Friday, April 27, 2012

Transforming Education

SMAG attended the launch of Brian Caldwell's book 'Transforming Education Through The Arts'

Click here to purchase.

By Brian Caldwell and Tanya Vaughan
Routledge. London 2012
ISBN: 978-0-415-68701-0
10 Chapters, 166 pages
Lunched in Australia on 3 April 2012 by Hon Martin Dixon, Minister for Education in Victoria, Transforming Education through the Arts is a must read for every policy maker, educational leader, and school practitioner.
This book reports on ground-breaking research documented in the Report titled Bridging The Gap in School Achievement through the Arts (Vaughan et al 2011.  Commissioned on behalf of The Song Room, findings relating to the impact of an innovative program in the performing arts in upper primary years in schools in the most disadvantaged communities, showed  ‘astonishing’ gains on almost every measure of student achievement and well-being. The findings were as follows.
v    Students engaged in the arts gained a full year in NAPLAN scores in reading
v    There is 65 percent less absenteeism on days when the long-term arts program was offered compared to absenteeism in schools that did not offer the program
v    Students engaged in the arts had higher measures on every dimension of the Australian Council for Educational Research social-emotional well-being scale.
Calwell and Vaughan strongly argue that there has been a major disruption in efforts to design an education that matches the needs of the individual society and economy in the 21st century. This is substantiated by critical examination of education systems both in Australia and overseas and the title of chapter one ‘The social and educational costs of neglecting the arts’ summarises the themes presented in this book. Of serious concern was Australia’s preoccupation with national testing in literacy and numeracy teamed with cut-backs in public funding. Reporting on their examination of the ‘best’ educational systems world-wide, they offers compelling evidence of the place of the arts in the Transformation of Schools in the 21st century, and argue that the Arts are essential to national creativity and to the well-being of the individual citizen.
The research evidence in this book demonstrates that there is a social and educational cost in neglecting the arts, and there is an urgent need for educational reform. They conclude that policy makers and practitioners cannot afford to ignore the case for urgent action.
Dr Anne Lierse

Discussions around SMAG meeting with Martin Dixon have been productive, and it is hopeful that a meeting will occur after the budget is delivered.
The Sydney Morning Herald published the following article:

60 minutes in the USA covered a story out of The Congo where music has made a major impact in the lives of the people. Just get past the advertising :-)

Peter Garrett's latest release: