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Future of Art Education



Excerpted from a paper presented at a panel discussion on Art and the Universities, sponsored by the Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver, BC, on November 21, 1984. First published as the lead article in the inaugural issue of Issues in Education and Culture, Simon Fraser University Institute for the Humanities, May, 1985.

THE FUTURE OF ARTS EDUCATION

Greg Snider of Simon Fraser University's Centre for the Arts contends that government, business and educational managers are forming an alliance to serve the needs of the business community and the job market. A major result of this alliance will be the relegation of the arts to a decorative role in society. Educators and artists must unite to resist this economic rationalism and to maintain the arts' vital role as an examiner of society.

We are all aware at this point of the concerted efforts to fundamentally change the course of education in this province, through the precipitation of an economic crisis which serves as the impetus for the rationalization of educational priorities. Generally, this is perceived to be a short-sighted provincial problem, which can be countered on the grounds of its inherent irrationality. However, this is not so, and will not stop it from happening. What may be less obvious is the second part of this rearrangement of the social agenda, which is the vested interest of the national business community in the success of this attempt. There is presently a concerted lobby at the federal level, as outlined in recent articles and editorials in the Financial Post. calling for the complete reorganization of the country's educational

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