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Ten Lessons

Ten Lessons the Arts Teach
1. The arts teach children to make good judgements about qualitative relationships. Unlike much of the curriculum in which correct answers and rules prevail, in the arts, it is judgement rather than rules that prevail.
2. The arts teach children that problems can have more than one solution and that questions can have more than one answer.
3. The arts celebrate multiple perspectives.
4. The arts teach children that complex forms of problem solving are seldom fixed, but change with circumstance and opportunity.
5. The arts make vivid the fact that words do not, in their literal form or number, exhaust what we can know.
6. The arts teach children that small differences can have large effects.
7. The arts teach children to think through and within a material. All art forms employ some means through which images become real.
8. The arts help children learn to say what cannot be said.
9. The arts enable us to have experience we can have from no other source and through such experience to discover the range and variety of what we are capable of feeling.
10. The arts' position in the school curriculum symbolizes to the young what adults believe to be important.
Elliot Eisner, a professor of education and art at Stanford University, from Beyond Creating: The Place for Art in American Schools, 1985, p.69

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