Cleopatra Fitzgerald

13. How will you ensure that arts education leadership and instruction better reflects the population of 1.1 million public school students? What will you do to ensure that arts education reflects the cultures, values, and learning abilities of students engaged in it?

It starts with training teachers on the curriculum they will instruct students on regarding “diversity, races, lifestyle, gender, culture, social class, language, nationality, sexual orientation, religion, disabilities, norms, etc.”

The courses will be taught without bias and take into consideration the history of discrimination and oppression and how it is being fixed with new policies and awareness. The instructions to appreciate each student and learn about them and treat parents with respect. Even if the beliefs are not of their own, instructors to be nonjudgmental in their teachings (school ethics, code of conduct). Learning the history of each of the arts, it is immersed in cultural context. The history of music, theater, dance, poetry, etc all brings with them cultural fusion, tradition, social class, et al.

To understand the arts it is to learn about the varied persons who made the eras of great achievements possible.

The courses should be fun and educational, collaborative and welcoming . It can be best catered to students’ preference if demographics is studied and by surveys asking students ,parents and the community what should be added to the curriculum. Games, index cards, videos, cultural toys, exhibitions, class trips, brochures, live performances, and on and on will spark the students’ curiosity and interest in the arts. For students to each bring forward their favorite dance, songs, poems, art, style, and teach other students about it.

Virtual classes are immersive (how to dance, yoga, diverse tasks, crafts and hobbies) to get people involved in arts and cultural appreciation.

Thus, the community, boroughs, will bring back tourism, the arts and economy to flourish.

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NYC AiE Roundtable