestry (I was only able to research the last 100 years). If society doesn’t reward artists by creating many career paths for children to pursue, then can we blame them for not giving it importance in school? Does society shape our thinking by telling us that arts is not a viable option resulting in students not treating it with importance or do the children tell society that the arts are not an important subject? I would personally go with the former. Students notice their weekly schedules and see 8 periods of math and 10 periods of english compared to 1 period visual arts and 1 period of drama. This is one way our society is telling students that arts are not very important. The STEAM vs STEM debate is similar in nature. The world is rapidly advancing in technology and sciences which why programs like STEAM and STEM have become so popular. This programs help students learn practical skills such as computer language coding or robotics which are transferable skills in the real world. The romantics would suggest that this would be an example of us preparing the ‘citizen’ and not the individual. The STEAM program has the inclusion of visual arts which adds some level of creativity and personalization to the program. Bieser believes that we all are romantics at some level. I feel that he is somewhat accurate in this statement. The romantics believe in “valuing the individual”. We as educators have been learning about lesson differentiation, adaptations and modifications in order to meet the needs of each student specifically. Of course, the profession of teaching being an art, we understand the importance of using our knowledge and skills to change our practices to better serve the needs of each individual in the classroom. Brieser also says that we are romantics because we value the education of the senses and not just the intellect. In recent years, the use of manipulatives, visual vs kinetic learning, and sensory activities has become more prominent in most schools. While these are two examples of how we do have some level of romanticism in us, I’m still not sure if it has always been a part of us. History shows that valuing the individual student’s needs or teaching visually/kinetically haven't always been popular when studying trends in the world of education. These ideas are relatively new. The question that comes to mind is, does the level of romanticism in society fluctuate from generation to generation? Romantics believed in the importance of shaping the ‘man’ rather than shaping a citizen. Today, this would mean focussing on student’s learning skills (self-regulation, initiative, behaviour, collaboration, etc) as opposed to the marks they receive in certain subjects. I’ve noticed that in elementary schools, we do put an emphasis on learning skills but as the student gets older, their importance seem to fade. Kimberly has raised a good point by asking if we would be doing children a disservice by focusing on their individuality as opposed to providing specific training that will make them professionals in a certain field of work. Of course, ideally we want students to develop both individually and professionally.

LG
Lauren Gazmin June 15, 2019, 5:28 PM

Citing Beiser’s recollection of the Romantic concept of educating the man before the citizen is important to note. As an idealist, my beliefs align with this type of thinking; however, in today’s day and age it is also important to educate people in order to become citizens. Students should be groomed for ‘the real world,’ and a constant critique of our school system is that students should have been taught about personal finances, paying bills, and doing taxes, in order to prepare them for life after school. In this respect, while I would like to think that art is a necessary component within the curriculum, I do see the value in utilitarian beliefs such as the STEM movement. I think that our education system could do a better job of preparing students to be both citizens as well as individuals. The STEM vs STEAM argument is an excellent one to relate to this week’s readings. I agree with you in stating the Romantics would commend the STEAM approach in our schools. As Beiser (2003) states, when students are educated solely on the necessities for their vocation, “there can be no hope for the all-rounded development of the personality” (p. 137). I have always believed that the school system’s primary focus is to assist students in developing their character and individuality through critical thinking and reflection, while learning the curriculum assigned to them. What I appreciate about the Romantics is that they are constantly mentioning the need for both reason as well as art: “While philosophy could instruct only through the general precepts of reason, the arts could appeal directly to the heart and imagination, which were a far more powerful spring of human action than reason alone” (p. 140). I personally find art extremely important and when I was student teaching, I would constantly infuse art into my lessons surrounding the ‘core’ subjects. As a student teacher, I did not have much say in the timetable and my time allotted for art lessons was minimal. Due to this, I had to invent ways to use art during Science and English lessons. I believe that art helps us grow as individuals, as it supports self-expression and values several perspectives. There is a lot of room for reflection and imagination within art, which help develop well-rounded, critical thinkers. Being able to express oneself in a variety of ways and the ability to empathize with others also prepares students for ‘the real world.’ The unfortunate reality is that knowledge of subjects such as Math and Science typically possess more value in our society and can prove more helpful in obtaining jobs that require technical skills. Nihal made an interesting point about learning skills. Soft skills such as initiative and collaboration are included on elementary school report cards, which Romantics would appreciate. The issue with this is that these assessments do not hold as much value with parents as their grades in Science or Math do. Even if we revolutionize our education system, society as a whole demonstrates their utilitarian beliefs in the workplace as well as in the home. While Beiser may believe that we are all Romantics, I believe that we are also all holding utilitarian views, as it is necessary for us to in order to thrive in society. Your comment cited by Topping regarding art and assessment inspired reflection within me. Assessing students through self-expression is a difficult task, as it is incredibly subjective. I think that this type of assessment is unfavourable, as it leaves room for bias. In this respect, perhaps art should not be assessed and instead should be infused throughout the curriculum, in order to promote self-expression through a variety of outlets and only STEM subjects should be assessed. References Beiser, Frederick C. “Romanticism,” A Companion to Philosophy of Education, edited by Randall Curren, Blackwell, 2003, pp. 130-142.

