In recent years, a focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math)-based curriculum and standard metrics has taken hold in schools across the country, but a growing chorus has argued that this focus is too limiting to foster an engaged and enlightened citizenry and a creative workforce. How can arts education best contribute to building the successful schools and minds we need? Are the arts key to creativity?
Howard Gardner is the Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. A recipient of the MacArthur Prize Fellowship, the University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award in Education, and the Prince of Asturias Award for Social Sciences, Gardner is a leading thinker about education and human development. He has studied and written extensively about intelligence, creativity, leadership, and professional ethics. Gardner’s recent books include Good Work, Changing Minds, The Development and Education of the Mind, and Multiple Intelligences: New Horizons. His latest book, Truth, Beauty, and Goodness Reframed, was published last year.
Jonah Lehrer is an author and journalist who writes often about neuroscience and psychology. He has published two books, "Proust Was a Neuroscientist," about the connections between science and the humanities, and "How We Decide," about the brain and decision-making. He has written for The New Yorker about the science of insight and about the psychology of delayed gratification.
Based in Washington, D.C., “Andrea Mitchell Reports” premiered in 2008. Mitchell is also the NBC News Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent and regularly appears on “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams”, “Today”, and “Meet the Press.” The program includes in-depth interviews with DC and world newsmakers and covers many international news topics as well.
Damian Woetzel was a Principal Dancer at New York City Ballet and frequently performed internationally as a guest star and visiting artist with numerous companies including the Kirov Ballet and American Ballet Theatre, until his retirement from the stage in 2008. Woetzel currently serves as the Director of Arts Programs for the Aspen Institute, the Artistic Director of the Vail International Dance Festival, and as the Founding Director of the Jerome Robbins New Essential Works Program. Woetzel is also active as a director and producer outside these roles. Among his recent projects, Woetzel produced and directed an arts salute to Stephen Hawking at Lincoln Center for the World Science Festival, directed the first performance of the White House Dance Series, which took place in the East Room of the White House and was hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama, and co-produced the tribute to legendary ballerina Natalia Makarova as part of the 35th annual Kennedy Center Honors in December 2012. Woetzel also works with Yo-Yo Ma on his Silk Road Connect program in the New York City Public Schools, and has twice directed culminating year-end performances; at the Museum of Natural History in 2010, and for the Central Park SummerStage series in 2011. Woetzel was appointed to the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities by President Obama in 2009. In July 2012, Woetzel was honored with the inaugural Gene Kelly Legacy Award - an award jointly created by the Dizzy Feet Foundation and the Estate of Gene Kelly in honor of the 100th anniversary of Kelly's birth - for his contributions to the arts as a ballet star and director of dance and music performances.
New Yorker columnist Jonah Lehrer discusses the state of America's art education. Citing Moneyball's Bill James, Lehrer argues that we have an advanced system for creating genius athletes, but America doesn't put the same focus in other areas of education.