I'm very sorry I was unable to attend the meeting on the 16th, but a setback on a recent foot surgery kept me at home with my foot elevated. I was especially interested in the discussion of the 21st century skills and music's role in that. As you all know, students' pre-service learning has a strong and lasting influence on how their careers unfold and how their students will thrive or not. An important objective for all of us is not to lose sight of education's primary role - to help students develop to their fullest cognitive and aesthetic potential, not, as some believe, to become productive cogs in a future work force. That was the influence that shaped education in the 19th century. In many ways, we are still thinking in those terms, and we are reaping a sad harvest of students that memorize items for tests and focus on grades but do not develop their thinking abilities and creativity. Unfortunately, we are so inured to the industrial model school we all experienced that it takes a real effort to think and teach otherwise. Predictably, the major testing companies are in the mix of the recent 'reform' movements, and this is another factor in stalling real change in education.
Sorry! This sounds like a downer, now that I read it. Do any of you have thoughts on this? I would welcome a conversation on this.
Mel Pontious, Ed.D