SchoolArts Magazine

AUG-SEP 2008

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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All Levels Human Commonalities and Kaye Passmore I educated students should do more t's a usual day in an American than master isolated facts. They high school. Students spend an should understand "the connectedhour in a classroom, a bell rings, ness of things." and the whole school plays fruit Although Boyer celebrated stubasket turnover with everyone movdents' individual differences and the ing to another room for another hour uniqueness of cultures, he knew that until a bell rings and it is all repeated. humans share fundamental charAfter memorizing a myriad of facts, acteristics.He students move Boyer considered art to suggested organizto another set of ing curriculum courses, and evenbe the special language tually leave school, of children because, even thematically diploma in hand around eight combefore they can speak, they monalities shared and a head full of intuitively respond to color, by people around facts. But can they rhythm, and music. use their knowlthe world. By edge in real-life integrating these situations?Cantheycreativelyconthemes, students can understand how nectknowledgefrommanycourses? knowledge from each discipline actually applies to their lives. By studying Ernest Boyer other cultures as well as their own, Our fragmented education process students learn to value not only their uniqueness, but also that of others. dismayed eminent educator Ernest Shortly before Boyer's death in Boyer. Boyer advocated building con1995, the Carnegie Foundation pubnections in learning by organizing lished The Basic School: A Commuthe disciplines differently to integrate nity For Learning, which presented subjectmatter.Hebelievedthatwell- 46 schoolartsonline.com art a model for elementary education. In the book, Boyer recommends that elementary schools become learning communities with a curriculum incorporating eight core human communalities: shared life cycle, symbols, aesthetic response, sense of time and space, group membership, production and consumption, nature awareness, and values and beliefs. These shared characteristics could also become a framework for secondary and higher education. Because Boyer considered the arts to be an essential language, he thought art should be integral to all lessons. Boyer's Human Commonalities 1. Life Cycle: All humans share a life cycle of birth, growth, and death. Students should learn about their bodies and how to take care of them to maintain health and wellness. 2. Symbols: Around the globe people express their ideas and feelings with symbols. These symbols

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