As schools cut budgets and stretch to teach to standardized tests, one of the first casualties is often arts education. Drama, dance, music and visual arts are often seen as nice extras, not essential skills. NPR's Elizabeth Blair takes a look at how arts education fits in with academics in fostering creativity in students. The three-part series airs beginning Monday, April 15th, on All Things Considered on witf.
Testing Creativity - Monday, April 15th
Creativity can help you succeed in life -- but how do you know you have it? In the 1960s, psychologist E. Paul Torrance developed a way to test creativity by following students over several decades. His test is often used for admission to gifted programs, but a few years ago one academic found that Torrance test scores were dropping. Is the U.S. in a "creativity crisis"? NPR's Elizabeth Blair reports.
Can Art Save A Failing School? - Tuesday, April 16th
When President Obama first ran for office he formed an Arts Policy Committee with a top priority: reinvest in arts education. The president signed off on an experiment to see if an arts curriculum could improve eight failing public elementary schools in some of the country's poorest neighborhoods. The Turnaround Arts program is funded through both public and private dollars -- but for just two years. NPR's Elizabeth Blair visits one of the schools.
Life Pieces to Masterpieces - Wednesday, April 17th
A small nonprofit in one of Washington, D.C.'s poorest neighborhoods is trying to use art to transform the lives of African-American boys and young men. Life Pieces To Masterpieces is an after-school program where students work together to create art. After more than 15 years, they're starting to see results. In a neighborhood where only 33% graduate from high school, 100% of LPTM's graduates go on to college or post-secondary education. NPR's Elizabeth Blair reports.
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