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Arts in Education. What Do Tanzanians Need to Know? In Pinto, T. and Hanneken, B. (Eds.). Mambo Moto Moto. Music in Tanzania Today

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dc.creator Mapana, Kedmon 2016-10-03T14:53:25Z 2016-10-03T14:53:25Z 2016 2018-03-27T08:43:50Z 2018-03-27T08:43:50Z
dc.identifier 1435-5590
dc.description On April 7th 2011, two visitors from St. Johns University of Tanzania, Rick Eigenbrood (the Dean of the School of Education, Seattle Pacific University), Arthur Ellis (Director of the Centre for Global Education, Seattle Pacific University), and I visited King’s School located at 19303 Fremont Avenue North, Seattle, WA 98133. Eric Rasmussen, the Superintendent gave us a wonderful and useful tour. I was very impressed when he took us to the music room where there was a choir singing. The choir caught my attention and inspired me to ask Ras- mussen whether the arts are integrated into the course of study. He said yes, and explained further how deeply the King’s school values the arts and is committed to arts experiences as an integral part of its educational program. This conversation reminded me of my experience working on a program evaluation for Elk Plain School of Choice. It is one of seventeen public elementary schools in the Bethel School District, located in Spanaway, WA. Elk Plain School of Choice gives the arts—dance, music, theatre, and visual arts—a prominent role in the curriculum. Although the high quality of academic achievement cannot be credited to the arts program alone, Elk Plain School of Choice has had consistently higher scores on the Washington Assessment of Student Learn- ing (WASL) test(s) and Mastery of Student Progress (MSP) test(s) than other schools in the Bethel School District. Many teachers, parents and students of Elk Plain School are con- vinced that the arts are a major factor contributing to the students’ academic achievement. This is typically the case. One cannot attribute cause and effect, but certainly the correlation is there. Personally, I do think the arts contribute to achievement, but one must also take into account the fact that students engaged in the arts are themselves a unique subset of the gen- eral population with regard to socio-economic circumstance, etc. The arts programs in these two schools are not just something teachers and students do outside of school or after class. They are part of school’s course of study. This is different from Tanzania. The arts are not given priority as subjects by themselves. They are considered to be extra-curricular activities. As an example, in the 1990s, the arts (music, drama, and visual arts) and athletics were eliminated from Tanzanian schools. The Minister of Education, Joseph Mungai at that time, was concerned that arts and athletics were a waste of time. He demanded that science subjects and mathematics should be given priority. Unbelievably, in 2005, the Tanzanian government announced the idea to bring back the arts and athletics into schools. For me, this was a good idea but the people had suffered for many years without the arts in their education, and arts’ subjects have continued to be per- ceived as being of no value. As a Tanzanian, I argue that the arts have value in schools, and students who participate in music, drama, visual arts, and athletics, appear to me to do better in school. That has been my observation. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to (1) trace some elements of the continuing debate about the relative importance of science versus arts and humanities in education and the effects of the ascent of science on education that Mungai’s position reveals; (2) document perspectives related to the value of the arts in education; (3) review empirical evidence of the value of arts in education, including research involv- ing theatre, dance and other performing arts; (4) identify the ways arts in education appear in educational settings in the USA; (5) survey policy issues connecting funding with arts in education in the US; (6) describe how arts partnerships function in arts education in the USA; Arts in Education: What Do Tanzanians Need to Know? • 171 (7) discover what makes the arts to be perceived as marginal to the primary purposes of schooling in the USA; and (8) examine the situation involving arts in education in Tanzania. The paper has been undertaken to serve both as a reminder to supporters of arts in educa- tion, and to create awareness among a wider group of Tanzanians.
dc.language en
dc.publisher Würzburg, Germany: Verlag für Wissenschaft und Bildung,
dc.relation Intercultural Music Studies;Vol. 19
dc.subject Arts
dc.subject Education
dc.subject Arts Education
dc.subject Enculturation
dc.subject Curriculum
dc.subject Music
dc.subject Enculturation Discontinuity
dc.title Arts in Education. What Do Tanzanians Need to Know? In Pinto, T. and Hanneken, B. (Eds.). Mambo Moto Moto. Music in Tanzania Today
dc.type Book chapter

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