• Five Reasons Not to Forget Special Education Students
    They’re often left behind. Left out of the discussion. Forgotten. Not on the stage or missing from the page. Frequently not even in the room. I’m talking about students experiencing disability, or special education students. In the swirling national dialogue on arts education and cognitive development, it is surprising to see how infrequently students experiencing […]
  • Brains Under Construction: Supporting Students in the Arts
    The more I learn from the ongoing research on adolescent cognitive development, the more I realize the degree to which high school students are expected to make major decisions for which their brains are not quite ready. It’s no wonder that the college decision process, as well as the consideration of careers, is so overwhelming […]
  • Why English Language Learners need the arts
    When you take a look at the numbers, it’s clear that in coming years our public schools will enroll more English Language Learners than ever before. According to research by the Pew Charitable Trust, by 2050 34% of children under age 17 in the United States will be either immigrants or children of immigrants. We […]
  • Art is History of People
    Confession #1: I had to Google “cognitive development” before I started writing this. I’m an arts administrator, after all, not an educator. Confession #2: From my perspective, it seems clear that art makes kids smart. To the body of research demonstrating art education’s score-boosting, transferrable-skills, and college-readiness cognitive development superpowers, I say, “Yup.” Confession #3. […]
  • Permission to Play: How the Intergenerational Arts Space (Re)teaches Creative Play to Young and Old
    I grew up in Des Moines, Iowa, in a neighborhood with lots of people my age. When the weather was nice, the neighborhood kids and I would play outside, inventing new games, creating special spaces in trees, and learning how to negotiate our wants and needs with those of others. Play is an important part […]
  • Dance as an Escape
    Juggling. We’re all juggling, aren’t we? Racing from work to activities to home to work, in a never-ending loop. But what if the balls we were trying to keep in the air carried more weight? What if dropping one of them meant something really bad might happen to us, something difficult, something damaging? What if […]
  • Arts and Cultivating Imagination
    My first role was as a knight. I was eight. The audience consisted of my friend, Steven, also playing a knight, and the various woodland creatures that inhabited the backyard of our house in suburban Maryland. You see, I had recently been to the Maryland Renaissance Festival, and like many young boys and girls my […]

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