Sara Aref June 15, 2019, 9:44 PM

Thank you for a great presentation Jordana! There are many interesting points that have been raised in the previous posts that I would like to comment on. First, I think that the Romantics won’t approve of the way arts are being taught in our current day schools. This is because, as Nihal said, arts education, as opposed to math and science, isn’t considered important by our society. My partner, who is a music teacher, has two bachelor degrees: one in music and one in teaching. Why do you think he pursued a second degree in teaching? Because in our modern-day society, music education alone isn’t enough for securing a job after graduation. The Romantics are against the reduction of learning to the acquisition of technical skills. But is this practical? I think to have a well-rounded human being, it takes the development of both: individualism and utilitarianism. Arts education, when taught correctly, is very beneficial because it teaches children creativity and self-expression. This brings me to another point raised by Jordana and Lauren concerning assessment in art education. I think there shouldn’t be grades assigned to arts subjects. I think a pass or fail is enough. I think what really matters in such classes is whether the students have showed up or not and whether they have applied themselves in creative self-expression.

KM
Kelly Milliken June 16, 2019, 9:44 PM
Replying to Sara Aref

Hi Sara, I enjoyed reading your response as well as all the other posts in this thread. I think the thoughts express by you, Jordana and Lauren regrading assessment in art education are very interesting and caused me to reflect on Arts education at the school I teach at. I think that students often feel vulnerable when expressing themselves creatively which makes me think that assigning grades to this would hinder them in feeling safe and free to truly express themselves. I agree with that the focus should be on whether students are applying themselves and trying to be creative. By eliminating assigning a grade to their work, students could focus on applying themselves and being vulnerable verse what is required to do in order to get a desired mark. It also resonated with me when you stated that your partner obtained a second degree due to lack of job security with a music education degree. This relates to Nihal's point that our society doesn't create career paths for children to pursue in this area and the message this is sending.

ZL
Zuri Lewkowicz-Lalonde June 16, 2019, 9:44 PM
Replying to Sara Aref

Much of what the romantics believe in comes down to a balance. Balance between our sensibilities and reason, between our shared characteristics and our individual ones. Currently within our school system, as many people have pointed out, that balance does not exist between our STEM subjects and those of the arts. Our fine arts are not emphasized nearly as much nor given the same amount of resources. At a high school level for example, a student must only take a single arts credit compared to the five required maths and sciences. You brought up an interesting point about your partner taking on a second degree as music was not enough. I am in the same position as your partner (two degrees, one in music and the other in education) and would argue there are two major parts to this problem (I will be speaking about music as this is my area of expertise). Firstly, there is a myth that there are no jobs to be had in music, and this is simply not the case. There are many jobs to be found beyond simply “professional musician” in areas such as: music production, sound design and composition to name a few. However this leads to our second problem which is our system doesn’t teach/offer courses that cater to those skills. Take most high school music classes and you will be taking a blend of performance, band, theory and history, all of which have to do with composers and music from the western tradition and in general are hundreds of years past. I value these lessons and think they are vital to the foundation of a musician, but much like the romantics, I think it is only one side of the coin. To teach those other skills though, would require more resources, access to technology and most importantly: more time. While I do believe arts education is critical for student’s development in the areas of self expression and creativity, I do not think that it should be a pass/fail course. Arts still have very tangible, technical skills associated with them. These skills are valuable and important to teach, as well as measurable in the same way skills in mathematics or science are. Telling a student that it is simply ok to turn up and engage to warrant a pass, would be equivalent to saying that, so long as they engage with numbers they should pass a math course. By saying the main focus should be self-expression only, we are devaluing the nature of the course as well as the skills associated with it.

