Congratulations to the George Rodrigue Foundation for the Arts and to LSU for hosting the recent A+ Schools workshop, as reflected in the letter from Dr. Laurence Kaptain published in The Advocate – Readers’ Views on July 3.
I am disappointed, however, to note that one might think incorporating the arts in education is a new idea to Louisiana. A rich heritage of arts-in-education already exists in Louisiana. For example, the Baton Rouge Center for Visual and Performing Arts was founded in 1996. The St. Tammany Parish Schools adopted arts-in-education concepts at the same time, to list a few. These schools are nationally recognized for academic achievement.
The arts-in-education movement began in the early 1980s when the Getty Art Education Institute in California developed teacher training to incorporate the visual art in teaching language arts, mathematics, science and social studies. This method was known as Discipline Based Arts Education (DBAE). The name has changed over the years, but the concepts remain the same.
Later in the 1980s, Getty established nationwide institutes to train teachers across the country. One institute is the Southeast Center for Education in the Arts (SCEA) at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. The SCEA added music and theatre to the program.