Seidel Speaks at Arts SymposiumBy Jill Anderson
Lecturer Steve Seidel recently spoke about the importance of arts education with public and private educators, as well as policymakers, at the Art, Adolescents, and the Transformation of Society symposium in Washington, D.C.
The symposium, sponsored by the Walnut Hill School in Natick, Mass., and hosted by Senator Edward Kennedy at the Hart Senate Office Building, addressed issues pertaining to arts education and the development of essential skills and capacities for learning and working in today’s complex global society.
Seidel spoke to the audience about how adolescents contribute to building healthy communities when they are engaged in the arts. “Adolescents can’t transform society when they are lacking constructive, positive, community-based activities,” Seidel said. “When young people are involved in arts, their contributions are tremendously positive not only for them, but for their communities and the arts.” Seidel also shared information about an upcoming study at Project Zero that examines what constitutes high quality arts learning experiences.
Other panelists included Stephanie Perrin, head of the Walnut Hill School; Richard Deasy, director of the Arts Education Partnership; Ellen Winner, professor of psychology at Boston College and senior research associate for Project Zero at HGSE; and Lourdes Santiago, principal of Sumner Elementary School in Boston. Senator Kennedy gave the final address at the symposium and conducted a question and answer session.
“It was great to have Senator Kennedy there. He articulated his support and acknowledged that the lack of arts education is hurting schools, but that it is incredibly important for young people,” said Seidel. In particular, Kennedy discussed ways that the reauthorization of No Child Left Behind can begin to address the issue of arts education more directly.