Jesse Cardin June 18, 2019, 9:44 PM
Replying to Zuri Lewkowicz-Lalonde

The STEM vs. STEAM debate seems to be a core question of what we value as a society of individuals. However given I am under the impression that the purpose of the STEM movement was not only to focus on subjects which broaden technical skills but to specifically exclude those subjects that are more abstract like the arts. I am not a critic of the arts nor do I think a strict STEM system is fundamentally more important, but given the purpose of creating the STEM system was to exclude the arts, what does STEAM exclude? More specifically, what is the difference between advocating for STEAM education and just simply not advocating for STEM?

RR
Rema Simona Rodrigues June 18, 2019, 9:44 PM
Replying to Jesse Cardin

Jesse, I agree with your statements about the STEM vs. STEAM debate. I believe that STEM allows children to develop skills in diverse areas that are crucial to ensure success in critical thinking and problem solving, creativity and innovation, communication, collaboration, and entrepreneurship, to name a few (Jolly, 2014). The arts should be a subject just like the others, making it a natural experience for students. Jolly (2014) states that, “the purpose of STEAM should not be so much to teach art but to apply art in real situations” so that students can use their knowledge they acquire to strengthen their learning experiences. I think educators need to provide opportunities for students to become “well-rounded” (Jolly, 2014) by proving them with excellence in education so that they can contribute in society. The goal should be to build up competent individuals who find solutions to problems, and are able to function in an ever growing, fast-paced society. I would love to know what the impact would be if schools advocated for STEAM education and not STEM? Are we required to implement STEAM or STEM, to created well-rounded students? Jolly. A. (2014). STEAM vs. STEAM: Do the Arts Belong? Education Week Teacher. Nov. 18, 2014, https://www.edweek.org/tm/articles/2014/11/18/ctq-jolly-stem-vs-steam.html

NF
Nico Francella June 18, 2019, 7:37 PM

I really liked how you began your response with a reference to Robin Williams in the film “Dead Poets Society” and how he explains that standing upon desks allows him to view life with a creative lens. What really resonated with me through this reference is the importance of perspectives. As an English teacher, the joy of teaching English comes from the opportunity to discuss novels and plays through different perspectives. It is through these perspectives that we are able to find new meaning from texts that have been studied for hundreds of years. More importantly, these perspectives allow us to share our own experiences and make connections between literary novels and modern world events. Making those real-world connections are one of the most important aspects of learning because it allows us to understand the relevancy of the lessons from the novels we read. However, in terms of poetry, I have seen the movement away from teaching it in our English classrooms. Poetry has always been a unit that I personally, don’t enjoy teaching because I am not too familiar with it which I can imagine is a popular opinion amongst English teachers. With almost every unit, I try to incorporate a way for students to show their creativity through art. Whether that be a drawing, diorama, or a poster, students should always have an option to express their creativity. It is also a great way to differentiate your lessons with students who may have difficulty in the subject of English. Instead of writing a 3-page Essay, students can write a 1-2 pages and provide an art piece expressing the ideas about the novel. Most importantly, it allows the student to express their own interests and character. Thus, connecting with Romanticists and their belief that each individual has human powers in their own unique and ideal fashion. Lastly, what was really important I thought was that Beiser (2003) explained how Romantics did not view education as a means to an end, but more about the journey and the development of the self as a human being. I think it’s funny that when we are students, we believe that once we are done high school, college, or university, that we are finally done learning. We soon realize that learning occurs every day, and that we never truly stop learning. That is why I think it is important that as educators, we really show our students not only how to learn, but how to LOVE learning. Showing different ways to learn and how to express their learning will allow them to appreciate learning that much more. Great post Jordana!

Lauren Schmidt June 19, 2019, 7:37 PM
Replying to Nico Francella

Nico, I love the choices you provide for your students. I was just thinking about all the great cross curricular that can happen with the arts. I believe it is a great way to allow students to express their feelings and thoughts, so it is so important for students to learn the skills to go along with it. I was actually thinking about how much math goes into writing music and how our brain must be working in when we read music. While some students will shine in the arts courses this will be a place for others to develop resiliency and risk taking as one really has to put themselves out there share their thoughts, ideas and creativity through the arts. In todays world, where people are always trying to get ahead, are ever more secluded on their devices (and social media) I believe the romantics, like I believe, peoples ability to express themselves creatively, is incredibly important. ". The romantics accepted Schiller's contention that the arts, rather than religion and philosophy, should be the leading power behind the moral education of mankind" (Beiser, 2003, p.140-141).

