SchoolArts Magazine

NOV 2014

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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the field needed rationales for arts in education founded on what the arts actually are: provocations to artistic thought, action, and feeling. So we found two high schools where arts were taught rigorously, one inner city and one suburban. Studio Habits of Mind We conducted video observations of five teachers for an academic year and Gathering Data My point in telling this story is that we were not accustomed to our research drawing positive attention. We undertook the studio thinking study because of the lack of positive results in the meta-analyses, and because we felt that justifying arts solely on the basis of what they might do for learning in other subjects diminishes the importance of the arts in their own right. We thought M y Studio Thinking co-authors and I were delighted to learn this spring that SchoolArts has planned to devote so much atten- tion to the Studio Habits of Mind in the coming year. We continue to be surprised and gratified by the warm response of the national and interna- tional communities to Studio Think- ing since its initial publication in 2007. The History of Studio Thinking When we began our research in 2001, supported by the J. Paul Getty Trust, we had no idea that what we thought the field needed was so closely aligned with what practicing educators wanted. Ellen Winner and I had just completed a series of meta-analyses examining the evidence for claims that "art makes you smarter" in other subjects. That study was less than pop - ular with many arts advocates, since we showed that the scientific evidence at the time was either weak or nonex - istent for many of the claims. Not all the analyses were nega- tive—music and spatial reasoning showed a strong relationship (though no evidence that it was permanent), and drama and verbal outcomes were strongly related (this remains a power- ful justification for using classroom drama in language-arts programs). But the studies linking arts to higher test scores and grades did not hold up to rigorous scrutiny. SchoolArts Lois Hetland & STUDIO THINKING 20 November 2014 SchoolArts All Levels

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