Jerome Kagan on Why the Arts Matter: Six Good Reasons for Advocating the Importance of Arts in School

From the Dana Foundation website:

Jerome Kagan, Ph.D., of Harvard University, spoke about the importance of arts education in elementary schools during the Learning, Arts, and the Brain conference at Baltimore’s American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore on May 6, 2009. These are his prepared remarks

“It is a rare roll of the dice that places me as luncheon speaker at a conference on arts education. You have to know that for four long years, from the first to the fourth grade, I lived with the dread of the hour after lunch when everyday, Monday to Friday, our class had art and I sat with two or three children, often girls, who were far more talented and concealed my imperfect drawings while waiting desperately for the painful hour to end. Here I am 70 years later advocating the importance of the arts in the elementary school years. However, the intervening years have taught me at least six good reasons for advocating art in the schools that are easy to articulate. But, as with most other interventions, the power of some of the reasons depends on the social class of the child’s family.”

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