Jordana Theriault June 19, 2019, 7:37 PM
Replying to Nico Francella

Hi Nico. Thank you for your response to my presentation. This comment is a bit of a response to everyone, although hearing you also teach ELA inspired me to write. I love being an ELA teacher because I feel it is the perfect balance between technical skills (language proficiency and writing) as well as art. I truly feel that when I teach English I am developing the individual as well as the citizen as students become engaged with artistic texts but also use their critical thinking skills, writing techniques, and discussion abilities to properly engage with their peers. English is a fantastic subject to teach as it is possible to bring in those artistic elements that I feel are more difficult in others classes. All the examples you brought in, in which Lauren also loved, are fantastic to mention. In my class, students are frequently illustrating on posters, doing research into the topics they read about in fiction, and studying film clips, leaving them with a well-rounded view that makes ELA not only about the study of English, but of various subjects too. We studied four modules this year and they involved the following topics: South Sudan, Gender roles and issues, Slavery in America, and screen time and the developing teen brain. These topics were so rich that we were able to look at both fiction and non-fiction pieces and discuss real world issues that help them develop as both individuals and citizens. When studying Sudan, we raised some money to go towards building a well, whereas in the gender roles module we analyzed advertisements and redesigned them to exclude gender stereotypes. When studying slavery, we reviewed the dangers of hate language and engaged in artistic writing workshops to create a children's book to raise awareness of the issues still ever so present in today's world. With the one about screen time, students engaged with the AAP policy writings on restricted screen time for kids their age, and presented an argumentative claim about what the AAP should do for teens and suggest to future parents about screen time going forward. I just think that these projects are super meaningful and the Romantics would love them as they truly worked towards developing the individual in hopes that that would benefit society. I feel my kids were also being taught to value the world around them. Without developing as an individual, I don't feel they are able to truly become a valuable citizen.

Marienne Mambo June 21, 2019, 8:04 PM

Hi Jordana, What a great presentation! I found it interesting to realize that my views regarding education could be traced back to the Romantics. I will respond to the following question: "Could you relate to the Romantics and their view of what it means to educate a man?" I am one who believes that everyone is unique and has special talents. The discovery of these talents is beneficial to the individual, hers/his community, and the world at large. Educating reason and sensibility, to me, is the right thing to do. “The power to sense, feel, and desire is not less human than reason itself” Frederick C. Beiser (p.132). For this same reason I have little or no admiration for any learning environment that is void of humane sensibilities because I too believe that “the heart is the key to life and the world” Frederick C. Beiser (p.133). In a classroom environment where the rationalism and neoclassicism is the order of the day, the learner could excel in mechanistic evaluation methods but in real life it takes more than reason to navigate the ups and down. “It is through love that we unify opposing powers— that we reconcile our reason and sensibility” (P.133). The good news is that contemporary classrooms do encourage a mixture of both approaches. Progressive and open educational methods is becoming more and more common in most developed countries. That is, a shift from education based on the ideal to the real individual, situation, and problems. In other words, education that is student-oriented where teaching, learning, and outcome is holistic, and individualist, aimed at resolving real world issues. Reference: Beiser, Frederick C. “Romanticism,” A Companion to Philosophy of Education, edited by Randall Curren, Blackwell, 2003, pp. 130-142.

Craig Skinner July 5, 2019, 6:25 PM

This was a very interesting read. I think there is definitely a place for the arts in education. When I look at STEM and STEAM from an elementary perspective, where teachers are generalists, and many teachers come from an arts background, I think the intent was to focus on the importance of STEM activities and to give teachers resources and networks to create great STEM activities and keep students engaged, in an area that might have been neglected in the past. With a focus on deep learning, we want to provide students with choice, and the opportunity to effectively explore their interests. There needs to be a balance, so that the students receive effective STEM instruction and the opportunity to explore these areas, but the arts should not be forgotten. In order to ensure students are engaged and exploring all of the areas of the curriculum, we need to give them opportunities to explore science and math, but also language and art as well. We need students to develop all of their amazing talents. Craig Skinner

ED
Emmanuelle Dansereau August 23, 2019, 5:28 PM

This is very well written.

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