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Column One: Curriculum

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Students can interact with the members of an upcoming scientific expedition to the Arctic--and take part in environmental studies--as part of a computer-based curriculum project that begins this month.

Developed by the University of St. Thomas World School for Adventure Learning, in St. Paul, the project will allow students in grades 4-12 worldwide to join "international learning communities,'' linked with the International Arctic Project and with each other, on the Internet, a global computer network.

Will Steger, a well-known explorer and an environmental educator, will lead the multinational canoe and dog-sled expedition that plans to leave from Russia in March 1995, cross the North Pole, and arrive in Canada's Northwest Territories five months later.

The World School this month will select 150 schools with telecommunications experience to link up with a training expedition in Canada.

During next year's training run, 1,000 schools will be chosen to participate, with open enrollment planned when the expedition begins.

Eligible schools must have access to a personal computer and a modem as well as a connection to the Internet. The annual subscription fee for the service is $85.

More information is available by calling David Duffee at the World School, (612) 962-5641.

A national panel of arts professionals and educators has called for the creation of a national center on arts education as part of a larger strategy to put the arts on the nation's education agenda.

In a report released last month, the Arts Education Partnership Working Group said the center could provide arts education with "national visibility'' and serve as a central source for information on research and effective programs.

The report also calls for a major federal funding initiative--much like the Eisenhower Program for Math and Science Education--to support teacher training programs for arts education, and it recommends fostering partnerships among schools and education-reform efforts and arts and cultural organizations for the purpose of promoting arts educaton.

"If our children are to prosper mentally and emotionally to their maximum, education reform must incorporate the arts and exploit their capacity to transform learning and teaching,'' concludes the report.

The 39-member working group was put together last year by James D. Wolfensohn, the chairman of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and Harold M. Williams, the president of the J. Paul Getty Trust.--D.V. & P.W.

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