Enrichment Yes, But Watch 'Sporadic Approach' to Arts

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To the Editor:

I appreciated your recent article on how schools use community resources to augment their instructional programs ("Professionals Enrich Classroom Lessons With Expertise," Feb. 4, 2009). Such resources have always played an important role in arts education, from field trips to an art museum, to hands-on classroom instruction by visiting artists. Our field has made great advances in defining effective practice in such partnerships.

In an ideal world, this external expertise would be used to augment and supplement what schools do on their own. Problems arise when educators believe instruction in the arts can be reduced to a one-time field trip or special visit by an artist. Such a sporadic approach deprives students of sustained access to the core curriculum in the arts. We would never tolerate math to be taught just once a year by the "visiting math guy."

Mark Slavkin
Vice President for Education
Music Center
Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles County
Los Angeles, Calif.

Vol. 28, Issue 23, Page 30

Published in Print: March 4, 2009, as Enrichment Yes, But Watch'Sporadic Approach' to Arts
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