May 7, 2010
As we enter the 21st century -- the global information age -- we must ensure our students are equipped to thrive in an environment that will require them to be able to shift their thinking and remain open to learning throughout their lives. Flexibility, innovation, improvisation and the ability to communicate across diverse cultures are skills crucial to future success. The arts are the most efficient way to teach those skills. By working to include and sustain the arts as part of a comprehensive K-12 curriculum, we allow students to cultivate the crucial skills they will need to function in a 21st century world.Arts for All is a dynamic, county-wide collaboration working to create vibrant classrooms, schools, communities and economies through the restoration of all arts disciplines into the core curriculum for each of our 1.7 million public K-12 students. One of the key strategies to ensure high quality arts education is to improve the quality of teaching and learning. We believe that when we help build the skills, knowledge, and confidence of the people who provide arts instruction to students, they are able to translate district policies and plans into high quality student learning. Practical tools and partnership opportunities promote the collective responsibility of classroom teachers, arts teachers, and artists to deliver high quality arts education. The on-going development of teachers and artists increases their ability to raise the quality of arts education.On Friday, May 7, 2010, Arts for All in partnership with California State University at Northridge, hosted the Arts for All Higher Education Think Tank. This event brought together decision makers throughout the education community to begin to discuss how to strategically address quality arts education in teacher preparation programs in order to impact teacher practice and student learning. Over 60 people attended representing 13 institutions of higher education, 3 foundations, 6 school districts and partners from the Los Angeles County Office of Education, Orange County Office of Education and the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. This report is a transcript of those proceedings.