December 20th, 2008 by Dan Meyer
I do believe that all of these subjects are tightly linked and interdependent but our school system has erected concrete boundaries around these subjects through devices such as scheduling and teacher licensing. To a certain degree you have to work with the environment and conditions you are presented with. If this is the game we are playing I will continue to fight for the arts. [emphasis mine]
I felt frustrated throughout that thread, trying to explain that, yeah, I understand that art is everywhere, etc., but that in our schools, in my practice, art has been carefully parceled into its own forty-five minute block, and I don’t have the luxury to pretend or pundit like it isn’t.
To infer a lesson for writing about education from Carl: agitate and fight for your ideals but please feel free to toss a pragmatic bone at those of us who have to do what you only talk about. If you don’t — if, for example, you ignore the fact that I have 25 standards and sub-standards to cover in 180 hours, that my school has 15 mobile laptops to share across the school, that I have to respect issues of scale, that there are separate credentials for teaching art and math, etc. — I’m sure you will find an audience of like-minded idealists, but you risk rendering yourself irrelevant to the only people who can animate your idealism.
If I ever leave the classroom, someone please remind me I wrote this.