W.Va.ís Approach to Arts Education Featured in National Publication

October 15, 2012

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia’s efforts to ensure that public schools teach the arts as core subjects are highlighted in a national education publication.

“The Forgotten Core Discipline,” by West Virginia Department of Education Arts Coordinator John Deskins and West Virginia University Assistant Professor Stephanie Morris Lorenze, appears in the October 2012 issue of “Principal Leadership” magazine, a publication of the National Association of Secondary School Principals. The article illustrates the benefits of core arts education for students.

“A comprehensive arts education plays a key role in meeting the needs of the whole student and provides ways to personalize learning,” Deskins said. “To meet the needs of students in the 21st century, schools must upgrade the position of the arts and give students the skills and knowledge they need to be successful in college, in careers and in life.”

Arts education offers students opportunities to learn skills not always addressed by other subjects, Deskins said, including creativity, innovation, collaboration, global awareness and reflection. Strong, comprehensive arts programs share four common components: sequential standards-based instruction, equity of access, teacher efficacy, and appropriate assessments.

“Years of research show that an education that includes the arts is closely linked to almost everything that we as a state and nation say we want for our children and demand from our schools: academic achievement, social and emotional development, civic engagement, and equitable opportunity,” said state Superintendent of Schools Jorea Marple. “Arts classrooms are dynamic learning environments where high expectations are set and creativity can flourish. That’s why we must work to keep the arts as core subjects in our schools, including dance, theatre, music and the visual arts.”

The complete article is posted at


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