Creativity, Critical Skills and Context

By Moran, Jim | Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences, January 2005 | Go to article overview

Creativity, Critical Skills and Context


Moran, Jim, Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences


No Child Left Behind puts special emphasis on determining what educational programs and practices have been proven effective through rigorous scientific research. U.S. Department of Education

Both in school and college, students should have sustained opportunities to learn about the human imagination, expression, and the products of many cultures. Greater Expectations

Not everything that can be counted counts and not everything that counts can be counted. Albert Einstein

We know each of these statements to be true. It is our ability to put these principles into action that enables us to bring people together to improve the lives of individuals, families, and communities and provide enriching educational experiences for children.

Teachers in so-called "non-core" areas, such as family and consumer sciences, tell us they have consistently included the core requirements of science, mathematics, and reading within their daily activities and, according to recent surveys, they give increased attention to developing these competencies. However, they emphasize the importance of providing context for the application of "core" skills. The same is true of music education. Content without context builds the foundation but does not offer the necessary protection against the inevitable storms of life.

The debate over "core" content cannot be seen as an either/or issue-it is not music or science; it is not critical life skills or reading. Content and context must complement each other to "promote the kind of learning students need to meet emerging challenges in the workplace, in a diverse democracy, and in an interconnected world," according to NCLB. …

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