Paul Price


Paul Price


Artifact for Standard 6: An education leader promotes the success of every student by understanding, responding to, and influencing the political, economic, legal, and cultural context.


Name of Artifact: Action Research project for EDU 690, University of New England

Date: April 26, 2009

Course: EDU 695


Rationale: My UNE Action Research project aligns with this standard in every way. The project is essentially an essay using research about the importance of music in a child’s education. I am an advocate for the arts in education, and I stand for the arts in education as our programs are being cut due to budgets and mental models. Performance-based learning is promoting administrators to focus budgets and energies upon testing and the subject areas prone to testing, and the result is the mental model that those “in charge” are entitled to run roughshod over the arts in the process. I believe this is wrong.


I see my son—he is 8 years old, 2nd grade—and his response to arts, and I cannot imagine his life without the arts. His art program has been cut. This is at my school. Luckily, my wife is an art teacher, so he will continue to flourish in the arts, but the students who are not so lucky will have to rely on their classroom teachers to provide some sort of artistic guidance.


The common response to the importance of the arts in education is, “Studies show that art and music are important because they help students do better in other subjects.” The statement is rarely, if ever, supported by actual evidence. I wanted to provide evidence that, indeed, students who do well in music also do well in other subjects, but I wanted to emphasize the fact that this is not why we study music. Music makes us human. Music helps us put our internal puzzles together. The arts make us a common people.


Reflection: This research project has helped me put together reasons that work for everyone to justify studying the arts in education, and it has also helped me realize where my future lies—in advocacy. I believe I am destined to be that “burr under the saddle” for the arts, and I hope to become an administrator, teacher, musician, and human that promotes the arts for life.


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