Art Education and the Role of School Leadership in a Diverse Society
Educators today face a myriad of challenges and changes as they strive to address the needs of increasingly diverse, ethno-racial communities (Hollinger, 2000). Within these challenges arises an opportunity for the development of a new paradigm for school leadership: one that has much to learn from the arts. This paper asks many questions, and posits some possible solutions. How can the arts in public schools have a wider influence, helping to close the Achievement Gap? How do we, as artists, educators, and school leaders help to bridge the socio-economic divide in the K-12 American public school system (Payne, 2001) in order to pave the way for the type of change that can address our needs from a global perspective? What role can educational leaders play in raising the status of the arts in their local communities? (Fullan, 2001) Some underlying issues will be identified, and the parallels between artists and leaders will be explored. (Gardner, 1999) Implications for school superintendents, principals and policy makers will be addressed, specifying what they can do to reduce the inequity of arts access between wealthy and poor school districts.
Keywords: Achievement Gap, Arts, Diversity, Educational Leadership, Global, Socio-economic Divide
Gina F. Friedman