The Fine Arts
A thing of beauty is a joy forever: Its loveliness increases; it will never Pass into nothingness.
Perhaps the most serious defect in many proposals for the gifted made in recent years has been neglect of the arts, both fine and practical, in the effort to shore up the "academic" part of the curriculum. Added "solids" had to displace something else, of course, and the result was less time in the curriculum of the gifted for music, art, industrial arts, home economics, typing, commercial areas, vocational shops and agriculture. Unfortunately, this action was predicated upon armchair logic rather than research.
Evidence gathered in the widespread Eight-Year Study ( Aikin, 1942), in the parallel study by the Southern Association ( Jenkyns, 1946), and in at least one statewide study ( Katterle and Craig, 1955) does not support heavy reliance upon formal studies or emphasis on traditional "solids" as the only, or even the best, way to prepare gifted students for successful work in college. The Eight-Year and Southern Association studies revealed superior performance in college on the part of graduates of the most liberal high school curricula. Katterle and Craig, in the State of Washington, showed the absence of relationship between the pattern of courses taken by their students and their later success in college. Instead, application and achievement in high school, regardless of courses taken, correlated well with achievement in college, regardless of major selected. Loading more "heavy" subjects on the student has no discoverable justification in research.