The ArT of EducaTion

By Abdul-Alim, Jamaal | Diverse Issues in Higher Education, December 6, 2012 | Go to article overview

The ArT of EducaTion

Abdul-Alim, Jamaal, Diverse Issues in Higher Education

Educators work to resuscitate arts education after No Child Left Behind.

If you ask Dr. Robert F. Sabol, professor of visual and performing arts at Purdue University, art education has suffered some serious setbacks since No Child Left Behind - the landmark federal education law that put a greater emphasis on high-stakes testing.

Since No Child Left Behind became law in 2002, school systems - under increased pressure to raise student proficiency rates in the "core" subjects of reading and math - have less money to spend on materials such as paint and clay, and art instructors have less time to teach students what to do with those things, a Sabol study found.

"Art teachers were put in a very difficult position," says Sabol, president of the National Art Education Association, based in Reston, Va., and author of the 2010 study titled No Child Left Behind: A Study of Its Impact on Art Education.

Sabol's study found, among other things, that many art educators saw budgets for their programs decline under the federal law and the money redirected toward "core classes," test prep and other areas.

But now - as the Obama administration grants states more flexibility under No Child Left Behind and state and local educators work to implement a new set of education standards known as the Common Core State Standards - art educators are hopeful that they can restore art education to what they believe is its rightful place.

"At this point, the Common Core is being implemented, so it's a little premature to say how [art education] is going to be affected," Sabol says.

At the same time, he says, the implementation of the Common Core State Standards represents a prime opportunity to recognize art's role in helping to develop the much-heralded "21st Century Skills" - such as critical thinking and creativity - that proponents say students need to compete in the global economy. The Common Core State Standards Initiative is led by the National Governor's Association and is meant to provide a "clear and consistent framework to prepare our children for college and the workforce," according to the website.

Art education should also be seen as something that contributes to the economy and makes for a more thoughtful society, Sabol says. It is often the designs of artists, Sabol says, that influence consumer and civic decisions that range from what car or home to buy to how to interpret messages from political candidates and others who are trying to shape public opinion.

"Learning about art is extremely important in that regard," Sabol says. "That's not to mention the billions of dollars that the arts [contribute] to the economy."

In order to get decision-makers to see the educational relevance of art, Sabol says the National Art Education Association has assembled teams of writers to develop art standards that are consistent with the Common Core State Standards. The art standards should be released within the next 12 to 18 months, Sabol says.

"The Common Core Standards can be taught rather successfully in the arts classroom if the instruction is focused on using language arts and math to learn about art," Sabol says.

That wasn't always the case under No Child Left Behind, Sabol says, noting that art teachers found themselves being forced to teach math and language arts during art class - and not necessarily by tying their lessons into art. In some cases, he says, art courses were eliminated altogether.

The case for making art a core part of education stands upon a growing amount of research.

Contrary to what some believe, it's not that art education causes students to get better grades or score higher on tests, says Ellen Winner, professor of psychology at Boston College. Winner is also senior research associate at Project Zero, an educational research group at the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University. The group's mission is to understand and enhance learning, thinking and creativity in the arts. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

The ArT of EducaTion


Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

    New feature

    It is estimated that 1 in 10 people have dyslexia, and in an effort to make Questia easier to use for those people, we have added a new choice of font to the Reader. That font is called OpenDyslexic, and has been designed to help with some of the symptoms of dyslexia. For more information on this font, please visit

    To use OpenDyslexic, choose it from the Typeface list in Font settings.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search


    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.