What the arts can teach school reform

Authored by: Michael G. Gunzenhauser , George W. Noblit

The Routledge International Handbook of Creative Learning

Print publication date:  July  2011
Online publication date:  July  2011

Print ISBN: 9780415548892
eBook ISBN: 9780203817568
Adobe ISBN: 9781136730047


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Educational reform in the US has been a decidedly dismal affair. It began as a backlash to school desegregation, calling for excellence over equity. It named educators as responsible for a mediocre system and blamed students for their supposed lack of learning. This of course was a shell game by business leaders to place the blame for a lackluster economy on someone else (Philipsen and Noblit, 1993). The problem was defined subsequently as schools not being enough like business, especially in terms of production systems. The solution according to business leaders was that schools were insufficiently instrumental in their logic. School reform then was meant to make schools more goal driven and to align standards, curriculum, instruction and student learning so that improved test scores resulted. Instrumental logic, in other words, was to produce more learning and better test scores.

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