arts education publications

Learning and the Arts: Crossing Boundaries

“New practice in arts education not only opens the world of the arts to children, it opens the world to children through the arts."

Nick Rabkin,
John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Prompted by the worldwide interest in education reform, leaders from government, business, and nonprofit foundations gathered in January 2000 to challenge themselves to work across traditional boundaries between education and the arts—boundaries they see in their own organizations and in the education system. The meeting was especially oriented toward funders who too often are segregated into groups that support separate initiatives in education, the arts, or youth programming.  Participants talked, listened, thought, and planned about how the arts can improve the lives of America's children.

Learning and the Arts: Crossing Boundaries is the written report of the brief presentations made during that gathering by academic researchers, practicing leaders in education, and representatives from effective arts education programs.  It reflects some of the most useful thinking about arts education circulating today.

Presentations included in the report are:

  • Arts Education’s Place in a Knowledge-Based Global Economy
    Ken Robinson
    Professor of Arts Education, University of Warwick (England)
  • Ten Lessons the Arts Teach
    Elliott Eisner
    Lee Jacks Professor of Education, Stanford University
  • Seeing Our Way into Learning
    Shirley Brice Heath
    Professor of Linguistics and English, Stanford University
  • Arts Learning Experiences
    Discussion by leaders and participants of the arts workshops they led and attended
  • Practitioners on Effective Partnerships
    Panel discussion on what makes effective arts education partnerships

    I asked the question that every principal asks first: How much money is this going to cost me?  And she assured me that it would be fairly inexpensive and painless.  And it started the very long journey toward an interdisciplinary, vertically aligned, comprehensive arts program that has changed the way I view children, the way I view learning, the way I view my job, and the way I view my life.  And it is a powerful, powerful thing.  In the last seven or eight years, I've been going around the country trying to convince my colleagues that it's the thing to do.
    (the late) Russ Chapman
    Principal, Shady Brook Elementary
    School, Bedford, Texas
  • Reframing Arts in Education
    Rudy Crew
    Executive Director, Institute for K-12 Leadership, University of Washington, Seattle
    (Former Chancellor, Board of Education of the City of New York)
  • Researchers' Perspectives on Emerging Best Practices
    Panel of researchers
  • Small Group Discussions: Reflections and Next Steps
    Summaries from six discussion groups
  • Closing Remarks
    Ken Robinson
    Professor of Arts Education, University of Warwick (England)

Read the full report
The document can be found at the bottom of the linked page along with a link to download Acrobat Reader if necessary.