State school reform must look to future
By MICHAEL MERRIFIELD
October 22, 2007 – 12:17PM
…Students of lower socioeconomic status who took music lessons in grades eight through 12 increased their math scores on national tests significantly as compared to non-music students. They outscored all other students on the SATs, and their reading, history, geography and even social skills soared by 40 percent (Nature Magazine).
Machines can replace left-brained functions. A computer recently beat the greatest chess master in the world. Japan, China, and India have discovered their engineers can compute, but can’t think outside the box, can’t collaborate and can’t think creatively. Those countries are now requiring their students to study the arts to strengthen their right-brained skills, as are the Netherlands, Hungary, and the states of North Carolina, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, and other forward-looking states. Computers cannot replace the functions of the right side of the brain — the ability to think wisely, deeply, to connect different ideas, and to integrate concept.
Let’s not mire ourselves in 20th-century thinking. Let’s move Colorado into the 21st century and allow our students the opportunity to develop their right brain attributes. If anything, we should be requiring more arts to graduate, not more math and science.
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