Monday, October 12, 2009

Educator Emphasizes Value of Arts in Learning

The Arts Education Collaborative is hosting the seventh annual Regional Arts Education Day today at the Regional Enterprise Tower in Downtown Pittsburgh. The keynote speaker was Dr. Mariale Hardiman of the Johns Hopkins University School of Education.

Recent discoveries in neuro-science about how the brain learns are producing teaching methods that are more effective and less subject to non-research-based educational fads, according to Dr. Hardiman. While scientists used to think we were born with all the brain cells we would ever have, it's been proven people develop new brain cells into their 80s and 90s. And Dr. Hardiman says that teaching with the arts fosters creativity, innovation and problem solving: precisely those capabilities considered crucial to success in the 21st century and what U.S. students lack compared to students in other developed countries. Eliminating arts from the curriculum is the wrong thing to do, says Hardiman, though understandable because schools are under such pressure to improve standardized test scores.

Dr. Hardiman developed the "brain-targeted" teaching model based on the latest research and advocates integration of the arts into teaching every subject.

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